Need a quick fix for a really bad driveway


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Old 10-01-10, 07:39 AM
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Need a quick fix for a really bad driveway

Our driveway on a house we just bought on land contract is in really bad shape with cracks, heaving, sinking and trip hazards. Our insurance carrier, whom we chose based on knowledge from the selelr that the house as-is presented problems finding a carrier who would insure it, has notified us they will cancel covereage as of Oct. 28. Repaving the driveway is relatively low priroity - the problem has MUCH worse problems we need to resolve before moving in. I had not planed on having the driveway repaved until next year after spring at the earliest.

So I need to know what the best solution would be for low cost and least difficulty added for the long-term repaving... Should I just dump a bunch of gravel over the concrete, and will that satisfy the insurance?
 
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Old 10-01-10, 07:48 AM
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You weren't very clear on what your problem is. The insurance company has an issue with the condition of your driveway? What specifically are those issues? Do the heaving and cracks creat a trip hazard or something? A picture would go a long way.

You should ask your insurance company directly if whatever solution you come up with will satisfy them.
 
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Old 10-01-10, 08:39 AM
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The wording on the cancellation notice is as follows:

"The sidewalk is crumbling, uneven and lifted which presents a liability hazard"

The sidewalk doesn't have any unevenness or cracks at all, neither does the walkway to the front door, but the driveway fits that description. When we bought the house, we had an inspection and the report has all conditions checked off under driveway condition. Heaving. Cracks. Trip hazard. Sinking.

From conversing with the agent, the underwriter's concern is the trip hazard. The insurance carrier doesn't have any direct contact, its only through an agent.

Actually, of all the pictures I've taken I don't have any driveway pics aside from the fenced in back yard part of the driveway which doesn't have enough heaving to constitute a trip hazard. And beside that, I think at the time the inspector was there from the insurance, most of the driveway might've been covered with a 30 yard dumpster.

If gravel is a bad idea, can I just mix concrete and level it over the areas where there are tripping hazard? I don't need something that looks great, I only need functional... And this would be somewhat practical since I'm going to be renting a mixer to do footings for support beams in the crawl space anyway.
 
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Old 10-01-10, 08:53 AM
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Depending on how bad these hazards are..you may be able to use asphalt cold patch to even it out. The city did that across the street from me at my old house when the sidewalk heaved in several sections. It was after the first 2 or so years so the developer was no longer responsible. It was still that way when I moved 3 yrs ago (at least 8-10 yrs later). They may have used hot patch...wasn't there when it was done.

Maybe they would be OK with tearing it all out and dumping crusher run in, then compacting it. Lotta labor...but not too much cost.

You are going to have to get someone from the insurance who can make a determination if a temp repair is acceptable. Otherwise all the advise and procedures you get could be a waste of time and money.
 
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Old 10-01-10, 09:18 AM
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I may have implied it, but just in case I wasn't clear this is a concrete driveway.

Sounds good... So I see I can get a 50 lb bag at Lowes at $14. I don't know how many of these cracks I'll need to fix, but for the sake of getting a feel for what this would cost, one crack going left to right across a driveway and the height of the tripping hazard is 2" tall, should I plan on that using 1 bag? 1/2 bag? 5 bags?

I see that QPM, which Lowes carrys, has a calculator, so if I call it a 6" by 8' area 2" deep to fill in it says 2 bags.
 
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Old 10-01-10, 09:23 AM
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Yep...knew it was concrete....no idea how much you need. And before you spend a dime...you need to find out if this will be acceptable to them...it may not be. I was just relating what the city had done...it may have been intended as temporary and the paperwork just fell through the proverbial crack.
 
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Old 10-01-10, 09:35 AM
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Well, I'm figuring that with the situation of the insurance only being able to be contacted through the agent, if I can do the fix under $50, they can take it or leave it. I'm not going to wait 2 weeks for them to tell me it's okay and then have to clear off leaves I'd otherwise not bother with so I can spend the daylight time I have available on other work the house needs.

If this fix isn't going to be acceptable, then they're going to be requiring something that's impractical and there isn't any way I'm going to avoid it getting cancelled.

And yeah, I've seen this kind of repair done on sidewalks... I didn't think it was worth a spit the way it was done with a 45 degree slope, but I'd probably spread it out longer so it was closer to level. I've also seen the city tear out sections of sidewalk because they decided they had to cut down a tree, and then they come back and dump asphalt and leave without any attempt to level it, then cite me for having an uneven side walk!

Why does life have to make it so hard to restrain myself from ranting about things?
 
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Old 10-01-10, 09:40 AM
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Vic's right - there's no point doing anything until you find out whether the insurance company will consider it acceptable
 
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Old 10-01-10, 10:28 AM
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Okay, duly noted... But are there really any practical alternatives?

I'm squeezing everything I can to get $100 here and there to keep moving forward on other projects I need to complete to move in, and with a short sale that is 3 months ago getting a loan for any work is out - anything other than DIY isn't happenning in the next 30 days.
 
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Old 10-01-10, 12:38 PM
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If it helps any:


It's an image from Google maps, I don't have any other pictures I've taken yet and it's before I bought the house, so the car that's blocking the view of some of the driveway isn't mine.
 
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Old 10-03-10, 04:48 PM
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' land contract ' means different things in various states,,, we make a living repairing conc among other items,,, $50 would best be used to buy a couple bottles of jamiesons 2nd best bet's to cover it w/crushed stone but it would move off quickly,,, 3rd best is ro rip it out & fill w/crushed stone/dust mix,,, wet down the top & compact.

ask your agent if that will satisfy their objection
 
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Old 10-04-10, 05:45 AM
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Alright, now that I've had a weekend and with it some time to actually examine the situation a little better...

The nature of the driveway cracks are that there are cracks everywhere, but the most significant tripping hazard cracks are length-wise running down the center of the driveway. The driveway has a peak running down the middle, although this is the most significant where the driveway is next to the house.

There are cracks and heaving that run from side to side, not as bad as the peak in the middle, but well past the 1/2" height difference that seems to be the minimum standard for tripping hazard I've read in internet searches.

There are some small patches where asphalt or cement patches have been poured.

There is vegetation growth coming through cracks, but not any type that seems to grow to any height.

I pulled up a smaller piece to see what is going on with the driveway construction. The apparent thickness of the driveway is 2" or less.

MAYBE I am overanalyzing the whole thing. The driveway has this STUPID upside down stainless steel bowl near the sidewalk, it looks like a dog dish, but this thing is covering a drain clean-out. For all I know, this could be what they're talking about.. The damn thing is I just don't have a clear line of communication to the insurance company to ask this kind of thing. I know the driveway needs to be repaved and that it's a big expensive project to do right, and I don't want to do more than minimal until I am ready to do it right.

I should by now not be suprised when I find sub-standard construction methods on this house, but somehow I still am. Still, this one probably works to my advantage since 2" thickness is a lot easier to break up and remove than a proper 4" thickness. But of course, there's always that fear that if I start with the expectation of a 2" thickness, I'll find out that some of the driveway is really 4" thick, and I'll be stuck dealing with it.

I've thoguht about just bringing over my '56 Mercury and parking it on the driveway, you can't trip over something you can't walk on.

At this point, I think it IS clear that any type of covering it up would not really be functionally adequate for making it not a tripping hazard.

Since I'm further ahead on my roof, my dilema at this point is that I have 2 requirements - fixing the driveway and getting he house occupied. And to occupy the house, I need time inside the house on the wiring work... Either I spend the time on the driveway or in the house on electrical. If I spend the time on the driveway, I can probably move in some furniture to make it look more occupied. (I guess this is me thinking out loud)

So on the driveway, repaving at this time isn't happenning by the Oct. 28 deadline. It's a project for next year. What I do right now would depend more than anything else on what I can do that won't make it more difficult to prepare the site for paving next year.
 
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Old 10-04-10, 07:01 AM
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Pictures:


Closeup:


Thickness of a chunk I removed:
 
 

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