Have you inspected your driveway lately? Is your driveway covered with cracks, with rash-like surface erosion, and littered with potholes? Maybe it’s time to fix your driveway to avoid replacement of the entire area.
In dealing with issues on your driveway, the best thing you need to do first is to determine what causes all those cracks and how can they be fixed without having to replace your entire driveway? Keep in mind, all driveways age and crack as the materials they are made from start to deteriorate. However, this problem should not occur after several years of installation. Most driveways can last up to 20 years if managed properly, but early cracking and damage will occur if it the surface is abused or neglected.
One of the primary causes of cracks on your driveway is the weather, although it is not the only reason. If you want your driveway to last longer, you need to take time to think and apply the best preventative and corrective measures. Here are some different causes of driveway cracks and how to fix them:
Bad Foundations If the contractors you hired are in a hurry, they might not have packed down the crushed stone base tight enough. If a dishonest company wants to save money, they may use dirt or sand substrates, which vary with temperatures which may then result in cracking. But when this occurs, sad to say, the only solution is to replace the foundation.
Tree Root Growth Another common cause of cracks in your driveway is the expanding roots of a tree. The roots press against your driveway subbase and pressure exerted can be relieved by creating cracks on the surface. If you have a thicker driveway with a better reinforcement, it will resist root pressure. However, adding a tree-root barrier on the two sides of the driveway is the best solution.
Pointed Objects Snowblower blades, snow shovels, studded winter tires, and other pointed objects can create small chunks of material out of asphalt driveways and crack or chip concrete driveways. The recommended solution is to use a plastic shovel and be careful whenever you need to use the above mentioned tools.
The Freeze/Thaw Cycle The change in temperature can cause your driveway to crack. When the snow gets in contact with driveway concrete, it will leak after melting. Then refreeze and expand against once the temperature drops again. This causes cracks in the driveway. Use calcium chloride powder to bring down the freezing point below zero.It will lessen the damage. By combining deicers with sand, traction and salt damage will be reduced. Seal the driveway so less water and salt can penetrate it, and you will preserve it for many years.
Heavy Loads Vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds can create serious damage to your driveway. It can cause cracking or scars. These cracks can be an entry point for salt and snow melt-off and the eventual cause for having to replace your driveway.
Final Thoughts Replacing a driveway is expensive. However, by avoiding damage whenever possible you can substantially improve the life expectancy of your driveway. The above tips should help you know what to avoid and what to do for maintenance and minor repairs when necessary.