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How Much Does It Cost To Level A Driveway?By admin
Monday, 9 September 2019
Your driveway is both a practical and aesthetic part of your home. It is part of your front and side garden, and provides the perfect place to park your car off the street.
You want it to both look great and to perform as you would expect.
What you don’t want are dips, puddles, cracking and slopes. All of these can lead to a multitude of issues that can damage the driveway, the environment-and, in some cases, even your home.
But levelling your driveway can be a expensive and time consuming job - is it even worth it? It’s time to find out…
Why Does My Driveway Need Levelling?
The chances are that your driveway was perfectly level and graded correctly when it was built, and has begun to sink in places more recently - to the extent that you now notice it.
This is very common and stems from a number of reasons:
● The original sub base was not correctly installed. It needs to have good drainage and be well compacted to prevent future movement.
● The driveway was not graded correctly to avoid water run off towards your home. The original contractors may not have considered where water was going to go, and it is now causing problems to the driveway-as well as your home or other buildings.
● The driveway materials used were not suitable for the level of water they have to deal with.
● The materials used were not of sufficient quality, and have begun to wear and sink, causing low spots to develop.
● No suitable drainage system was installed.
From puddles and ice patches, to cracks and uneven sections, an unlevelled driveway can cause plenty of problems for your surface, which become more widespread over time
What Damage Can My Unlevelled Driveway Do?
While you may not mind that your driveway is a little bumpy - you will mind when those lumps and bumps start to cause problems. Many of these start out small and will actually become more widespread over time (and expensive too!).
● Puddles and icy patches: Anywhere that your driveway has dips could be a place where water will settle. In the Winter, this water will freeze, causing slippery patches that can be very dangerous to walk on. The water can also cause moss to grow, which will add another slip hazard; it will need to be removed before it stains or affects the surface.
● Water run off: Driveways must be designed to prevent water run off into local sewers and should, therefore, have good drainage either through the surface itself, or as a separate drainage system. Any water allowed to run off can cause environmental issues, and if it is heading towards your home, it could cause damp and mould growth inside it. Where the water goes on your driveway is vital, and a driveway with poor levelling can lead to a huge number of water related issues.
● Cracks and uneven sections: if the sub base has not been well designed and has stated to fall due to heavy rain or the weight of vehicles, you will start to notice cracks and sunken sections of your driveway. These can be superficially repaired, but without the sub base being improved, you will find that these issues return - especially after a lot of rain or snow. Minor cracks will also expand if water is allowed to get into them, making maintenance very important.
It is probably clear by now that a driveway that is not level is a recipe ripe for disaster.
You have a few options when it comes to improving the look and the practical use of your driveway. However, some of these can be slightly expensive.
Although starting from scratch is obviously the most expensive option, it does give you the chance to choose a new driveway material, such as resin bound surfacing, which will last for many years
Option 1: Start From Scratch
If your driveway is suffering from severe problems, the only feasible option may be to lift the entire driveway surface, and completely replace the sub base.
This will involve taking away the current surface, levelling the earth with a digger and a compactor, and then adding a layer of hard core for drainage.
Depending on the type of driveway you have chosen, you can have an asphalt base, concrete-or even sand.
This option is clearly the most expensive overall, but it does give you the chance to choose a new driveway material, such as resin bound surfacing, which will last for many years.
The cost will depend on the material you choose, and the amount of levelling required; however, it can start at around £2,000 on average, and go almost as high as you wish - with paving stones being the most expensive option overall.
One good way to keep costs low is to remove specific sections instead; however, this will often result in a patchier, overall look
Option 2: Remove Specific Sections
If you are noticing dips and fallen areas, or parts of your driveway need to be regraded, you can choose to remove only those sections that are causing the problems.
This can be a good way to keep costs low, but will result in a patchy look to the driveway where newer materials are used.
In the case of paving stones, this is much easier, as the stones can be lifted, the base repaired or changed, and the stones replaced.
It is, however a difficult job that should always be done by an expert.
Once again, the cost is difficult to work out, and will, generally speaking, depend on the amount of time it will take.
However, you can expect it to take a few days to complete at a few hundred pounds per day.
Option 3: Repair The Affected Areas
If you have dips in your driveway that simply need to be levelled to meet the rest of the drive, this can be achieved through repair kits, or additional concrete or asphalt.
The surface of your current driveway will need to be prepared to adhere to the new concrete and then it is simply poured into place and levelled out to create the most even surface possible.
In most cases, it will be possible to see where these repairs were carried out, but the resulting effect will be a fully usable driveway.
Resin bound surfacing will alow water to seep through the surface-meaning that you won't have issues with standing water, and the risk of the freeze/thaw effect
Why Resin Bound Surfacing Is A More Level Choice
Resin bound driveways are created using a mixture of aggregate and resin, which is pressed into a carefully prepared base.
There are many reasons why this is a great choice for your driveway, but when it comes to achieving a level surface, it really is a cut above the rest.
Resin bound is applied to a base of asphalt which has been laid onto a hard core base that has been carefully compacted and prepared to be as even as possible.
This means that from the start, your driveway will be in good shape.
The resin layer is then hand trowelled into place, allowing the contractor to get an even coverage and to use their professional knowledge to achieve the exact grading that is needed.
It is easy to control the depth to get the smooth surface that they want.
Resin bound will also allow water to seep through the surface-meaning that you won’t have issues with standing water.
All in all, levelling your driveway is a tricky job that should be carried out by a professional and it always better if it can be done as part of the original laying process.
As you can see, choosing the right material is a great start towards getting the driveway you want-safe in the knowledge that it will be performing effectively for many more years to come.
Ready to upgrade your existing driveway to elicit serious neighbour envy?
We're ready when you are.
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