When to Replace Your Concrete

January 4, 2021 10:34 pm Published by

How do you know when to repair or replace your concrete in Santa Rosa, CA? Whether it’s cracked, pitted, stained or otherwise damaged, the answer to that question depends on your individual circumstances. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for every driveway, sidewalk or sport court—but when you work with a reputable paving contractor, they’ll help you decide the easiest, most cost-effective way to restore your pavement.

Why does concrete deteriorate?

Concrete is an incredibly durable paving material, but no pavement is impervious to damage. There are several reasons concrete can deteriorate. First, if it was incorrectly installed, it won’t stand the test of time. Concrete is installed on a sub base, which supports the pavement over its lifespan. Because concrete expands in the heat and contracts in the cold, it needs to be on a stable base or it will crack, crumble and otherwise break down.

Similarly, concrete needs evenly spaced expansion joints to account for expansion and contraction. If the joints aren’t placed properly, it will undergo too much stress and crack. Cracks are particularly problematic if they go all the way down to the sub base, since water will find its way down to the base and break the concrete down during freezing and thawing cycles.

Of course, everyday wear and tear is an issue, too. Heavy vehicles, bad weather and other abuse can cause the concrete to deteriorate faster than normal.

How much damage is too much?

As mentioned earlier, there’s no one-size-fits-all determination for how much damage warrants a replacement rather than a repair, but generally, if your concrete damage runs more than two inches deep, it’s probably time to replace the entire surface.

While a couple decades ago, replacement was the answer to just about any damage, now there are some different products, techniques and ways to fix damage. For example, if you simply have surface-level damage, called delamination, you can have the concrete’s worn or chipped surface repaired.

If, however, there’s exposed aggregate, more than two inches deep of damage or large cracks, it’s probably best to replace the concrete entirely. The same goes for improperly installed concrete, as it needs a stable foundation to support its expansion and contraction. In other words, look at how much of the original structure still exists. If it’s surface level, repair is suitable, but if there’s structural damage, it’s a lost cause.

Cost and appearance

The final factors to consider are cost and appearance. As you might imagine, it costs significantly less to repair your concrete than it does to replace it entirely. However, you’ll need to consider the aesthetics, too—do you need the pavement to look seamless? If so, you might need to pay more for special techniques or, depending on the extent of the damage, replace the entire area.

Whether you choose concrete repair or replacement in Santa Rosa, CA, be sure to work with a reputable paving contractor. Call Sikes Asphalt Group Inc. to get a quote on your next paving project. We’ll help you determine when it’s time to replace or repair your concrete surface!

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