Driveway Problem

by Rosanne

Our home is 36 years old. We started off with a concrete driveway. It cracked. Then we had it stamped painted. Cracks were back in two months and the contractor would do nothing to fix the problem. I believe they went out of business. Now I am thinking of a circular drive. We live in Fla (heat, etc.). What do you suggest? We have pavers by the pool, but they require maintenance. My neighbor has patterncrete. I noticed that it just developed a crack and it's only 2 years old. They have alittle garden type landscaping in the middle. I am very torn. We are not rich, so I don't want the "most expensive" landscaping. It has to look nice however. Hope to hear from you soon. Thank you

Dear Rosanne,

Concrete driveways do deteriorate over time. As you experienced with the surface treatment repair, I haven't seen them hold up either. The problem is that once concrete develops a lot of cracks, it is hard to put a band aid on it. You have to remove the concrete and pour a new section. It usually looks patched unless you have a great contractor that can stain the concrete to match the old. The strength of the base under the driveway is very important especially with a concrete surface. Whatever type of driveway you put in be sure that the base under it is solid.
You are asking me about a circular driveway and I don't know what you house and property look like. I am happy to take a look, so send a photo. Unfortunately, your concrete driveway sounds like it would have to be removed in order to put in a new one correctly. The least expensive type of driveway to install is gravel. The most expensive is pavers and stamped concrete. Asphalt or tar and gravel are a mid range price. Concrete and exposed aggregate concrete is priced between asphalt and pavers. The nature of concrete is that it will crack sometime. Expansion joints in concrete slabs give it places to move, so the cracks will be minimal. The acceptable cracks are stress cracks. A good base keeps it from developing wide, destructive cracks.
I hope this has been some help to you.


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