Pavers Driveway Replacement vs. Poured Concrete

Why you may want to hold off on your next resurfacing job

A driveway replacement, or any significant home improvement, comes with many questions that you will want precise answers to. One more important thing to understand more than maybe another fact is that not all driveway surface materials are equal. A replacement with interlocking pavers brings ease of mind, low maintenance, most extended lifetime value, and in my humble opinion, unmatched beauty. But aesthetic appearance aside, the benefits of replacing your driveway with pavers are vast. Don’t just take our word for it, though. 

It is widely known that pavers were the go-to material for streets at several points in history. We see this on cobblestone and brick-paved roads throughout Orlando and the United States. Over time, it became less popular because of the ease of installation for large roads. But they thankfully never lost their comfort of replacement for driveways or their appeal. It may be less expensive up-front to go with poured concrete or asphalt, which gives these materials their allure. The fact remains that for a small additional up-front cost for a pavers driveway replacement, you are making a long-term investment rather than your wallet eating an expense. Read on to see why we agree that pavers are the superior material investment for your next driveway replacement, and why some of our employees and customers wish they decided on replacing their cracking old driveway with pavers, then buying into resurfacing their existing concrete.

There’s no getting around the fact that poured concrete driveways will crack over time. The only time when you can guarantee concrete won’t crack is when it is still in the bag before it has been mixed and poured. 
Concrete is made up of a large percentage of water. Once poured, that water has to evaporate, and the concrete will shrink and crack as a result. 

The base layer originally installed by your concrete driveway contractor plays a key role in the long-term appearance and health of your surface. If the contractor did not use a recommended class 5 base layer and instead go for cheaper solutions, this can result in premature cracking. If not enough base material was used, or it was not compacted correctly, this can also happen. If your contractor used the recommended base material, and compacted it down well, but left it uneven in several spaces, this can also lead to sooner than expected cracking.

Even if your base layer was correctly laid, cracking can come from nearby construction. If you have heavy construction on your street, with large machinery breaking nearby ground, this can also cause cracking through the ground vibration. 

Speaking of large machinery affecting your driveway, a pavers driveway replacement has the advantage of individual settlement. This means that your pavers settle into your base layer piece by piece, with little effect on each other, when it comes to large vehicles. On the other hand with poured concrete, your base layer also affects how much weight it can withstand before it gives out. We always recommend at least 4 to 6 inches of well-installed base layer to be able to allow your vehicles on the surface without any damage. One huge thing that most people don’t take into consideration is additional home services and renovations they will have after their new driveway is installed. 
If you have tree work done for instance the next month, and a large bucket truck and dump truck are parked in your driveway, these high load vehicles will give your concrete a beating. 

If you have trees on your property will large root systems, you may be wary of what this can do to your concrete driveway. Mature roots can grow 360 degrees and extend far out across your proper lines. When these roots begin to grow along the path of your driveway, unfortunately, the roots will win every time. Even though your concrete is hard and uniform for a time, the tree does not decide which way it will extend and push outward. It will find a way through the concrete if it cannot easily pass another way. 

With all of this said, you can certainly have your cracked concrete resurfaced. Just make sure you are aware of the possible results that will occur. 
Will you be okay with non-uniform lines or colors where the cracks used to exist? Will you care if the initial reason for your concrete driveway cracking – maybe large vehicles, or a thin base layer – recreates the crack in the same original line? 
If you do not mind all of these visible detriments, ultimately it will not affect you. But if you know an uneven or cracked surface will be on your mind, on the way out the door in the morning, we know how you feel and you can read on, for an easy solution with interlocking driveway pavers. 

A driveway replacement with pavers is a great solution to all of these otherwise ongoing issues. Unfortunately, this happens all too often, and it is why our staff do not only install pavers for our customers but we have also installed them for our own homes, as well. And the best part is, they have all lasted for decades with no visible deterioration.