Why is My Concrete Driveway Cracking?
Reasons Why Concrete Cracks
Staring at your concrete driveway, sidewalk, or patio and thinking it would be so much better if only there were no cracks? You’re not alone. Cracks in the material are inevitable at least some of the time – this is a statement we often hear at Childers Leveling. We understand and have a solution for you.
What Is Causing The Cracks
But first: Why does it happen in the first place? The reasons are many and varied – water drainage issues, weather, professional error, and many other reasons! Let’s put an end once and for all to these pesky cracks that continue making their way onto our driveways every day (or night).
Common Reasons Why Your Sidewalk Is Cracking
Concrete cracks for various reasons, and it’s not always because there is a flaw in the concrete. Wherever you see cracking, concrete can be caused by too much tension or movement, leading to those pesky little cracks! Here are some other common reasons why your best friend’s favorite sidewalk might start breaking.
Damage From Objects
It’s a homeowner’s ultimate goal to keep your driveway in perfect condition. When sharp or edged items are used, such as a poorly handled shovel or tire studded for traction, hit an imperfection on the surface, they can cause dings which will eventually lead into cracks if left untreated long enough!
Settling Of The Concrete
The ground underneath your driveway is constantly shifting. If it’s not carefully monitored, the weight of passing cars and trucks causes shifts in the ground beneath the driveway. As the ground shifts to fill the void and settles onto the newly adjusted surface, cracks appear in the driveway.
Putting Too Much Weight On The Sidewalk
If you have an extra heavy vehicle(s), it is essential to be mindful of the weight that can cause cracks in your driveway. Even if a driveway surface has been specially reinforced for heavier traffic and withstands an additional load from these vehicles, there are always risks associated with them when driving on soft ground. Especially after rainy/wet conditions that make the ground softer.
The foundation of your driveway should be made up of tightly packed crushed stone or gravel, followed by an aggregate base; then, the surface is laid on top. If it doesn’t have sound footing (i.e., not enough material), cracks will appear in no time!
Freeze and Thawing
As snow and ice melt or heavy rainfalls, water seeps into your concrete paving stones, submerging them in an endless cycle of freeze/thaw cycles that can lead to cracks and detachment from their foundations.
Different Cracks Mean, Different Approach To Fix Or Repair
Concrete is exceptionally long-lasting yet inflexible and rigid, so even minor strain or movement might create fractures. You have a few different options to fix cracked concrete from the above situations. But first, you must know what type of crack you are dealing with.
Hairline cracks may seem harmless and even attractive. However, as they grow in size to be wider than a pencil line, it is time for you to have them repaired before more of your flawless masterpiece crumble down into pieces!
Structural cracks can be a severe safety hazard and lead to structural failure. Depending on its size, wide cracks should either be repaired or replaced with new material, so you don’t have any more problems down the line!
Settlement cracks are in the ground where your patio is located; if this is so, it’s time for some repair work. Ensure that all bases are compacted before installing new concrete and make any necessary repairs or replacements as soon as possible!
Shrinkage cracks are no fun, but they can be repaired if you catch them early enough. However, the best option is to have your contractor replace or cure the old dried-out materials so that no more problems occur in future projects.
Expect The Best And Get The Best
One of the best ways to avoid concrete cracking is hiring a reputable, thorough ground stabilization contractor who can access your unique situation and create a plan. Only then can it be determined to fix cracked concrete or repair it. If you are looking for one, do your homework!
Call Childers Leveling, don’t settle on a solution until you know the EXACT cause. Our 27-Point DEEP Analysis pinpoints the exact problem, so you have the info you NEED. Call Us at (800) 299-9563 or online and schedule your FREE 27 point analysis of your concrete driveway.