Crack Sealing The Driveway

Our house (and driveway) is about twelve years old.  One of the things that I’ve been noticing needs some work is the driveway.

There are a couple of slabs that I’ve noticed are not even with the rest of the driveway.  This has gotten particularly annoying over the past couple of winters as the snow shovel hitting the uneven part has led to more than one near-miss hernia.

I figure it’s time for action.

I got a couple of estimates on slab lifting, which is where they basically drill a couple of holes into the affected slabs, inject a mud/slurry solution in to level the slab, and patch the small holes that they drilled.

The quotes for this work actually came in a little lower than what I had expected.

I talked to one of the guys and he recommended getting the driveway crack sealed.  This is basically caulking the expansion joints so that no water can get into the driveway.  Apparently, there are usually cracks here, and the water can seep under, which is what leads to the cracking and shifting that ends up with driveways needing to be replaced.

This work would blow the budget out of the water.  Still, I think in the long run it would be worth it.  The driveway is in really good shape.  There is minimal cracking and only a couple of slabs have settled.  Many neighbors have had a lot of settling, particularly with the slabs near the curb, but ours is really good, or they’ve had such extensive cracking that they’ve needed to replace all or part of the driveway.  Ours looks good.

The guy said that with crack sealing, it should extend the life of the driveway and keep it in pretty good shape.

Originally, I thought about sealing it myself, as there are self-leveling products available. However, while it would be cheaper, I’ve heard that there are more than enough pitfalls with this product where there’s a pretty good risk of screwing it up.  I’m admittedly not the most careful and detail oriented person when it comes to things like this, so my fear is that if I were to take this approach, I’d be back to looking at getting it done professionally, so the money I’d spend on doing it myself would be down the drain (plus it would probably cost more to have a pro do it at that point since they’d have to undo what I did).

In other words, the lack of confidence in my abilities on this type of project is leading me to think that having a pro take care of it is the best way.  It’s not the cheapest, but I think in the end it could be a wise ‘investment’.

Have any of you had your driveway crack sealed?  Done it yourself?  What are your thoughts and experiences?