How Long Does Concrete Repair Last?

Weighing up whether or not your concrete driveway needs resurfacing or replacing? Learn how long permanent repairs last & how best to protect them.

How Long Does Concrete Repair Last?

Many road surfaces are not designed to withstand extreme pressures forever. Typically, an asphalt carriageway will need to be replaced after 20 years and a concrete carriageway after 25 years. Repairing a road approaching this age is not considered a wise investment. Over time, if owners do not take care of them, minor damage can lead to more significant problems, such as widening cracks, crumbling concrete, and the need for resurfacing or replacement.

If you want to resurface your concrete driveway, many consider it the “middle ground” of caring for your driveway. The first step is to treat minor cracks using the best concrete driveway patch. Or, if there is too much damage and crumbling, you may need to weigh the pros and cons of concrete versus driveway resurfacing. Are you trying to figure out if you should resurface your concrete driveway or if a replacement should occur? Weighing the pros and cons of concrete resurfacing versus replacement is beneficial because it helps you understand the benefits of each.

Before considering any concrete driveway repair or resurfacing, think about its age. If you are working with a concrete driveway that is twenty to twenty-five years old or older, you will benefit from replacement. The main reason is that you are likely dealing with a lot of age patching and previous rejuvenation. If you want to change the material of your carriageway, then it is a consideration why a replacement is the best option.

If you are dealing with deep cracks, potholes and sunken areas that you could address with resurfacing, think about what new material as an alternative. Would you be happier with an asphalt carriageway? Before making this decision, weigh the pros and cons of resurfacing. Think about how long you plan to live in your home - do you want to continue using a concrete driveway because you are happy with that material, or do you think a replacement driveway with asphalt is a better option? Research the longevity of asphalt compared to concrete renewal, as well as the cost of asphalt replacement. This information will help you determine which is the best long-term option.

Ultimately, you will be living with this decision for decades. Therefore, you want to make sure it is the best from an economic and aesthetic point of view. The customer asks you what to do - can you make it look new again without having to dig up and replace the old floor? Or my car park has several prominent cracks - can they be repaired and made to look aesthetically appealing or does the whole car park need to be replaced? There is no doubt that contractors can offer customers more repair options than ever before. While the composition of concrete has not changed much in the last 20 years, repair products have. Polymers help create a strong bond between new and old concrete, acrylics add strength, and attractive finishes disguise patches and other repairs.

Not only can concrete surfaces be filled, levelled, brightened and reinforced without spending the time and money to replace old concrete, but surface treatment can make them look as good as or better than new. Permanent concrete repairs are possible - well, almost permanent. It is possible to expect a life expectancy of 20 to 30 years from a properly executed repair. In my opinion, that's not too bad. The trick to a durable repair lies in the bonding of the new material to the old.

Many people think that the new patching material will magically stick to the old concrete. It does this by chemically reacting with the water that is added to the mix. This chemical reaction is responsible for transforming the plastic concrete mixture that looks like thick applesauce into solid rock hours later. The more crystals that form, the stronger the bond. This means that it is not advisable to add the minimum amount of Portland cement to the concrete you are mixing for repair. If we could go back and do an autopsy of the patch, we would probably see a lot of stones from the new mix that are touching the old concrete.

A piece of stone aggregate is not going to stick to the old concrete. If you choose not to use cement paint, you can use many of the acrylic bonding agents that are available. These chemicals are not unlike the resins used in paints. There are bonding agents that are added to the patching compound, and there are bonding agents that are painted onto the old concrete. In fact, you can use both if you wish. How many people think that hot, dry, windy weather is the best time to repair concrete? Raise your hand now! Remember earlier I said that cement needs water to start the chemical reaction that makes the crystals grow? Cement also needs water to maintain the chemical reaction. If the patch is outdoors, try to protect it from the sun.

You can do this by covering it with a piece of plywood or OSB that creates good shade. Every minute that passes it grows more and more - but only if there's enough water present. The only problem is air temperature - if it gets too hot and if direct sunlight hits it then crystals will form too quickly for good finishing results. To get really good finishing results enough crystals must form so that surface is firm but plastic. With any concrete repair, take this lesson to heart and you'll be off to a good start: first find out what has caused damage; do necessary preparation; remove unusable concrete; remove contamination; then install repair designed solve problem. The worst thing you can do is make a repair that won't last - someone once told me more than 50 percent of repairs fail again within two years - not track record inspires confidence!Take look at cracks...

Riley Ryan
Riley Ryan

Subtly charming twitter aficionado. Evil web trailblazer. Total beer trailblazer. Professional bacon maven. Prone to fits of apathy. Alcohol fanatic.