The Most Common Reasons Your Driveway Is Cracking

Written by  //  October 19, 2021  //  Home Construction  //  Comments Off on The Most Common Reasons Your Driveway Is Cracking

The Most Common Reasons Your Driveway Is Cracking

Driveways are strong and most last for many years, but they still crack at times. Thankfully, cracks are repairable, and then the driveway looks like new. In this article, we will discuss the most common reasons your driveway is cracking so you can protect your driveway when possible and know what to look out for.

Changes in Temperature

As the weather changes, our driveways feel it. We go from long hot summers to freezing winter temperatures and our driveways have little time to adjust to the change. These temperature changes cause expanding and cracking.

Poor Drainage

Because of rain, snow, and the watering used for landscaping, proper drainage is needed to keep excess surface water from settling on the driveway. If you don’t have a drainage system in place, it’s essential to get one installed. The most common choice is a trench drain at the end of the driveway—or if your driveway has a slope, a drain at the side of it.

Too Much Weight

We seldom think about the weight our driveway is handling because it seems like it can handle just about anything. Still, too much weight from things such as oversized trucks eventually causes cracks in the driveway.

Settling In

Settling is another cause of driveway cracks. As the ground shifts, due to things such as tree removal and constant use of the driveway, the concrete or asphalt makes up for that by settling.

Thin Asphalt

When asphalt is used for a driveway, sometimes it spreads itself too thin. When it does, you can see crumbling or cracking, especially near the edges. If a driveway is laid with low-quality asphalt, it’ll crack.

Repairing a Cracked Driveway

We’ve covered the most common reasons why your driveway is cracking. Now, let’s talk about how to repair those cracks. Most cracks are easily repaired. You can do repair them yourself or hire a professional to do it. Either way, the following steps are helpful:

  1. Clean the entire driveway. Sweep away all debris, pull out all the weeds from the cracks, then pressure wash the driveway and allow it to dry.
  2. Patch the cracks using a crack filler, which you can find at home and garden stores. Crack filler works best for smaller cracks. For larger cracks about ½ inch or more, use a driveway patch. Whether you’re dealing with small or large cracks, follow the directions exactly. Don’t proceed onto the next step until the patching up is complete and the surface is entirely dry.
  3. Use a driveway sealant to seal the driveway.

If you take good care of your driveway, it will give you years of use. Remember to avoid low-quality asphalt, putting too much weight on the driveway, and having a lack of proper drainage.

image credit: Adobe Stock

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