What If The Driveway Cracks?

Although concrete is definitely one of the most durable building materials around, it can develop cracks and other types of problems over time. In the most part, it is a pretty straightforward do-it-yourself job to repair driveway cracks.

To find out how to proceed, first define the type of crack that you are dealing with and decide what caused it, and then continue with the following advice from the Quikrete concrete experts.

Linear Splits

Hairline cracks are normal as the age of a driveway and weather is taking its toll. Cracks can begin to expand, widen, and deepen, which can contribute to significant down the road problems.

Dirt and water could fall through the cracks. It causes cracks to develop as the water freezes and expands. Kent Hansen, technical director for the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) in Lanham, Md., says the issue will not be solved by merely putting an overlay on the driveway — the cracks would only come through it. Instead, the cracks need to be washed to remove any dirt and debris, and then preferably filled with a hot sealer, which a professional normally uses to apply.

Jay Sutherland, owner of Expert Asphalt in Watertown, Minn., believes that the only long-term remedy is a hot sealer, since the crack fillers sold at home centers are temporary repairs. “You got to heat the crack filler to do it right,” he says. “The crack cuts through the walls. It spreads and fills the crack as that cools. It’s a permanent repair.”


Spiderweb or Cracks on Alligators

Thanks to either a lower asphalt design or improper sealer use, the top layer of the driveway fails. “It may be that, by installing layer upon layer of sealers, people filled the road,” Hansen says. The solution is to extract the crack-filled asphalt, recompact the aggregate and inject new material into the field. Applying an overlay over the entire driveway would provide a smooth surface for the new addition to blend in.


Wavy or buckling Asphalt

In northern states, frost heave in the spring can cause buckling. “The soil beneath the driveway is saturated with frost heave, and then it spreads as it freezes,” Hansen says. Expanding the ground will cause the driveway to move. “Normally, this won’t work out either,” he said.

Another potential cause may be the driving on the driveway of very heavy vehicles or equipment that can cause the asphalt to crack or develop ruts. Hansen says you don’t have to think about moving a heavy load or two on your driveway—”it normally takes a heavy truck with several loads, “he says. Repeatedly driving or parking on the asphalt may damage an overweight load, such as an RV.

Sutherland says the repair is repairing or patching the damaged spot, then adding an overlay to the entire driveway to suit the pavement.


Crumbling Rims

It may have been too thin around the edges when the asphalt was laid down, Hansen says. Or it may have reached to the base of the aggregates. In either case, when vehicles drive over it the asphalt will break into pieces. Although the cracking edges are ugly they do not impact the main driveway structure. Installing brick or other material alongside the driveway as an edging can help to prevent the edges from falling off.

Need a Flatwork Concrete to Update Your Patio, Driveway or Parking Area? 

We’re here to transform your home! For over thirty years Spaulding Concrete has been providing flat surface concrete installations  for sidewalks, city bike paths, driveways, and side driveway additions, commercial floors, parking lots, RV pads, steps, curbs, and gutters.  We also specialize in site work repairs to existing cracked, damaged concrete. Specializing in the completion of our projects in an effective, timely and reasonable manner. In need of Flat Concrete installation for your Home or Commercial structure? To schedule your free quote, call or contact us today! We are proud to serve Orinda, Lafayette, Moraga, Pleasant Hill, Concord, Martinez, Pittsburg, Antioch, Brentwood and the surrounding areas