Your driveway is an important aspect of your home’s aesthetics, and a driveway in poor condition can really detract from the curb appeal. One of the main things that attribute a poor driveway is cracks. Any type of driveway can be subject to cracks, but it shouldn’t happen for years after installation. If you notice that your driveway is cracking before it should be, there could be a few reasons as to why.
What’s known as the freeze/thaw cycle tends to be one of the most common causes of driveway cracks. When snow begins to melt, the water permeates your driveway. It then refreezes when the temperature drops, causing your driveway material to expand. The expansion of the solid material forces it to separate, which causes cracking. Using traditional rock salt doesn’t do much to prevent this cycle from occurring since it doesn’t lower the freezing temperature of water by much. Instead, keeping your driveway sealed and using deicers mixed with some sand is a great way to prevent your driveway from cracking.
Tree roots can be notorious culprits for causing driveway cracks. As the roots grow and expand underneath your driveway, they cause pressure on the subbase. The pressure forces the material upward, which will result in surface tension that eventually splits the driveway. If you have trees near your driveway, your best protection against cracking is installing a thicker driveway with a stronger base and adding a tree-root barrier along both sides.
If you place a heavy object on your driveway, such as a large truck or dumpster, it can cause cracking. The heavy amount of weight will cause soft spots and scars on your driveway surface which will be particularly vulnerable to the freeze/thaw cycle. If you need to place a heavy object on your driveway, do your best to evenly distribute the weight so there aren’t soft spots or scarring.
Even though no driveway is safe from cracking, there are a few options that might be less affected or have less noticeable damage. Pebble paving from Lusterstone, lasts for years with routine maintenance and completely covers your driveway with a beautiful finish.
If you’re experiencing driveway cracks or any damage to your deck, patio, or garage flooring, give us a call today.