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A driveway is often the first part of your property that anyone observes, although often overlooked. However, if poorly kept, it's easy to notice in the wrong way. There are numerous types and materials that all add its own bit of character, function and charm. A brick driveway adds elegance, while asphalt serves a function for simplicity, but also as a canvas for chalk-carrying kids. A driveway is a poignant part of your curb appeal. 


Asphalt bituminous or macadam surfaces are common driveway surfaces. This type of material develops surface cracks as it ages. Cracks that go through the entire thickness of the material are the result of heavy loads or an inadequate base. Through cracks cannot be repaired without removing that section of the asphalt driveway and repairing and compacting the subsoil underneath. Filling or re-coating the surface can repair minor cracking from aging of the asphalt surface.

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Concrete is an excellent driveway surface. Concrete is prone to cracking as a result of normal expansion and contraction, frost heaving or an inadequate base. Heaving may occur if water gets under the concrete and freezes, forcing the surface up. Improperly mixed concrete and concrete that has not been properly cured, may deteriorate very rapidly, developing a condition referred to as 'spalling' or flaking.

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A driveway should not slope towards the house. If the residence is situated lower than the street level, it is important that a “catch basin” or “drainage area” be incorporated in the driveway prior to the drive reaching the residence or garage. This type of drain should be free flowing, so that the water is not discharged near the structure.

The minimum width of a driveway area is 8 feet, although 9 feet is preferred. If the driveway is used both for cars and a walkway, it should be at least 10 feet wide.

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