Replace or resurface a crumbling driveway?
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Q My driveway is a mess. It's concrete with asphalt on top. The asphalt has failed, with large chunks missing and deep, wide cracks. The concrete is also a problem. The edges are cracked, and there are uneven parts.
I've been told that if the asphalt is removed, new concrete can be poured over the old, with a bonding agent applied in between. I'd also like to widen the original footprint, so there will be a part of the driveway that is entirely new.
Do you see any problems with this approach?
A Replace the driveway.
Yes, it is possible to scrape off the asphalt that's crumbling and peeling and re-coat the driveway with concrete or asphalt. But that is a smart strategy only when the underlying concrete is sound. You suspect yours is not.
"Remove everything and start fresh," advises Thomas Jordan, office manager of Collegiate Sealers and Paving (703-542-5555, http:/
Carol Roberts, who with her husband, Robert, owns Create an Image Decorative Concrete (703-753-9948, http:/
For the risk of failure you'd get if you tried an overlay, you might save just a few hundred dollars. Jordan says his company has a minimum charge of $1,600 for resurfacing an existing driveway. That price would cover a relatively short two-car driveway and would include removing loose areas, patching them, applying a tack coat to ensure that the new asphalt sticks, and then re-topping the entire driveway. Replacing a driveway the same size would cost about $1,965 if done in asphalt.
If you want a concrete driveway, figure on spending about twice as much, or even more if you want a decorative finish that resembles stone or brick. If you're in that price range, you might also consider repaving with interlocking concrete pavers.
Your turn: Tape to DVD
A few readers wrote in with suggestions after a recent column about converting VHS tapes to DVD.
From Arlington: "There is another great place in Arlington: TransVideo Productions, at 2800 N. Pershing Dr. I have taken many reel-to-reel tapes there over the past years and received excellent service. David Downey, the one-man owner, is terrific and has every kind of audiovisual equipment imaginable. He's at 703-525-0297, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org."
From Silver Spring: "Another option to paying an audiovisual company is to find someone like me who owns a combination DVD-VHS recorder-player. I've converted many of my old VHS tapes and some of my friends' into DVD discs."
From Stafford: "I have a Panasonic DRM-ES46V DVD recorder with VHS and DVD drives that I bought in 2007. It has one-touch dubbing from VHS to DVD. You don't have to be a techie geek to do that! One caution: The quality of the DVD is only as good as the source VHS tape. I checked on Amazon.com and found DVD recorders as low as $150 with the same mechanical and recording features."
Have a problem in your home? Send questions to email@example.com. Please put "How To" in the subject line and tell us where you live.