Recently, Debby answered a reader’s question in the Kansas City Star’s Handyman section:
Q.: I have a concrete driveway that will need to be resurfaced. It is pitted and flaking. What are the pros and cons of the common methods of driveway repair? I would like stamped concrete that looks like pavers, but I think it will be expensive. I would really like the pebble paving with epoxy and quartz gravel. Is that a good option for our area?
A.: There are pros and cons that come with each driveway repair option, and no surface will ever be completely resistant to cracking, flaking, and pitting. In this part of the country, we experience the extremes with respect to the seasons, from scorching summers to freezing winters. The weather can be very hard on our outdoor surfaces.
Repairing and patching any areas on your current driveway could stand out like a sore thumb. The best way to get a uniform look is to re-surface the entire area. Resurfacing can cost anywhere from $3 to $10 a square foot depending on the condition of the existing concrete. This option will not last as long, but is a cheaper option than tearing out and pouring a new driveway.
Stamped concrete is generally poured thicker and has a higher cement strength, which is an added bonus to the beautiful look and can run from $10 to $18 a square foot, depending on complexity in design. If your driveway does crack, it will be less noticeable because of the pattern.
Pebble paving can cost $5 to $9 per square foot, which makes it a more affordable option. If you choose pebble epoxy paving and do not maintain it properly, the sun may cause it to deteriorate, and it will start to come apart.
Some more caveats: If your driveway is not reinforced properly and you overlay, you will have the same issues come through to the new top layer. All concrete surfaces will require some kind of maintenance. Make sure you consider this when making your selection.