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Driveways & Resin Surfacing

How To Fix A Low Spot In A Concrete Driveway For Good

How To Fix A Concrete Driveway For Good

Many of us have concrete driveways. They are relatively cheap, and fast to lay, they last a reasonable length of time, and they express clean and fresh (if a little boring) appearance.

However, if you have discovered that your concrete driveway is developing low spots, you are going to wonder how you might fix it and whether you will need to dig up the whole driveway and start again.

The good news is that you shouldn’t have to, but the bad news is that you maybe should have chosen another driveway material such as resin bound surfacing; a driveway that will truly stand the test of time, regardless of inclement weather.

How Concrete Driveways Are Laid: The Process

Many homeowners take on a concrete driveway as a DIY job – but whether it is laid by a professional, or a competent DIYer, the task is usually approached in the same way:

● Mark out the position of the driveway with pegs, and remove around 200mm of soil to allow for the sub base and the concrete layer. Try to level the soil layer as much as possible, by dragging a plank across it.
● Use a peg to allow you to see the level you want the concrete to be – you can use them along the length to try and achieve an even depth. But always aim to direct the slope towards water run off areas, and away from your home.
● Use form work to stop the concrete from spreading to areas you don’t want it.
● Long driveways cannot usually be laid in one continuous slab – you need to allow for movement, by adding in joins at 4 metre intervals.
● The sub base should be crushed stones for drainage, and it should be compacted.
● Large driveways will require a concrete truck, while smaller areas can be done by hand with wheelbarrows. Concrete stays workable for about 1.5 hours, so think about how this can be achieved within that time frame.
● The concrete should be levelled using a scraper. Remove the formwork once it is dry.
● Don’t forget that you should not drive on your new driveway for around 10 days.

How To Fix A Concrete Driveway For Good

Concrete Driveway Developed Low Spots? Here’s Why…

One of the main reasons for any concrete driveway having low spots is simply that it has been incorrectly laid and prepared. If the sub-base is not properly levelled and compacted, it does not provide a stable surface for the concrete.

The weight of the concrete and cars will then cause it to dip, and in some cases, the concrete can even crack.

The concrete may also have been incorrectly levelled, or inexpertly poured, leading to dips that may not be obvious until water starts to pool on the surface. While the gradient should be directed towards drains or run-off areas, the overall level should be even. This can be hard to achieve without  prior experience.

The concrete may also not be thick enough, and could break or crack under the weight of the cars using the driveway. These low spots will be easy to see as the concrete will start to disintegrate in places. The right mix of concrete is also essential to prevent this. A lack of expansion gaps can have a similar effect.

Why Low Spots Pose A Long-Term Problem

This is mostly to do with water. A low spot on your concrete driveway will be a place for rain water to collect. These puddles can freeze in cold weather causing a hazard, or they can simply sit and become stagnant, leading to algae growth on your driveway which is hard to remove. 

The low spots may also have cracks that water can seep into. If this water freezes it will expand and cause the cracks to become larger over time – effectively destroying an even larger area of driveway.

Finally, if the low spot is close to your home, the water may pool next to your exterior walls, causing damage such as mould and algae growth that could seep inside your home. This is a major problem, and very costly to repair.

How To Fix A Concrete Driveway For Good

If you have large dips or holes, your best bet may be to remove a section of concrete using either a chisel or a diamond tipped saw. This way, you can get a squared off hole that can simply be replaced with new poured concrete

How To Fix A Low Spot In A Concrete Driveway: 3 Key Steps To Take

The best and most long lasting way to repair low spots on your concrete driveway is to simply pull it up, add a new sub base, and relay the driveway using a newer and better material, such as resin bound surfacing. However, this may not be possible, due to cost or time constraints.

There are other more short term solutions that may not look perfect, but will help with the problem for now.

A good way to level your driveway is to patch low spot areas with new concrete. For this task, you need a special compound that is designed to adhere to the current driveway surface. You need a good concrete base that is free from cracks and crumbling, or the new patch won’t adhere correctly.

Usually, a bonding adhesive is applied to the area, and the compound is added, and then trowelled across the breadth of the surface. You should feather the edges to ensure no obvious lines, and to get it as level as possible.

Bear in mind the run-off of water when deciding on the direction of the levelling. This may leave your driveway looking patchy due to colour variations.

If you have large dips or holes, your best bet may be to remove a section of concrete using either a chisel or a diamond tipped saw. This way, you can get a squared off hole that can simply be replaced with new poured concrete.

In this instance, it is best to build up the concrete in layers, letting each layer dry before adding the next. This way you can ensure you get to the correct level.

You may also use a screed board to get it level once you reach just above the current driveway level. Once again, there may be a colour difference between the new concrete and the old.

Whichever method you choose, it is important not to use your driveway for at least 5 days, to allow the patches to harden completely.

How To Fix A Concrete Driveway For Good

It is said that a good driveway and outdoor space can add as much as 20% to the value of your home. So this really is an investment that is well worth looking into!

Resin Bound Surfacing: A Resilient Alternative To Concrete

So, if your driveway has low spots, you may just choose to dig it up, and start again from scratch. While this may seem like a drastic thing to do, it can actually be a great idea when it comes to ongoing maintenance of your driveway-and even for the value of your home.

A resin bound driveway is the perfect choice for improving how your driveway looks, and for having a driveway surface that you can trust. While a resin bound driveway requires an excellent sub base (just like any other driveway), it is more forgiving when it comes to levelling, as this process is done by hand.

When to comes to water, it is a permeable surface that will allow standing water to sink into the ground beneath, effectively reducing the problems with ice and algae growth.

Best of all, this mix of resin and gravel can be customised to any colour that you wish, with the aggregate mix of your choice. It can therefore improve the look of your home, and provide a practical solution to your driveway needs.

Resolve common concrete problems for good, by replacing the surface with resin. Take the first step to transforming your driveway today, by calling 0800 1700 636, or by simply clicking the button below!