What Causes Cracks in Home Driveways?

Driveways are prone to damages despite their durability. As a driveway brings an impression to the homeowner, you should exert efforts to maintain its appearance. The cracks in driveways can easily be noticed. Whether big or small damage, a homeowner should take extra attention to it. Most damages in the driveways are caused by their structure. However, the damages on the surface will soon increase its hazard once unrepaired. The initial damage in the surface or cracks in walls can easily become a place for weeds, anthill mounds, and risks.

When you ignore the damages of the driveway, it certainly brings an equally damaging impact to the value of your home. Being aware of the several reasons or causes of its damages allows your mind to think about a quick solution to avoid it in the future.

Common causes of driveway damages

1. Excessive weight

Heavy truck on driveway

Large amounts of weight can cause a driveway to break. If you allow vehicles over 10,000 pounds, like a delivery or septic-pumping truck, to regularly use your driveway, then you have to think again.

While the driveway is made of concrete, it is also susceptible to crack and break. Do not allow large amounts of pressure in your driveway, particularly in its corners. Be wary of trucks that are parking or using your driveway with one set of wheels on the slab and the other set of a wheel on the ground because this can lead to cracks if done more often.

2. Water pools

As much as possible, clean or drain the water pools on your driveway. If you allow water pools to set there for a long period, this will eventually infiltrate into the deeper part of the surface, destroying the sand and gravel surface underneath. As this will happen over time, the outside layer of your driveway will crack as the materials beneath are slowly distorted.

3. Ice

Ice on driveway

When water pools are left attended on your driveway, there is a bigger chance for its water to freeze. When this water turned to ice, it will surely penetrate the surface. The formation of ice on your driveway will continue to expand and may lead to cracks as time goes by.

 4. Soil erosion

The washing away of soil is another major cause of the cracked driveway. If the driveway is located near the sloped area, there is a big tendency for soil erosion to happen as rainwater from the higher plane goes to the lower elevation. More often, soil erosion happens near creeks as water also moves under the soil down to the lower elevation.

5. Premature drying

Cracked driveway

Poor quality mix of cement and improper concrete finishing works can lead to easy damage to your driveway. Thus, good quality of concrete must be seriously considered in planning your driveway.

Once premature drying of concrete occurred, this slowly paves the way for your driveway to have a spider web-look or crusty shattered surface. It is important to strictly follow the correct concrete stamping process during construction. Avoid poor site preparation and inadequate soil compaction before laying down the concrete for your driveway.

6. Large trees

Driveway near large trees

The growing tree roots can easily lift the concrete slab on your driveway, causing it to crack or break. The tree roots can also cause the heaving of the cement surface.

7. Sinkhole

While this rarely occurs, a sinkhole can cause extensive damage on your driveway and even your entire home or property. You should not ignore the earlier signs of sinkhole appearances. Some sinkholes begin with a small depression in the soil or concrete surface. But if you completely ignore this, this may lead to the total collapse of soil or pavement.

8. Rock salt

Many people are using rock salt to minimize the formation of ice on their driveways. However, it was found out that the use of rock salts can bring potential damage because it enhances the chance of the formation of thaw and freeze cycles. As ice thaws penetrate the surface, this will expand and cause more cracks in your driveways.

9. Sharp object

Cracks on driveway

Be cautious in placing or using sharp objects on your driveway. Shovels or studded tires can bring potential damage to your driveway. These sharp objects can tear or chip away the surface of your driveway. It can also scrape off the protective coating, causing more damages.

How to repair driveway cracks

Before cracked driveways become a total eyesore, you should plan right away on how to solve it. Homeowners have plenty of options in repairing the surface appearance of their driveways. You can call or ask a concrete service to work on larger cracks on your driveways before these become trip hazards. For severe damages, you can cut out the area and replace it.

Homeowners can also invest in seal coating services available in their areas. You can also contact an asphalt maintenance specialist to check and repair your cracked driveway before it’s too late.