Everyone notices cracks in their driveway. Anthill mounds pop up and weeds sprout out of the crevices. Most driveway cracks are small and considered non-structural, and lessen curb appeal. But cracks with wider openings and heaved edges can be trip hazards and should be repaired.
Driveways and walkways can crack for several reasons:
- Tree roots can push up under a driveway and cause heaving, but they can also cause cracking and a downward movement of the slab from excessive moisture. Some tree roots displace soil from the area.
- Soil erosion is the slow washing away of soil rainwater flow.
- Excessive weight placed on a driveway slab, especially at outside corners, will cause settlement and cracking. For example, a septic pumping truck with one set of wheels on the slab and the other set on the ground.
- Sinkholes, while rare, do occur in the Osceola County area. Not all sinkholes are as dramatic as the ones in the news that swallow up a house overnight – most start out as a small depression in the soil that grows over time until a collapse occurs.
- Poor site preparation can cause driveway cracking in the first couple of years after construction, typically due to inadequate soil compaction before placing the concrete. (It’s typical for a concrete slab to shrink slightly during the curing process in the first couple of months after it is placed, and most driveways and walkways are scored to encourage the hairline shrinkage cracks to happen in the notched lines, where they are less noticeable.)
There are many products designed for home owners to repair small driveway cracks – from special caulks to hydraulic cement – but sometimes the cracks become more of an eyesore after filling them if the work is sloppy or the surface appearance of the fill material is significantly different than the surrounding concrete.
Larger cracks that are trip hazards can be ground down even with the lower side of the crack by a concrete service. We consider an abrupt change in the surface of more than a half-inch to be a trip hazard. Driveways that have severe cracking will need the damaged area cut out and replaced.
BUY YOUR SIDE believes that regular maintenance of your property helps retains it’s value and your enjoyment of it!