When homeowner repairs are uninformed and go awry.
Homeowners often go ahead with "repairs" that are improper or simply uninformed.
Concrete driveways can spall. Spalling means that the exterior layer, the final layer sometimes called the cream, cracks, flakes, or chips off.
That thin, top surface can be damaged by deicing salt, or may be too rich with sand, and with time it begins to crack and come loose.
When that happens the rocky concrete below is revealed. It isn't pretty, but not much of the structure of the material has been compromised.
To solve the problem this homeowner decided to "repair" it himself. He thought asphalt was the way to go.
Not calling a knowledgeable contractor to put a layer of asphalt over the top, he instead went cheap and bought the thin tar used to seal cracks in existing asphalt material. With that tar he essentially painted the surface of the spalling driveway concrete. A true topcoat of asphalt would have worked, but that would have required more money!
After slopping a thin coating of that liquid tar over the driveway it dried and began its short lifespan. Subject to weather and temperatures that coating quickly cracked and began to flake off.
The result was converting the driveway from UGLY to UGLIER.
The driveway was 600 or 700 square feet and certainly worse following the repair than it was before.
My recommendation: if you see the need for a repair be sure to research it carefully! Some ideas are not good ones! And consulting with knowledgeable people before making any final decision is not only smart, but circumspect. And get more than one opinion or idea! But to think that the cheap and suspect repair is the best approach often bites back from behind. Or, in this case, from below.
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560