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Posted 18th Oct 2023

Professional Approach to Driveway Repair in Sunny San Diego


Ideally, your driveway is meant to last through your home’s lifetime, but certain conditions in San Diego may shorten its lifespan and result in unsightly scaling, cracking, discoloration, or settlement.

Rather than ripping out the entire driveway and starting over, you can often save time and money by repairing it as long it is structurally sound.

If you aren’t sure of the structural integrity of your driveway, have Better Place Remodeling assess the condition and make repair recommendations. Whether your driveway needs to be redone completely or need to repair the cracks; we are your ideal driveway repair contractor in San Diego. 

Driveway Surfaces and Their Common Problems

In this guide, we will take a closer look at the different types of driveway surfaces and the issues you may encounter with each.

Concrete Driveway

Durable and long-lasting concrete driveways last 25-50 years with proper care under San Diego weather. They are one of the most popular and low-maintenance, but prone to cracking, staining, and scaling, needing proper installation, sealing, and upkeep. 

Asphalt Driveways

Asphalt is a cost-effective, durable driveway choice, typically lasting 12-20 years, but may develop cracks, potholes, and color fading over time, requiring sealcoating/sealing every 3-4 years and regular repairs for maintenance. 

Gravel Driveways

Gravel driveways are affordable and durable, lasting up to 25 years with proper maintenance. However, they require periodic grading and weed control to deal with erosion, weed growth, and stone displacement. 

Paver Driveways

Interlocking concrete pavers are durable, easy to install with sand, lasting over 40 years, offering various patterns and colors, mimicking natural materials. However, they may experience uneven settling, weed growth, and shifting, necessitating leveling and joint sand replacement.

Cobblestone Driveways

Cobblestone driveways are visually appealing and easy to repair, and when correctly installed, they can last a century. The main concern is that they may require regular maintenance to address settling, weed growth, and shifting stones, besides the challenges of cleaning due to uneven surfaces. 

Solutions for Driveway Repair and Restoration

Proper care and maintenance are crucial for driveway longevity and aesthetics and involve addressing issues like cracks, potholes, and surface damage through cleaning, patching, and material application. We explore driveway repair for various types and offer valuable solutions. 

Repairing Small Cracks

Driveway cracks can vary from surface-level crazing to deep crevices due to several factors, including intruding tree roots, sinkholes, rapid temperature cycles, heavy loads, the ground beneath shifting, and even the wet concrete mix drying too fast.

Repairing the cracks starts with a thorough assessment and a cleaning process. We then use quality crack fillers, ensuring a deep penetration. After this, a top-grade sealant is applied, providing an additional protective layer. This process enhances your driveway’s appearance and prevents further deterioration, extending its lifespan. 

Pothole Repair

Potholes can result from various factors, with water being a primary contributor. We employ two main methods for pothole repair.

Cold Patches, a short-term solution involving cold mix asphalt, are used for quick fixes. Hot patches offer uniform, long-lasting repairs. This method involves saw-cutting the repair area, applying a bonding agent, filling it with asphalt, and compacting the patch for durability. 

Resurfacing Driveways

Driveway resurfacing is a cost-effective solution that revitalizes your driveway, protecting it from wear and extending its lifespan. This process entails cleaning, repairing cracks, and applying a new (1 to 2 inches thick) layer of material, such as asphalt or concrete, to ensure a rejuvenated and durable driveway.

Timing is crucial, and we recommend resurfacing when surface damage becomes noticeable. At Better Place Remodeling, we assess your driveway’s condition to determine its suitability for this service, ensuring a functional and refreshed appearance. 

Sealing Driveways

Sealcoating is a protective process that involves applying a top-layer to safeguard your driveway against water, chemicals, and sun damage. It extends concrete/asphalt’s life, saving on costly repairs.

Three main types include Refined Tar-based, Specialty resins, and Asphalt Emulsion-based coatings, effectively preserving asphalt and concrete surfaces and preventing cracks. 

Drainage Solutions

Managing drainage issues is vital to prevent erosion and puddles. We can implement proper grading and drainage systems for efficient water flow management.

We direct water away from your driveway and employ solutions such as French drains or catch basins to handle water effectively. With these drainage measures, your driveway stays free from erosion, puddling, and potential damage. 

6 Maintenance Tips for Long-Lasting Driveways

It is obvious to want a long-lasting driveway, regardless of type or size, as it reduces future hassles. The market offers various driveway surface options, and through our experience, we have encountered both exemplary and subpar solutions.

If you’re seeking the ideal material, read on as we explore seven tips for proper driveway care. 

Minimize Water Exposure: To protect your driveway, create a runoff area by clearing a two to three-inch strip around the edges, diverting snow and water away from its surface. Ensure downspouts discharge water into the yard, not onto the driveway. 

Thorough Driveway Washing: Stubborn dirt, sand, and debris can tarnish your driveway’s appearance. Grease and oil stains can cause discoloration. A power wash effectively removes tough stains and improves its look. 

Address Spalling and Scaling: Spalling and scaling result in discoloration, peeling, or chipping. Repair these areas using a color-matching compound or consider resurfacing your driveway for a uniform finish. 

Plow with Caution: When plowing or shoveling, raise the blade to prevent damage to the driveway surface or use a plastic shovel to reduce the risk of catching on the driveway, for manual shoveling on uneven surfaces. 

Avoid Overloading: Driveways are strong but not designed for heavy, fully-loaded vehicles. Overloading can damage your driveway over time. Avoid overloading to preserve its appearance and integrity. 

Address Tree Roots: Hidden tree roots can push up your driveway, leading to shifting, cracks, and damage. Deal with this problem by removing the tree, pruning the roots, or repairing the damage with proper sealing to prevent further issues. 

Seasonal Driveway Maintenance Checklist in San Diego

Proper maintenance is key to ensure your driveway remains in top condition and stands through San Diego’s seasons.

Better Place Remodeling will guide you through a seasonal driveway maintenance checklist tailored to San Diego’s climate, helping you ensure that your driveway remains in optimal condition throughout the year.

A general outlook involves:

In Spring, prepare your San Diego driveway for the year ahead.

  • Thorough inspection to identify and address damage from winter rains, such as cracks and potholes.
  • Tackle weed growth in the sunny climate, preventing driveway damage.
  • Consider resealing to protect against the impending dry season.

The hot Summer demands focused driveway care. To safeguard your driveway:

  • Apply a reflective sealant to lower surface temperatures, averting asphalt damage.
  • Seal new cracks due to temperature expansion to prevent further damage.
  • Remove debris and maintain an attractive appearance by pressure washing to prevent staining.

For Fall driveway maintenance, with the arrival of potential rains, cleaning drainage systems is vital to prevent water damage. Ensure systems are debris-free, preparing your driveway for the rainy season.

San Diego usually has mild Winters, but being prepared is essential. Prepare for potential winter rainfall by clearing drainage systems to prevent blockages and standing water on your driveway.

At Better Place Remodeling, we specialize in designing, installing, and repairing various driveway types, handling permits, and offering a wide array of specialty services. Please explore our website or contact us for more details on our services. 


When should I seal my driveway?

For new driveways, wait 90 days to let the material cure before sealing. After the initial coat, reseal when repairing cracks or potholes. High-quality asphalt sealer lasts 3-5 years, depending on traffic and UV exposure. Cheaper sealants require more frequent replacement as they tend to crack and deteriorate sooner. Invest in higher-quality sealants for longer-lasting protection. 

How long does a driveway repair project take?

A standard driveway repair project’s timeframe depends on the extent of damage and the repair techniques employed. Typically, it can range from several hours to a few days. 

How much will my driveway repair cost?

The cost of professional services can vary based on project scope and material requirements. At Better Place Remodeling, you can easily obtain a preliminary cost estimate for your project by completing our online form. 

How do I fix my crumbling driveway?​

To fix a crumbling driveway with minor cracks and discoloration, follow these steps: Prepare by clearing debris and cleaning the surface. Seal obvious cracks with a patching compound. Pour overlays evenly, leaving at least a 2-inch thickness, and let them dry for 24 hours. Seal the concrete to enhance durability and prevent crumbling, extending the lifespan of your driveway. 

What types of driveway repairs typically require permits or regulatory approval?

In San Diego, any major driveway repairs, such as widening the driveway or significant structural changes, usually require permits and regulatory approval from the city. Minor repairs like filling cracks or resurfacing might not require permits. 

Are there any environmental restrictions I should know about for driveway repairs?

San Diego has strict environmental regulations to protect its unique ecosystem. When conducting driveway repairs, ensure that any materials used, such as sealants or coatings, meet local environmental standards. Additionally, proper disposal of waste materials is crucial to avoid environmental violations.