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How to choose a driveway that suits your needs

How to choose a driveway that suits your needs

When moving into a new home and renovating, many people neglect the curb appeal of their home. A run-down driveway can seriously impact the resale value of your home. Not to mention that it also looks like a total eyesore. To help you find the best solution for your home, we will explain how to choose a driveway that suits your needs. We will also look at the pros and cons of Orlando’s most common types of driveways.

Is your home part of an HOA?

Certain neighborhoods in Orlando, Florida, fall within a Home Owners Association. This could limit your options if you want to replace your driveway with something different. If you are moving into a new home, we suggest that you get informed before you begin any remodeling work since it could go against the terms of the HOA. You can ask your realtor if they have experience with homes in the neighborhood. If you are allowed to replace your driveway entirely, we can help you choose a driveway that suits your needs.

Hiring a home inspector to check out the state of your home and the driveway is also a good idea. It’s recommended that you finish any work on your home before you plan to move in. Driveways will need a little time to dry. For example, concrete ones can be ready after 48 hours. After that, all that is left is to hire professional movers, such as City Movers, to transport your possessions. However, we highly recommend that you consult with your driveway landscapers when your driveway is ready for you to move in.

Examine the current state of your driveway to see if repair is possible

It is possible that you may not need to replace your driveway with a new one. Reach out to us for a free quote, and we can tell if we can repair your driveway. Generally, repairs are possible when the damage to the driveway isn’t too extensive. We are accustomed to patching up holes in the driveway and filling cracks. However, it would help if you were realistic that any material will deteriorate over time and that, after a certain point, your driveway will need to be replaced.

How to choose a driveway that suits your needs

The different types of materials used in the construction of driveways will have different costs and expected longevity. Additionally, certain materials will be more suited to heavy vehicles and the transportation of goods, while other types of driveways are only meant for light car transit. Take these factors into consideration as we look at the pros and cons of different materials.

Asphalt driveways

Asphalt offers superior durability like what you can experience on most roads and parking lots. These driveways are generally considered to be a cheaper alternative to concrete. However, asphalt is much less prone to cracking. You can expect asphalt driveways to last around 20 years, and the repairs in that time are usually affordable since asphalt driveways can easily be patched up

If you are concerned about the environment, asphalt is also a decent choice since it doesn’t involve the use of coal tar. Asphalt is recommended in areas with plenty of snow, but that isn’t a huge consideration for most Florida residents. On the other hand, asphalt can warm up during scorching weather and cause tire marks to appear. However, if you are using your driveway just for regular car traffic and you don’t live in an especially hot area – asphalt should be an excellent option.

Concrete driveways

Concrete is a popular choice for those who want a clean, industrial look for their driveway. You can choose from multiple colors and match your driveway to the rest of your property. Concrete driveways also require very little maintenance, and they have no problem handling temperature changes. Unfortunately, concrete driveways come with some downsides. Although highly durable with an expected lifespan of around 50 years, concrete tends to crack over time, and it can’t be repaired as quickly as asphalt. Additionally, concrete is one of the more expensive options when selecting the material for your driveway. While concrete doesn’t retain water, it can get stained by oil which will cause color changes that are hard to remove.

Gravel driveways

Gravel has recently become a more common option for driveways, mainly due to its cost. Gravel driveways represent one of the more affordable choices, making them great for homeowners with large properties requiring long driveways. There are many different styles to choose from, and as soon as a gravel driveway is installed, you can immediately drive on it. Even though gravel is one of the cheaper options, it makes up for that in maintenance costs. Weed and moss can penetrate gravel, and you will need to regrade it every few years. However, if properly maintained, a gravel driveway can last up to 100 years. Snow and ice can be difficult to remove from gravel driveways, but it performs well during the warmer months of the year.

Block paving

Due to the number of available colors, this is the most diverse style of driveway. Block paving is durable and easy to repair since individual blocks can be replaced. Unfortunately, a block paved driveway is also one of the more expensive options. It takes a lot of time and care to complete this type of driveway, and the sub-base needs to be leveled properly. However, the end result can look outstanding, especially since you can choose which block style you want to use. The blocks can be of different colors, and they can be laid in interesting patterns, further enhancing the look of your property.

In conclusion

Hopefully, you now understand the benefits of each individual material and know how to choose a driveway that suits your needs and finances. If you have any further questions, you can reach out to us. We can give you a free quote and help you select the correct type of driveway for your home.

5 Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Driveway

5 Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Driveway

You know the saying – “If your house is the face, your driveway is the hair; and if the driveway is anything but immaculate, you’re wearing a toupee.” Two truths: the saying is fabricated, and we have nothing against toupees. All the same, your driveway is your home’s calling card. We don’t have to obsess over it and go full-on, Patrick Bateman, when comparing our driveways to our friends’ and neighbors’, but it’s being aesthetically appealing does say a lot about our homes and us. If the exterior of your house matters to you, your driveway appearance and functionality should matter too. Now, let’s take a look at the five signs it’s time to replace your driveway. Take the next left, drive up.

 

You crack me up

It all starts with a tiny single crack. Spotting it could even feel endearing, as your driveway aging reminds you of its rich history, the people it has welcomed, and the tired nights when it showed you the way to your bed. We always support a poetic approach, and unconditionally at that. Still, your cracks are, in all seriousness, trying to warn you that “winter is coming,” and you should probably do something about it. A recipe for disaster – you’ve got sub-zero temperatures, freezing, thawing, rain, snow. You throw a little salt here and there, spill some gasoline, and the cracks absorb all of it. Water gets into the cracks, it freezes and then expands, forcing the cracks to deepen and cause significant damage to your driveway. Knowing why concrete cracks is one thing – but knowing when and how to repair them is what counts. Don’t stall it – small cracks are DIY material, big ones aren’t.

Liquid approaching a crack on the floor – one of the signs it's time to replace your driveway

My Pothole-ogies

If a crack is a bee, then potholes are swarm queens. Cracks set the scene for potholes; with their help, moisture seeps into the ground that carries the road on its shoulders. As the road structure begins to tire and wear out, the weight and the pressure of the vehicle above it cause it to tear, leaving your driveway with potential potholes. Now, winters are notorious for throwing potholes at a buffet. And salt is the main course. We use salt to prevent the water from freezing or thawing the accumulated ice; yet, by doing so, we produce even more water – and if there’s a crack or two, there will be unpleasant surprises come spring.

You’re draining me

Slopes are for skiing, not your driveway. If you have followed the golden rule at the time of your driveway installation, you know that the slope should be a maximum of 10% for residential driveways. It shouldn’t rise more than 15 feet over a distance of 100 feet. Drainage systems are essential for keeping your driveway dry and running. Caused by potential unevenness, the retention of fluids speeds up its demise via cracks and all the natural processes of water expansion.

Flat is not good, either

Having a flat driveway could lead to headaches, too. The middle of the driveway should be elevated so the water can run wild and free off the sides. If you’re witnessing pooling spots and water running down the middle, you could be in trouble, as they suggest sinking and weakening of your driveway areas. Now, inlets and curbing could aid in channeling a portion of the water flow, but if the damage is unsalvageable, you should reconsider getting your driveway replaced.

Rusty drainage

Weeds

Although we love dandelions, sadly, they are one of the signs that it’s high time to replace your driveway. Why? Well, it’s perfectly normal to have a well-groomed garden on your property, but having grass and weeds grow out of your driveway cracks is not a sign of good health. It means that the foundation is not compact, as it also indicates that the material has been damaged and has severely aged. If there is room for flora to stem from the dark night of the crack’s soul, there’s also a need to mend it. According to moving experts who know a thing or two about everything that needs to be done prior to your relocation,  Nationwide Moving Services and moving companies of the same caliber suggest that, before moving into your new home, driveway evaluation should not be overlooked, as it can bear hidden costs down the line.

You old friend

Everybody and everything ages; your driveway is not exempt from getting old and shabby, as inanimate objects can wrinkle up and stop being eye candy, too. The color fades. And that’s a sign to look out for. Your driveway is exposed to extreme weather conditions – from snowstorms to scorching sun glaring down its body. It’s true that driveways can’t get melanoma, but UV rays cause harm to some of the most durable materials this planet has mothered. Keeping regular maintenance of your driveway could extend its lifespan. Concrete and asphalt driveways require resealing application every 2-3 years to prevent the crumbling of the material and cracking.

A band-aid patching up an asphalt crack

Materials

If your driveway repair fails to bear fruit, it’s time to consider the materials at your disposal. You can opt for old-school picks (although not that eco-friendly) such as asphalt (20-year lifespan) and concrete (up to 30 years). But, modern materials and techniques are much more durable and reliable than the ones used decades ago. Try reinforced grass paving, block and stone paver driveways, flags and stabs, resin-bound gravel, permeable tarmac, and even porcelain. Your options are endless, so working out a budget for your driveway will give you a closer idea of what kind of material you should be looking for.

Maybe it’s time

If you have ticked some (or all) of the boxes from our “5 signs it’s time to replace your driveway” list, then you know what needs to be done. Repair comes first – replacement comes second. Having a professional help you with repairs (as you probably won’t be pouring the new concrete all by yourself – if so, kudos!) is a reasonable step if you want to give your driveway a chance for some extra quality time.

How to Create a Functional Outdoor Living Space

How to Create a Functional Outdoor Living Space

If the COVID-19 pandemic showed us anything, it is that having access to outdoor space can be a true luxury. Thus, it would be a shame to let your outdoor space go to waste when you’re lucky even to have some. You should take full advantage of it and think of ways to create a functional outdoor living space. If you’re unsure how to do this, continue reading. By the end of this article, all that will be left is to get in touch with experienced Jacksonville professionals and start working on transforming your outdoor space.

Simple ways to create a functional outdoor living space

Spending a lot of time at home can be a much more pleasant experience if you have a terrace, a porch, or a garden area. However, how you create that area is critical.

An outdoor living space behind a white house with a brown tile floor and several seating places

If you want an outdoor location where you can spend hours relaxing, you’ll need to answer a few fundamental questions. For instance, if there’s shelter from the sun or if it’s possible for you to set a drink down and put your feet up.

In short, treat your outdoor living space as if it were a separate room in your house – an outdoor room — and furnish it accordingly. Here are our simple tips to help you transform your outdoor space into an area you’ll love.

You can’t create a functional outdoor living space without choosing function.

Start with an honest assessment of how you want to use the space. An outdoor room will not serve any function particularly well if it tries to do everything. So the first thing to consider is what you plan on doing there.

For example, if you want to create an area for outdoor eating, you’ll need chairs that allow people to sit upright and a table high enough to dine at. It will be a completely different furniture arrangement than if you want to create a room for informal lounging, where sofas and low tables could be more acceptable.

On the other side, it could just be a place for you to hide from everyone. As a result, you’ll need to concentrate your efforts on obtaining sufficient privacy. Therefore, before starting any projects, choose the function for your outdoor space.

Connect your outdoor living space with the interior

Look at your home’s interior design scheme when trying to figure out what kind of outdoor room you want to put together. This can really help you connect the two places. This way, you’ll achieve an effortless flow from inside to outside, making it seem like your home extends on the outside.

An outdoor living space with a large sitting area and a white round table in the middle

Try to blend the materials and colors with your interior design. Include them in your outdoor furniture, accessories, and even plants.

Make a floor

If you want to make the outdoor room feel like a separate area of your terrace or yard, you can change the flooring where you will place the furniture.

Make sure you choose a material that fits well with the use of your outdoor living space, such as concrete or stone. But always have in mind what the area is intended for. There are some situations where a concrete patio is the best choice and others where an indoor-outdoor rug does a better job.

Choose the right furniture

Many successful outdoor rooms have almost as much furniture as interior rooms and nearly as many accessories. That can make the outdoors just as comfortable, pleasant, and chic as the indoors, making people want to spend time there.

This usually entails plenty of comfy seats, with cushions made of outdoor fabric. It also entails having sufficient tables to accommodate drinks, snacks, phones, and literature. You can even use outdoor throw pillows in the same way that interior throw pillows are used in the living room.

On the other hand, if you want to use your outdoor living space as a dining area, figure out how many people you’ll be entertaining and include a large enough table and enough chairs. It’s all about investing in furnishings that make the outdoors as inviting and functional as the inside.

Remember that, in case there isn’t any covered area on your porch, terrace, or patio, you’ll need to ensure your furniture is protected when the weather gets wet and cold. Even if you lack space in your home, you can easily rent storage suitable for your needs. However, keep in mind that preparing items for storage in order to keep your belongings intact is necessary. You can’t just bring them to the unit and hope for the best. You will need to clean the pieces and cover them in protective materials at least.

Be mindful when choosing lighting

Lighting is an essential functional aspect, but it can also add a lot to the nighttime atmosphere. You’ll have to agree that almost nothing can beat the ambiance that perfectly placed outdoor lighting creates on a warm evening. Lighting also draws attention to the unique features of your home and garden spaces.

String lights are a good choice when you want to create a functional outdoor living space

When it comes to adding light to your outdoor living space, here’s what you should consider:

  • Install solar panel lighting to save money on energy.
  • Add lighting to the driveway and walkways. If there are any concrete cracks or similar issues on your driveway or walkways, they’ll be visible under good lighting. Thus, make sure to get in touch with professionals and have them repaired.
  • Enhance the appearance of outdoor seating areas by adding string lights above them. Or you can add string lights around the perimeter of the back porch or outdoor shade structures.
  • If you live in a high-traffic area, install motion-activated lights to improve security.

Final thoughts

We hope our tips help you design and create a functional outdoor living space that you and your loved ones will enjoy. As you want to make the most of it for the longest time possible, make sure to invest in quality materials and choose the right contractors. The team from drivewayrepairjacksonville.com is always more than happy to help you make the most of your Jacksonville home.

The Benefits of a Concrete Retaining Wall

Concrete retaining wall Jacksonville

Adding a solid concrete or even a sectioned concrete wall to your property can sound like a daunting task. While you’ve probably heard about concrete retaining walls, you may not be aware of all the benefits they offer to property owners. 

Besides being a decorative feature that will make your property stand out, there are a number of practical benefits that will save you money and possibly prevent disaster, all while enhancing the look of your home. 

 

Build a Raised Flower Bed With a Retaining Wall

One of the main uses of a retaining wall is in the modification of your existing property. You can easily build raised flower beds by moving dirt to create a platform or hill and then support it with a retaining wall. 

This gives you extra space to plant trees or vegetables without having to worry about soil erosion or dirt moving. This gives you a fully functional elevated space without needing to live on an actual hill. Plus, it adds an interesting and eye-catching feature to your property. 

 

Prevent Flooding With a Retaining Wall

If you live in a low-lying area or part of your property is sunk in, it is likely prone to flooding. 

A concrete retaining wall is one way to prevent flooding from damaging your home or other belongings. Not only can you move the dirt to raise sunk-in parts of your land, but a retaining wall will also help hold everything in place even when the rains come. What’s more, a retaining wall will last anywhere from 50 to 100 years, so you’ll never have to worry about replacing it or about costly floods again. 

This is a great benefit to any home that floods and may even help to lower your insurance costs. At the very least, it’ll save you on costly repairs, mold, and water damage. 

 

Prevent Sinkholes and Soil Erosion 

Another cost-saving and potentially life-saving feature of a concrete retaining wall is the prevention of sinkholes and soil erosion. There’s nothing worse than watching the land under your feet slowly wash away, and sinkholes can spring up out of nowhere due to losing soil underground. 

Placing a retaining wall at the bottom of hills and areas where washouts occur will help shore up loose soil and prevent it from eroding. This helps keep your property from shrinking and can help keep your home and family safe. 

Property damage from sinkholes can be catastrophic, in some cases swallowing entire sections of homes. In some cases, an act of nature like that won’t be covered by insurance. This means that a retaining wall could be the best solution to save your money and your home. 

Don’t let nature take away what’s yours. Install a concrete retaining wall and protect your investment today. 

 

Still Not Sold On a Concrete Retaining Wall? Call the Experts at Jacksonville Driveway Repair Today 

If you’re still not sure if you have a need for a concrete retaining wall, then give the trusted professionals at Jacksonville Driveway Repair a call and discuss your unique situation with one of our trained technicians. You can even get a free estimate to see how much this life-saving addition will cost. Don’t hesitate, call today.

Why Concrete Cracks

Jacksonville Driveway Repair

When installed properly, concrete is one of the best products that you can have around your home. It’s durable, long-lasting, and highly efficient. When working with concrete, it’s best to work with professionals who know what they’re doing. The chemistry of concrete is complex but straightforward. Following a few simple processes will ensure that your concrete structures do not receive significant issues.

Concrete Cracks

There are a variety of cracks that can appear over any concrete surface. These cracks sometimes appear minor but hide an underlying weakness in structure and functionality that pose a risk to the durability of your entire structure.

Hairline cracks are small cracks that appear on the surface of the concrete. They are superficial cracks, but they widen over time. They become hazardous and unsightly as they are collected and widen.

Shrinkage cracks appear after the concrete has been cured. This is because concrete compresses during curing and joint placement help prevent this. these cracks are slightly larger than hairline cracks. Still, they prove to be an inconvenience is at best and hazards at worst.

Settlement cracks are concerning. When the ground beneath the country structure is not compacted properly, the concrete appears an even on the surface and is even displaced. Part of the concrete sinks and destabilizes the entire structure.

Structural cracks occur when the concrete itself is poorly made. These cracks are wide and run through the entire country structure. Some repair services may address them, but in most cases, the entire concrete slab needs replacement.

What Causes Cracks

There are a variety of reasons why concrete cracks. This is because of the unique structural challenges faced by concrete installation and the chemistry of concrete itself. It requires professional expertise to work with concrete effectively and efficiently to avoid damage to your property.

Excess water in the mix will weaken the concrete and prevent it from achieving its maximum strength. Water is added to a concrete mix to make it easier to install. At the right measurements, water actually improves the way concrete works and helps provide a better structure. However, too much water will force your country to shrink more than it needs to producing huge cracks over curing periods. As the concrete cures, water is removed naturally to allow the concrete mixed to solidify and become durable. We should prevent excessive shrinkage from water lost by ensuring that we have the right water to cement ratio.

 Drying concrete slabs through quickly will increase the risks of crack formation. There is a chemical reaction involved when concrete starts to solidify, which involves removing water. The hydration of concrete during the installation process allows us to form better structures. Still, this water needs to be removed as the concrete cures. Removing the water in environments that are too hot will produce significant cracks on the concrete slab. Contractors know how to control the curing process and ensure that the concrete remains stable and durable.

Using the wrong strength of concrete directly affects the integrity of the entire concrete slab. Every project that involves concrete pouring requires a different mixture of concrete to adjust for strength and the needs of the current project. Contractors know which concrete mix is the most appropriate for the current situation. It’s best to enlist professional help when you’re dealing with concrete projects.

Improper placement of control joints leaves your concrete slab prone to uncontrollable cracks. Concrete structures are rigid and intentionally placing some controlled cracks on the slab allows it to achieve a durable and long-lasting form while maintaining functionality without additional risks. These joints are essential to keeping with the quality of the concrete slab.

Prevent Cracks on Concrete

Projects involving concrete should always be done by professionals who know how to work with the material you may not be used to. It takes a great team to ensure that installing concrete structures like driveways are done quickly and safely with minimal risk of damage. You can call the experts at Driveway RepairJacksonville for a free quote today and get started on your concrete project with minimal to no cracks.