A well maintained, smart driveway is an essential part of giving your home kerb appeal and keeping your home in good order.

Over time, wear and tear of a driveway can result in cracks, potholes and debris. When this happens how do you know whether it’s time to replace, resurface or repair your driveway?

Many homeowners will repair any damage as this is the cheaper option, but it’s not always the best course of action and can lead to more costly repairs in the long term.

First, consider the existing surface material of your driveway. Some surfaces are simple to repair but others, such as concrete will require much more regular repairs in order to maintain it.

Some driveway surfaces will be more prone to wear and tear over the years due to constant traffic and exposure to the elements, affecting the kerb appeal of your property. Choosing a material that naturally disguises wear and tear will be the best option.

Surface cracks

The Scottish climate means that for much of the year our driveways are subjected to constant freeze-thaw cycles which can result in small cracks. These can be fixed by patching the affected areas. We would only recommend doing this if the cracks are very small and can be filled using a liquid filler.

However, if the crack is larger, we would advise replacing the driveway. Patching larger cracks will only provide a temporary solution and you will have to continually patch cracks that appear, making it uneconomical in the long run.

How old is your driveway?

If laid properly, asphalt and concrete driveways last for around 20 years. Therefore, if your driveway is more than 20 years old, we would advise replacing your driveway. After this length of time, your driveway materials will be worn out and trying to repair the cracks will not be cost effective as other age-related issues can arise as soon as you’ve patched up the existing ones. The result will be patchwork of repairs and scruffy driveway.

Drainage

If you find that rainwater is pooling in your driveway or running down in the middle of the driveway, you could have drainage issues. If this is not addressed properly it will weaken the driveway surface leading to more cracks and potholes.

Before patching and repairing the driveway, talk to an expert to ensure that the drainage issue is fixed. Better still, employ the services of a driveway surfacing specialist who can carry out all ancillary works including drainage as part of the project to keep your costs down.

If the drainage issue is small, it could be that you simply require strip drains or new drainage piping. However, in this case you can future proof your driveway by replacing the drainage system at the same time as resurfacing your driveway. Even more convenient, Roadlay can install a range of SUDs compliant self-draining materials such as our Resin bound and rubber crumb decorative surfaces.

Cost considerations

Usually, the overriding decision is governed by cost. While replacing your driveway will be more expensive than carrying out repairs, it’s worth considering why the driveway is in need of repair. Is it older than 20 years, or has it been installed incorrectly? If so, this could be the first of many repairs and these could end outweighing the replacement cost – which you will have to do further down the line anyway.

We recommend getting a thorough examination of your driveway and any drainage issues, and a price for both repair and replacement. If you are planning on selling your home, you may find that a replacement will add kerb appeal and value to your home, making it a worth investment.

Talk to us at Roadlay – using our industry experience we can evaluate your driveway and talk to you about your budget to come up with a solution that works for you.