If you’re noticing a bunch of deep, unsightly cracks in your driveway, you might be wondering why. There can be more than one reason for these imperfections in your pavement. It could be one central issue or a combination of many. Different types of cracks form for different reasons, but there are some more general reasons why your asphalt could be experiencing problems. To learn more about some reasons why your asphalt driveway is cracking, keep on reading.
One common cause of cracks is the improper installation of the driveway’s base or subbase. An unreliable contractor might even use dirt or sand substrates, which are prone to cracking. The best way to prevent this is to choose a dependable contractor. Once the driveway is installed, there’s nothing you can do short of a full replacement.
Winter can be hard on your driveway. Snow and ice will melt and seep into the asphalt and when the temperatures drop again, they’ll refreeze below the surface of your driveway. This can cause cracking, and lots of it. While it might be tempting, using rock salt will only make problems worse. It attracts water and lowers its freezing point, which can lead to additional cracking. You can use either calcium chloride or deicers mixed with sand as a replacement. Seal coating your driveway is another great way to protect it from the freezing winter weather. A seal coated driveway absorbs less water and salt, making it less likely to fracture.
Another reason your asphalt driveway is cracking could be because of overgrown tree roots. If you have trees, shrubbery, or other types of plants growing close to your driveway, their roots could expand underneath the earth and cause cracks. The easiest way to remedy this is to install a tree-root barrier along the sides of your driveway. Regularly trimming your existing plants can help control the extent of the damage, as can placing any new plants away from your driveway.
Asphalt is a durable material, but it’s far from indestructible. When it’s put under enough weight, the surface can start to fracture. The exact amount of weight your driveway can handle varies depending on the overall makeup of your driveway’s foundation or base. Generally, anything over a few tons is too heavy. To avoid cracking from heavy loads, you can try reducing the number of objects and vehicles on your driveway. Move your garbage cans, relocate your bikes, and park one of two of your vehicles in your garage or carport instead.
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