Why Is My Driveway Sinking? (9 Reasons Why)

Not only are sinking driveways a hassle, but they also cost homeowners a lot of money. But if your driveway sinks gradually, it will start to crack and look unpleasant, lowering your house’s value.

As a result, it can be very inconvenient, especially if you need to move your car or any heavy items in or out of the garage. Here’s what we’ve learned about why your driveway is slowly sinking!

Why Is My Driveway Sinking?

Your driveway is sinking due to pavement subsidence when the ground beneath your driveway shifts. Along with that, there may also be sinkhole cavities, which typically occur after heavy rains when the soil becomes saturated with water and cracks. Further, a fragile foundation built on your driving entry might not be something you can rely on.

Let’s look into these facts to identify why your driveway is sinking, so keep reading!

1. Pavement Subsidence

Subsidence is a condition in which the ground under a structure shifts downward.

That said, it can happen due to natural phenomena such as drought or by human activity like the construction of buildings or the removal of trees.

On the other hand, subsidence is the result of either settling, also known as potholing. Settling occurs when the soil settles into the ground at a rate faster than it can be removed by erosion.

Consequently, when you have experienced a driveway that has sunk over time, there is a good chance that it has been caused by subsidence.

2. Sinkhole Cavities

A sinkhole cavity is like a typical cavity in your house, but it involves water. So, since water tends to be heavy, it causes the ground under your home to shift.

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Unavoidably, they’re caused by cave-ins or underground streams that open up and cause the earth above to collapse in on itself.

After that, the collapse creates an opening into which water can flow freely, causing further instability and making your runway sink.

3. Fragile Foundations

A foundation is the base of your home that provides stability and support for everything above it.

Therefore, if you have a weak foundation, it can cause the entire structure to be unstable and prone to sinking.

Apart from this, a sinking driveway’s due to the ground beneath it being too soft, which can be caused by poor drainage and a weak subgrade foundation.

Fragile foundations can result in poor retention capacity, and driveways tend to sink over time as a result.

4. Unsteady Edging

Unsteady edging happens when your lawn is not properly maintained and the soil becomes too compacted.

After all, it makes the ground harder to work with, meaning you need to dig up more of your driveway or add a layer of gravel over the top to make it soft enough to work with again.

Because of that, if your driveway is already sinking, you may want to consider replacing the sod in your lawn with grass that won’t grow as thick.

By all means, unsteady edging results from imperfections in how your driveway has been cut into the ground.

5. Water Seepage

Water Seepage

Seepage is the downward and lateral movement of water into soil from a supply source like a reservoir or irrigation canal.

In particular, seepage occurs due to subpar building practices and a lack of waterproofing safeguards during home construction.

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Further, it may result in paint flaking, efflorescence, and moist walls. As an effect, water can seep into concrete driveways and cause them to expand, crack and even sink.

That said, this can result in potholes, uneven surfaces, and other problems that can make it challenging to drive on or use as an area for parking.

Overall, if your driveway is sinking, you may want to consider whether there is water seepage in the soil around your house.

6. Recent Constructions

New residences or areas where a driveway has been laid for the first time are frequently affected by driveway sinkage.

As well as that, this is a result of not giving the land enough time to settle before construction begins.

Also, numerous new construction projects employ poor soil or leave bricks, all of which can lead to subsidence as they age and settle.

Without this soil, water cannot drain away from your home and cause erosion, leading to further damage.

Therefore, new construction in your neighborhood can result in a driveway that sinks and falls apart.

7. Erosion From Rainwater

Another most common cause of falling driveways is erosion from stormwater runoff.

So, if you live in an area with heavy rainfall, chances are that your property has been affected by erosion and flooding.

Over time, this layer of sediment will settle into place and compact with time until it reaches its maximum depth level.

By that very fact, rainwater can erode the soil around your driveway, which can cause it to sink over time.

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8. Slab Isn’t Compact

Compaction is the procedure that releases trapped air from freshly put concrete and compacts the aggregate particles to make the concrete denser.

Along with compaction, the link between reinforcement and concrete is improved, and the final strength of concrete is significantly increased.

On the contrary, if you’ve noticed your driveway is sinking, it could be because of the uncompacted slabs.

As an outcome, if slabs aren’t compressed and tight well enough, they can cause your driveway to sink.

9. Water Leakage

Water leakage can be caused by many things, including the pipes in your home, cracks in your home’s foundation, or even a faulty drainage system.

At this time, there’s not enough pressure to push it back out and into the sewer system where it belongs.

On that account, water builds up in low spots around your home, such as under your foundation or along the side of your house.

Overall, a water leak in your driveway can cause your driveway to sink, resulting in cracks and potholes along your driveway.

To know more, you can also read our posts on why your garage door is beeping, why your car is honking by itself, and why your engine is so loud.


It goes without saying that fixing a freshly installed driveway is never a brilliant idea. The base and foundations must unquestionably be solid.

We can think of sinkhole voids, fragile foundations, and pavement subsidence as warning signs for sunken driveways.

Ultimately, it’s essential to choose a material that will meet your needs without causing your driveway to sink!

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