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pavement crack

Replacing your asphalt driveway is probably at the bottom of your home improvements list. However, if you have inherited an older driveway from the previous house owner, you might think that replacement is the only way to fix all those cracks. Don’t make rushed decisions! As Maryland driveway repair specialists, we know that many types of asphalt damage can be successfully repaired. Take a look at the list below for your paving replacement and repair options.

Driveway Damaged From a Dumpster

Many people don’t realize how heavy those dumpsters are when they rent one to do a home renovation or to clean a house before moving out. The dumpster delivery company probably warned you about possible damage, or maybe you just reluctantly signed a waiver your roofer gave you without actually reading the fine print. Either way, after the dumpster was removed, it’s likely you were left either with cosmetic damage or some serious dents in your driveway.

If your driveway was originally built on a poor sub-base, it didn’t take much to damage it. In fact, the unloaded dumpster was probably enough to completely crack and put holes in your driveway. If that’s the case, the best thing to do is to replace the driveway, especially if it’s not that large. If the damage is minor or mostly cosmetic, cold-patching or hot-patching may be all your driveway needs to restore its look.

Sunken Driveway

Over time, a driveway may start to sink either due to erosion, environmental factors or poor soil compaction. The sinking often creates a rough and unsightly transition between the driveway and the garage. Depending on the extent of the damage, a driveway may sink as much as 4-8 inches below the garage entrance. How do you fix it?

In most cases, your Maryland driveway repair company would dig out the sunken part and lay a new asphalt “apron.” Your garage and driveway will be level again, but there will be a visible seam along the edge of the apron, especially if the rest of your driveway is fairly old. As an alternative to asphalt, the apron can be laid with pavers or poured with concrete.

Cracked Driveway

Driveway cracks typically as a result of water penetrating into the asphalt, then freezing and expanding. Prolonged exposure to the bright sun can also dry unsealed asphalt out and contribute to cracking. If cracks are left untreated for a long time, chunks of asphalt may eventually break off and form a pothole. The good news is that small cracks can typically be controlled with spot treatments, as well as seasonal sealcoating.

If the cracking is widespread (“alligator cracks” all over the driveway), it’s possible that the asphalt was laid too thinly, the sub-base was laid unevenly or is sinking in some areas. In this case, you may need a new driveway. Fixing the cracks may only slightly delay the demise of the surface.

Root Damage

If you have large trees close to your driveway, their invasive root systems may damage your driveway. Root damage to the driveway usually consists of upheaval and looks like raised, cracked bumps on your driveway. Not only does this look bad, but these bumps also create a tripping hazard. Repairing upheaval usually involves digging in and cutting off the invasive roots, which may put the tree at risk. If preserving a tree is a must, there is little that can be done besides filling in the cracks. And even if one tree root is removed, there is no guarantee that more roots won’t try to reach the surface.

Need more information or a professional assessment of your driveway? Give us a call or contact us online to schedule a free consultation!