Asked by: Adalbert Facchin
home and garden landscaping

Why do driveways crack?

Last Updated: 21st March, 2020

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The most common cause of cracks in driveways is improper installation, usually in the form of a poorly constructed base or subbase. When this loose material gets moist, the freeze-thaw cycles cause the material to expand and contract, putting uneven pressure on the driveway and causing the concrete or asphalt to crack.

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Also, are driveway cracks normal?

Cracking is a normal occurrence when it comes to concrete driveways unless it's excessive and it happens very soon after installation. Cracks will need to be sealed to prevent further damage which is part of the ongoing maintenance of a concrete driveway that will need to be performed on a regular basis.

Also, why does concrete crack and how can the cracks be prevented? Reduce Water Content in Concrete: A low water cement ratio will affect the quality of concrete. Shrinkage is the main cause of cracks, when concrete hardens it evaporates the excess water and thus shrinks, so lesser the water content, lesser is the shrinkage. Cracking shrinkage in slabs is ½ inch per 100 ft.

One may also ask, how do I stop my driveway from cracking?

A homeowner can help prevent cracking, scaling, crazing and pitting by yearly applying a good acrylic silicone solvent-based sealer to their concrete. A concrete contractor can also repair cracks with an epoxy injection, dry packing or routing and sealing techniques to stabilize the cracks.

Can cracks in concrete driveways be repaired?

Fortunately, filling cracks in a concrete driveway is a simple and relatively inexpensive DIY project. A cracking driveway looks unsightly to potential buyers. Cracks can usually be filled and repaired if the rest of the driveway is in good shape and it was installed properly in the first place.

Related Question Answers

Arletha Lameirinha

Professional

Does homeowners insurance cover a cracked driveway?

As most homeowner's insurance policies will cover structures on your property, your driveway is most likely covered. Naturally, you can't ask your insurance company to pay for problems that you have caused. However, large cracks caused by heat or damaging pests and rain may be covered by your policy.

Cathaisa Perrins

Professional

Is it OK to pave over an existing driveway?

An overlay or resurface can be used on an asphalt driveway, parking lot, or road way. An existing asphalt surface is the best base for new asphalt. Damaged or troubled areas are repaired before the installation of asphalt.

Indhara Hunkemoller

Professional

What to use to fill cracks in concrete driveway?

Pour enough dry concrete mix into a 5-gallon bucket to repair any cracks and patch damaged areas. Sand mix or concrete resurfacer, which do not contain gravel, may be used if the area to be repaired is not large or deep. A standard concrete mix that contains gravel works best for patching large or deep areas.

Omid Mankuta

Explainer

How long should concrete last before cracking?

As the shrinkage begins, the concrete will crack where it is the weakest. Cracking typically starts within 12 hours of the finishing process, but it can be slowed or accelerated by weather conditions.

Liyu Iznajar

Pundit

How much does it cost to fix a cracked driveway?

Expect to pay about $2.25 per square foot for basic driveway resurfacing. So a typical residential driveway of 750 square feet would cost about $1,687. If you want patterns or colors, you need to pay more, around $4 to $8 per square foot, or $3,000 to $6,000 for a 750-square-foot driveway.

Kaixin Grafenhain

Pundit

How do you fix a sinking driveway?

Cut a piece of plywood slightly wider than the trench. Lay it over the patch material and cover it with 2x4s. Then drive over it several times with your vehicle until the patch is level with the garage floor. Cold patch works only when it's compacted and “keyed” into at least two vertical surfaces.

Noura Nitu

Pundit

How long should a driveway last?

Asphalt driveways typically last 12 to 20 years, depending on the quality of the installation, the climate, the usage they get, and how well they have been maintained. Like most everything else, the better care you take of your asphalt driveway, the longer it will remain in service.

Cenaida Theves

Pundit

Should I seal the cracks in my driveway?

Cracks up to ¼ inch in width can be filled with sealant.
Cracks of this nature may never get any larger, but water can seep into them, freeze, and expand, causing the cracks to widen, so it's a good idea to seal them with the flexible Advanced Polymer Concrete Crack Sealant from Quikrete.

Dignora Mollo

Pundit

How do you keep cement from cracking?

To avoid plastic shrinkage, the key is to keep the concrete surface moist by covering it with burlap, polyethylene sheeting or plastic. This is especially important in extreme weather conditions such as high wind, hot temperatures or direct sunlight.

Nadege Langenstrass

Teacher

How thick does concrete need to be to not crack?

Applied-load cracking.
To prevent load-stress cracking, make sure a slab is built over a uniformly compacted, well-drained subgrade, and is thick enough to withstand the kind of use it will get. In residential concrete, 4 inches is the minimum thickness for walkways and patios.

Vanya Shivaiah

Teacher

What causes hairline cracks in new concrete?

Diagnosing 6 Types of Concrete Cracks. Probably the single most common reason for early cracks in concrete is plastic shrinkage. When the concrete is still in its plastic state (before hardening), it is full of water. Often, plastic shrinkage cracks are only a hairline in width and are barely visible.

Stefka Marso

Teacher

When should I start watering my concrete?

Be sure to start watering the concrete in the morning and keep watering throughout the hottest part of the day. Do not start watering during the hottest part of the day because it could shock the concrete into developing surface crazing (similar to a hot glass breaking when filled with cold water).

Nadjat Hensengerth

Teacher

Does rebar prevent cracking concrete?

Steel reinforcing bars and welded wire reinforcement will not prevent cracking. Reinforcement is basically dormant until the concrete cracks. After cracking, it becomes active and controls crack widths by restricting crack growth.

Todora GriƱan

Reviewer

Do you need to put rebar in concrete driveway?

Rebar can be required if the soils behave poorly, the slab is large and flatness/cracking are design issues… but that is a very unlikely scenario. Rebar is best utilized in a driveway for which 5-6 inches of concrete can be poured. This is because rebar is relatively thicker than galvanized mesh reinforcement.

Baptista Tozer

Reviewer

What is the best driveway crack filler?

The 10 Best Asphalt Crack Fillers
  • Rust-Oleum EpoxyShield. REVIEW.
  • Roklin Systems Inc. Flomix.
  • Sakrete Of North America Black Top Filler. REVIEW.
  • Gardner-Gibson 5. REVIEW.
  • Aquaphalt 6.0. REVIEW.
  • Dalton Enterprises Pli-Stix. REVIEW.
  • Road Rescue Patch. REVIEW.
  • Henry Company Elastomeric Emulsion. REVIEW.

Xana Gronerth

Reviewer

What is the best concrete crack repair product?

Best Fast Drying Crack Filler
  • Dap 37584 Liquid Cement Crack Filler.
  • PC-Concrete Two-Part Epoxy Adhesive Paste for Crack Repair.
  • Bluestar Flexible Concrete Crack Filler.
  • Dalton Latex-ite 35099 PLI-STIX Asphalt and Concrete Crack Filler.
  • Rust-Oleum EpoxyShield Concrete Patch and Repair.
  • EZR Hairline Crack Sealer.

Ahcene Matea

Reviewer

How much does it cost to redo a concrete driveway?

The national range for tearing and replacing a driveway is between $6,275 to $8,500. The average is $7,394 for a poured concrete driveway as per Angie's list members. The average cost is $3,500 to $7,000 which $3 to $10 per hour, roughly. The cost may be higher for long or curved driveways.

Salim Tellmann

Supporter

How much does it cost to seal a driveway?

Average Cost To Seal A Driveway
For a basic 480 square foot driveway, you can expect to pay $80 to $115 for sealing. For a larger 1,000 square foot driveway, contractors typically charge between $170 and $240 for sealcoating.