Bethesda Driveway Repair: Should You Repair or Replace?

Dawn KruegerSnow Removal

cracked asphalt up close: Bethesda driveway repair

Suddenly there’s a big crack in driveway and that’s no laughing matter! How do you go about Washington DC or Bethesda driveway repair? Whether a home is five years old or 50, the curb appeal of a smooth finished driveway makes an instantaneous good impression. Whether upgrading for curb appeal or for a potential home sale, the condition of your driveway is key. So, when is it time to repave the driveway? And should you repair or replace your driveway? Either way, let’s make sure the cost doesn’t crack a budget!

Cracking Concrete

No matter how well your concrete was installed, the simple truth is that it will have cracks eventually. Especially in our freeze, thaw and re-freeze climate in Bethesda, MD. However, hairlines or cracks under 1/8th of an inch are normal wear and tear. When concrete or asphalt cracks grow in size, however, this allows for water and moisture intrusion between and beneath the foundation of the driveway, creating the potential for larger and bigger cracks or holes. Deciding to resurface or replace a driveway causes sticker shock for some but it’s well worth the investment.

Driveway cracks under 1/8 inch are normal - anything larger should be repaired. Click To Tweet

Crumbling Asphalt

Asphalt driveways tend to oxidize more rapidly over time than it’s harder cement cousin. Yes, cement cracks – but asphalt cracks AND crumbles. This occurs over a significant time frame depending on maintenance, water, sunlight, and proper grading. The good news is that replacing asphalt over concrete is less costly. But, asphalt does not have the “wow” factor or durability of concrete.

Driveways take a beating in Maryland and the DC Metro area with sub-zero temperatures during the winter followed by hot summers. Expansion and contraction causes damage that has to be evaluated not only for curb appeal but to keep surfaces smooth for optimal snow removal services and ice management.

Driveway Resurfacing vs Replacement

So how do you determine if you can get by with repairing your driveway or if it’s time for a replacement?  This depends on the budget, location, and overall condition of the existing driveway. According to Angie’s List, age is also a determining factor. If the driveway is 20 plus years old with significant cracking, it may be time for a full replacement. Top Maryland contractors can give you a price which will depend on the length and width of your drive and if you’d like added features, like stamping or pavers, to increase the “pop” factor of the exterior of the property.

Resurfacing is a quick fix for a temporary solution to driveway damage. If minor cracking, only, is apparent, a quick skim of newer concrete over the existing surface acts as a band-aid. Over time, if not sealed correctly, the cracks appear again, and generally in the same area. If the budget does not allow for a full replacement, resurfacing and repairing chips or cracking, definitely serves to add time in order to save for a full replacement down the road.

The cost will not crack your budget!

The cost to resurface, as stated, is relatively low and will not break a budget. Here are some general rules to help build a resurfacing budget. For a full replacement driveway, asphalt typically runs between $2-4 per square foot, and $4-9 per square for concrete in our area. Measuring the length and width will help determine the budget ahead of time. Much depends on how much general area needs attention. Removal of the current driveway and disposal of materials adds to this cost as well. For a normal setback from a roadway, guesstimating on the high end for a total package, generally fits a replacement budget without breaking the bank.

Do not underestimate the appeal of a driveway when it comes to the valuation of the home. Large cracks and potholes not only push potential buyers away, but cost motorists unexpected damages on vehicles. They can also create dangerous slippery spots in winter! On the other hand, a smooth, beautiful driveway, serves as a welcome mat to guests, owners and potential home buyers. It shows pride of ownership and care of the home. This helps bring higher offers or makes a great first impression.

Contact us for more information on how simple changes can make a big difference on your home’s safety and curb appeal. We don’t provide Bethesda driveway repair services, but we can help you evaluate what needs to be done. We have provided the greater Washington DC area with landscaping, snow removal and home construction services since 1990.

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