What Can Cause a Driveway to Crack
As one of Monterey Peninsula’s best asphalt crack repair companies, we’ re often asked about the causes of a cracked driveway, and whether or not it’s normal for all concrete driveways to crack at some point in their installation.
In this post, we share some of the most typical reasons people’s driveways crack and discuss whether or not it’s normal for driveways to crack at some point.
The Potential Causes
of a Cracked Driveway
By understanding the reasons why your driveway cracks, it can help you take preventative steps and apply corrective actions.
By taking care of your driveway, you can prolong the lifetime of your asphalt driveway in Monterey Peninsula, and help it look its best for as long as possible.
Throughout the U.S., asphalt and concrete are used interchangeably in driveway installations.
The main difference in their construction is that a concrete driveway has several interspersed controlled joints, whereas an asphalt driveway is typically installed as a single, long, unbroken surface.
Regardless of which material you select, you shouldn’t see any significant cracks in a driveway for several years.
#1 – Tree Roots
Growing roots are one of the most popular causes of a cracked driveway.
As the roots grow over time, they exert force of uneven pressure, which will eventually result in cracks starting to appear.
As the breaking point of the material is reached, the cracks will start to show on the surface.
This is why it is so important to consider your driveway placements wisely.
If you are limited to space, then you could also consider a tree root barrier system down the side as this can help prevent cracks from appearing.
The only caveat to this approach is that it could cause nearby trees to become somewhat unstable as they grow.
#2 – Driveway-base Installation Issues
Another typical reason that cracks can appear in a driveway is down to their original installation.
If you have a poorly constructed sub-base or base, this could result in those cracks appearing much sooner than you antic
ipate. This is why it is so important to use a trusted and established driveway paving company in Monterey Peninsula.
Our reputation has been earned by delivering high-quality driveway installations that deliver lasting results. Our processes are proven, and our expert team know exactly how to build, pack, and install a solid aggregate base, prior to using either concrete or asphalt on top. When we’re called out to fix a cracked driveway for this reason, we often find that people or contractors were trying to focus on saving time or money, and for this reason, they choose to use dirt or sand as the base, instead of crushed stone.
The issue with using dirt and sand, is that once these materials become a little moist, they contract and expand; and this itself exerts an uneven pressure on the driveway, and ultimately results in cracks.
#3 Excessive Weight
Whether you have a concrete or asphalt driveway installation, both materials are considered to be fairly strong.
While it’s easy to assume they can withstand a huge amount of weight without ‘cracking under the pressure’; even robust materials such as this are far from indestructible.
In the same way that pressure from below can result in a cracked driveway, so can pressure from above.
A professional driveway installation company will be able to calculate the precise amount of weight a driveway can withstand.
Factors such as its overall make-up; such as the base and foundational elements, and if it reinforced, or not; along with the overall depth of the materials will account for the result.
However, anything that is greater than a couple of tons in weight will have a real potential to cause issues to the installation.
Tips for Driveway Crack Prevention
In almost any scenario, prevention is better.
For obvious reasons, it is best to take the most preventative course of action when it comes to looking after your concrete or asphalt driveway.
Although you can take steps to lessen the risk of getting a cracked driveway, it’s fair to say, that by choosing a reputable driveway installation company in the first place, you can avoid having to deal with cracks sooner than you’d like.
Once the installation is done, you should them only need to take a few preventative measures, such as:
- The occasional sealing treatment in order to help to keep out any excess of water and prevent it from building up. A seal-coated driveway is a must if you intend on using ice-melting products during the cooler months as this provides additional protection that can prevent the products from seeping into the driveway and exerting unwanted pressure from below.
- Avoiding using salt to melt ice, as this can have a detrimental impact on both asphalt and concrete. Instead, use sand as this won’t have any negative impact on your driveway, and it will also provide additional traction for vehicles.
- Try to avoid excessive or heavy trucks or weights being put onto the installation. If you have heavy trucks or machinery that need to access your home for home improvements or deliveries; always ask that they refrain from parking on your driveway to avoid additional pressure.
Use an Experienced Driveway Company
An experienced driveway installer will follow the right procedures and use the best materials upon installation and give your driveway the best chance of withstanding the test of time.
At Coastal Paving and Excavating, our team are trusted to deliver robust installations, utilizing quality products and expert workmanship.
We also provide affordable driveway cracking repair service to home and commercial premises throughout the Monterey Peninsula.
If you’d like a quote to fix a cracked driveway, or you just want to ask us a few questions, then our team are always happy to help.
Contact Coastal Paving and Excavating today.
We look forward to hearing from you soon.
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