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Important Things To Know About Your Home's Driveway

Do you have a driveway that needs to be redone? Are you trying to decide whether you want another concrete slab driveway or try out a new asphalt driveway instead? Here are some facts that you may not have known about your driveway:

Concrete absorbs water: Concrete driveways may look solid, but they absorb water similar to a sponge. In summer, this is usually harmless because the water will evaporate in the air voids. However, it can create damage during cold weather, especially if your area has frequent thaw-freeze cycles. The thawing and expansion of water, known as spalling, can cause the top layer to chip and flake, weakening and compromising the driveway's structural integrity as subsequent layers are subjected to spalling. It can also cause the top surface to completely pop off and expose the underlying aggregate. 

Rebar may not make your driveway any stronger: If your concrete driveway contains rebar, rock salt can cause rust and corrosion which will push outwards on the concrete and cause cracks. The salt lowers the freezing temperature of the surface moisture and creates a slush that can cause long term damage to any metal in your driveway. It also can cause salt fretting, the flaking and scaling of concrete or brick surfaces.

You may not be able to de-ice your driveway during the first winter: Products containing ammonia nitrate or ammonium sulfate are commonly known to cause the rapid disintegration of concrete and should never be used to de-ice your concrete driveway. Do not use any form of chemical de-icer if your driveway is less than six months old, as it can take up to a year for the surface to completely cure. 

Drain-spout placement is important to your driveway: Roof gutters with improperly placed drains can dump precipitation from your roof to your driveway. Depending on the severity of the weather, this could create running water in your driveway that erodes a hole in your driveway. 

Asphalt driveways can develop potholes: Just like a paved road, asphalt driveways may develop potholes, which could lead to automotive troubles. Hitting a pothole can mess up your car's steering alignment, bend parts of the suspension, wear out the shocks, or damage the wheel rims and tires. While you can purchase a container of asphalt patch for around $20 at your local hardware store, it may be a better idea to have the company like Caddo Paving who originally laid out the driveway to come take a look at it. They'll be able to tell you if your driveway needs resealing as well as patching.