Why You Want to Consider Stamped Concrete Over Pavers

Driveways make access to and around a home safer and more convenient. They are frequently utilised as access routes to homes, carports, and private garages. A driveway may serve as the primary access point to a house on a large estate.

But, aside from its apparent functional role, your driveway is a very significant component of your home’s overall appearance and style. A well-maintained driveway can increase the value of your home significantly.

However, a cracked concrete driveway with potholes detracts from the appearance of your property, even if you’ve just renovated your house, as well as posing a safety threat for users of the driveway, whether it be on foot or in a vehicle. The impact on a vehicle of driving over a driveway with large cracks or potholes day after day can be severe and lead to damage to your car’s suspension system or can misalign your steering; both of which can be costly to repair.

When To Replace A Driveway

Although driveways are frequently built to last for many years and can survive for decades, there are some instances where replacing a driveway is the most viable option, instead of patching cracks up repeatedly over time. Replacing a driveway is a costly endeavour, the materials as well as the labour involved in laying a large surface area of concrete therefore it’s a smart thing to explore your options before replacing the entire driveway. An existing driveway may be too far gone to think of repairing or whether concrete resurfacing is enough to reach a desired outcome if the following are present:

Extensive Cracking 

Cracks are a common concern in concrete driveways because they have to sustain weight from vehicles either driving over the surface momentarily or staying stationary on the surface. In some instances, small cracks can be fixed. On the other hand, deep, lengthy, and wide cracks signify more extensive damage. The larger fractures in a driveway can’t be repaired; therefore, it’s best to have the concrete slab replaced entirely.

Large Potholes

Minor potholes can frequently be repaired; however, potholes may reappear at some point once the integrity of the surface is compromised the first time and can lead to more extensive potholes in quicker time frame. Keep in mind that it is not only aesthetics that are affected by potholes, your car’s performance could be negatively affected by a pothole. For example, if you drive over a hole in the driveway, you run the risk of causing damage to your tires and suspension system.

Weathered And Rough Appearance 

Exposed to the elements at all times, driveways will eventually show signs of deterioration over time due to rain, hail, storms knocking trees down and exposure to the sun. If your driveway is starting to look a little worn out, you may want to think about replacing it altogether. There are instances where resurfacing a driveway is enough, you can try to restore it by using concrete or asphalt sealer, however, you will eventually need to replace the entire structure. Once a driveway’s long-term durability has been compromised, it is a matter of time until a full replacement is required. For example, weather patterns such as Melbourne’s severe storms in 2021, that brought catastrophic winds that ripped up established trees, these weather patterns have their effect on concreted areas too, although sturdy, they are not I unsusceptible to deterioration.

Options for Driveway Replacement

It is possible that repairs will not be sufficient and that you would need to replace your driveway completely. When it comes to replacing your driveway, you have several options, in this article we will look at 2 options and compare them: concrete and pavers.

Concrete Driveway – A concrete driveway can last for a long time if properly maintained. However, concrete is also highly inflexible, so expect cracks if you live somewhere with significant shifts in temperature or somewhere with reactive soil like a type of clay. 

Paver Driveway – is composed of pavers or cobblestones which offer a distinct style and can be very attractive. On the positive side, a driveway with pavers has a more personalised design for your driveway and it is easier to repair pavers that break or crack over time. The downside is that pavers having a smaller surface area are weaker and more susceptible to damage from vehicles as opposed to a continuous slab that distributes the weight of a larger area.

Stamped Concrete vs. Pavers

The preparation for a driveway whether concrete or pavers is relatively similar. The area needs to be cleared, excavated, levelled and filled with bedding materials to form the solid base therefore the labour involved is similar between the two materials. An option to consider is the appearance of pavers on a concrete slab through stamped or stencilled concrete. Paved driveway can be more expensive than concrete due to the choice in paver, for example using natural stone. You can achieve the appearance of natural stone pavers without the price tag by using stamped and coloured concrete design on your driveway.

The installation of the pavers is what makes a driveway made of pavers more expensive than concrete. It is a labour intensive task to lay each paver properly, and you do not want to take shortcuts in the installation part because you will need to repair uneven or cracked pavers a lot more often than if you got them installed properly in the first place.

In addition, stamped concrete can last for a long time, virtually left to its own devices, unlike tiles or pavers, which need maintenance to care for weeds and replace affected sections, as well as adding sand to the surface yearly to account for little movements here and there. Pavers do last a long time when they are installed correctly. Here are some more advantages of using stamped concrete as compared to pavers for your driveway replacement.

Easy to Maintain 

Stamped pattern concrete is easy to maintain, high pressure hose every now and again, and you are good to go. You don’t have to think about replacing damaged tiles. Because it is built of concrete, stamped pattern driveways are exceptionally durable, adaptable, and have minimal maintenance compared to other driveway types.

There Is No Weed Growth

In contrast to tiles and pavers, Stamped pattern concrete does not have any gaps between the pavers and is, therefore, less susceptible to weed development.

Visually Appealing

Stamped pattern concrete comes with a range of patterns in various colours to suit any taste. Because you’re using concrete, your final design is up to your imagination. In addition, decorative concrete can be used to suit your home with an array of colours to choose from too. Finally, because stamped concrete does not have a grout line, it allows you to create designs with a seamless appearance. In the end, replacing a driveway is a costly endeavour and with the investment into the materials and labour involved, it is a good idea to do things properly the first time.

To get the best out of your driveway, whether you choose concrete or concrete pavers, you’ll want to maintain it and take care of it to make sure that you get decades out of your investment. 

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With over 30 years experience in the concreting industry, owner-operator Gary provides quality residential and small scale commercial concreting services in Frankston, the Peninsula and Melbourne’s South East. We pride ourselves in providing well built concrete structures with good old fashion caring customer service all at a competitive price. Call today for a free onsite measure and quote.

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