A driveway that cracks is not attractive, especially when it’s been there for a while. But cracks in your driveway are not just unsightly; they can be dangerous.
They’re a sign of drainage issues or damage to the foundation of your house. But whatever the cause, they’re not something you want. So here’s what we will unleash on why your driveway leads to cracks and breaches!
Why Is My Driveway Cracking?
1. Poorly Installed Foundation
A foundation is the first step in building your house, laying the groundwork for everything else that goes on after that.
In addition, a foundation is crucial because it provides stability to the house and ensures that it won’t move or shift even if it receives heavy rain or snowfall.
That said, if you are building a new home or replacing an old house, you have to install concrete footings for your foundation.
However, if these footings are not correctly installed, they can crack and cause cracks to other parts of your driveway and house.
2. Extreme Temperatures
Cracks in concrete are usually caused by expansion and contraction. Expansion occurs when the ground warms up, and contraction occurs when it cools down.
Besides, as the ground expands, it can cause cracks in concrete and other materials, such as asphalt or brick.
Apart from this, the asphalt will increase and contract with the temperature, depending on where you live.
Therefore, extreme heat can be caused by excessive moisture in the soil, which can cause swelling and shrinkage of your driveway’s ground.
3. Tree Root Expansion
Tree roots are living things that grow from the ground and into the soil, which is why you see them when you dig.
As well as that, they’re called “living earth” because they’re constantly moving and expanding through the soil. A tree grows and creates new root systems that move outward from its trunk.
That said, when trees become more prominent than they should be for their age and size, they begin to put pressure on their surroundings with their roots.
As a result, it can cause problems like cracked driveways or sidewalks caused by tree roots moving through cracks in the ground.
Settling is a natural process when you start moving soil around. However, this can be caused by geography, soil structure, and water.
Additionally, it occurs because of two factors: the strength of the soil itself and how compacted it is.
Further, compacting the soil too much causes more pressure on top of it, making it harder for water to seep through the ground and into your foundation.
Undoubtedly, it causes cracks in your driveway, leading to an even more significant problem!
5. Excessive Weight
When you have too much weight on your driveway, it causes the soil to shift and crack, which is why you must ensure you do not have too many things in your garage.
Apart from this, if you have any concrete blocks or other heavy items resting on your driveway, it can lead to fractures.
With that, the weight of a large vehicle or an overweight truck can contribute to your driveway cracking too.
In this case, the pavement will break under the pressure of the additional weight and cause a crack in the driveway.
6. Smashed By A Heavy Element
If you’ve seen your driveway crack after a hard rainstorm or a car accident, you likely have smashed concrete.
Additionally, it happens when water gets into the concrete and causes it to break down. These are usually tiny and can be fixed by replacing the cracks with more concrete material.
Along with that, heavy elements can include wind or even heavy snowfall, which can cause damage to your driveway over time.
Above all, heavy loads of snow or ice can cause your driveway to crack. It’s essential to watch these situations because they can be much more dangerous than typical rains.
7. Freeze And Thaw Cycle
When it gets cold, water from the ground freezes and expands, and when it thaws out later in the year, the enlargement causes cracks in your driveway.
Additionally, this freeze-thaw cycle causes cracks in sidewalks and other hard surfaces.
Further, they’re not just caused by ice; they can also be caused by water runoff from heavy rains or snowmelt runoff after a winter storm.
Subsequently, when temperatures drop below freezing, water in the soil freezes. As soon as it does, it expands and cracks the garage.
Therefore, this repeated expansion and contraction creates a series of cracks throughout your driveway.
8. Heat Radiation
Radiation occurs when heat moves from hot objects to cold objects. In this case, it is caused by the sun’s rays hitting the ground and then transferring their energy to the driveway.
As well as that, the more intense the sun’s heat, the more force it has on your asphalt and concrete.
Because of this, the heat radiation is caused by the sun rays and absorbed by the asphalt in the driveway.
For that reason, the heat radiates from the surface of the asphalt, causing it to expand and contract, eventually leading to cracks on the surface of your driveway.
9. Too Little Asphalt
Asphalt is a mixture of sand and gravel. The gravel is a binding agent that helps keep the asphalt in place while it dries out.
Further, when it’s not enough, cracks start forming in your driveway, and the gravel can no longer hold everything together.
At this time, new asphalt will be more prolonged and more substantial, ensuring that your driveways last longer and their lifespan is extended.
Therefore, cracks in an asphalt driveway are a surefire way to signal that the pavement needs to be replaced!
To know more, you can also read our posts on why your driveway is sinking, why your garage door is beeping, and why your garage door won’t close all the way.
You need to be aware that your driveway will crack eventually. Unfortunately, no one can predict precisely when that time will come.
Therefore, factors like a foundation that was improperly constructed, severe temperatures, and tree root expansion might contribute.
Ultimately, you can save yourself from spending money or getting upset over those unsightly cracks in your driveway by taking preventative measures.