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The Home Depot

Why is my Driveway Cracking?

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Driveway > Why is my Driveway Cracking?
Why is my Driveway Cracking?

A badly cracked and damaged driveway can totally ruin the first impression visitors get when they approach your home. Cracks, crisscrossing lines and uneven pavement can make your home look run-down and shabby. Not only that, but they can make for a pretty bumpy ride.


Driveways have to take a lot of abuse. They are usually left to fend for themselves under the hot sun, wind and rains. They have to bear the brunt of foot traffic and heavy automobiles.


There are a lot of reasons why cracks happen. This guide will walk you through the three w’s of cracked driveways: water, weather and wear and tear.

  1. Driveways have to take a lot of abuse. They are usually left to fend for themselves under the hot sun, wind and rains.


    In the summer, high temperatures and strong summer thunderstorms can wear on a driveway. In the winter, snow, ice and freezing temperatures can do the same. Changing temperatures and weather patterns can cause concrete to expand and contract and that can cause cracks. Of course, your driveway should have expansion joints to help counteract this expand/contract cycle. Expansion joints are thin strips of material that run from side to side that help absorb the changes the material goes through.

  2. 2.Water

    Water plays a big part in the expanding/contracting. Water can settle into weak spots in your driveway and cause them to slowly begin to deteriorate. It can find tiny cracks and crevices and make them bigger over time. Water can weaken the support underneath your driveway, too. It can even wear away at the expansion joints in your driveway and cause them to become ineffective. If you can, try to make it so that water doesn’t just settle around your driveway, but rather, make it so that it can drain away. You may need to enlist the help of a civil engineer for this.

  4. 3.Wear and Tear

    Because your driveway is outside, it can fall victim to any number of things. Over time, lots of traffic from heavy automobiles can wear down on your driveway and cause problems. Plants like weeds and tree roots can force their way up through your driveway. Even animals could take their toll on your home’s driveway.


    These are just a few suggestions for when you are scratching your head over the cause of the cracks in your driveway. As for fixes, you have the option of tackling the job yourself or calling in a professional. That depends on how much you want to spend and how big the problem is. The average homeowner could probably patch up minor surface problems with no problem. Get a professional involved if the same issue keeps rearing it’s ugly head over and over. A professional has the heavy duty equipment needed to give your driveway a major facelift. They also have the knowledge to figure out what is causing the reoccurring issue and the best way to stop it.


    Figure out what’s best for you, and your driveway and you’ll be on easy street from then on!

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