Don’t get dazzled by the amazing interior design of a home when you go for a viewing. There are many features to consider when buying a house.  You should be paying close attention to the state of the exterior just as much as the interior. We’ll show you the signs of a bad driveway paving and what kinds of designs could help fix the issues that you see. So don’t give up on a property just because the driveway seems to be in poor condition. If you follow these steps, you can breathe new life into your new home.

Proper drainage

If your potential new home is in a wet climate, such as the east coast, or coastal property, then consider the types of drainage systems that the driveway has. The driveway should have a gutter drain running alongside the longest length of it. This is because much of the rainwater will amalgamate at the largest surface area point.

If the driveway is rolling and has gradient changes, then this too shall determine where the drains are placed. If the drain is at the top of the driveway but it slopes downwards, you’ll have a dry driveway where your car is parked, but you’ll be driving through a puddle of water every time you leave your home. So, proper drainage at the right kind of slope position and collection of rainwater is very important.

You should also have proper gutter drainage from the home. The rainwater from the roof should not be spilling over onto the driveway. This can create puddles of water and over the years, that part of the driveway will sag and cause damage to the foundation as the driveway is chipped away.

The right material

Concrete is generally seen as a good driveway material. But this isn’t always the case. Concrete driveways are very dependent on the quality of the foundation. If the foundation isn’t properly seated, it will cause the driveway to collapse on its side. This is called sunken concrete, whereby the slab will sink to one side and make the situation worse. You will have a giant pothole in your driveway when this occurs. Sunken concrete happens routinely every 10 or 15 years.

Asphalt paving, on the other hand, is very good. It can be molded to the natural shape of the driveway and just make a nice smooth surface. The tar is bulldozed into the ground, making it a smooth surface but also, a nice compact and strong floor. This means you can park a very heavy car like a pickup truck or four-by-four onto your driveway and the floor can handle it without issue. Asphalt is just as waterproof as concrete. With new materials and finishes, asphalt has waterproof and water-resistant properties. This means the rain rolls off the surface much easier than on concrete. You can find out more about the types of asphalt in our blog post.

The neatness of the driveway

When you are looking for a new home, make sure that the driveway seems to have nice edging. What does this mean?

  • No foliage growing out the side to the driveway. Don’t confuse grass shoots from an adjacent lawn from being separated. If weeds, moss or grass is growing directly from the driveway, this is a bad sign that the foundation has been compromised.
  • Cracks around the edges of the driveway, this is showing the lack of build quality of the age of the driveway. Little bits of concrete is crumbling or perhaps little asphalt pieces falling off the edges when you step on them or just tear them off with your hand, this is clearly a bad sign.
  • If the foundation is showing at the edges of the driveway, this is due to wear and tear that hasn’t been maintained. What other areas of the driveway may not be maintained? You have to be wary of the property you’re now viewing.

The health of the center

The center of the driveway is its weakest point. This is where most sagging will happen if any. Check to see the gradient is level. You can do this by eye or you can bring a measuring tool such as a level ruler. This can show you where the dip is happening precisely.

If there are any cracks in the driveway, they will usually appear in the middle first. Check to see if the joints are still strong. You can do this by walking over to the edge of the slabs and seeing it there is any rocking motion. If there is, the joints have let go and the driveway is loose in some parts. If any weeds are popping out to the joints, this is a clear weakness.

Types of asphalt

Hot asphalt: This type of asphalt is most used for paving or patching. This is very easy to work and therefore, great for molding the driveway to your liking. If you want to extend the driveway, this is the best material to do it with. As the asphalt cools, it becomes hard and stiff, making it safe to drive or walk on.

UPM: This is a cold mix asphalt and can be used to fix any issues with your asphalt driveway. Even if you have a concrete driveway, this material can be used to patch over and repair the area. This can be used in any weather, so it’s designed to help your driveway stay strong during the autumn and winter months. If rain or snow has caused a hold to appear in your driveway, use a UMP asphalt to add in material and flatten it with a spade.

The driveway is crucial for your vehicle safety and convenience. Don’t think the interior is more important than the exterior, because the driveway is one of the most crucial parts of your potential new property.