cracked asphaltDriveway cracks are a common problem for homeowners. Repairing cracks and crevices is beneficial for several reasons, but how do you go about filling cracks and when is it best to opt for replacement over repairs? In this helpful article, we’ll discuss what causes driveway cracks and provide tips to help you repair minor damage. 

What causes driveway cracks?

There are several possible causes of cracks and pits in driveways. These include:

  • Faulty or weak foundations: one of the most common causes of driveway cracks is a weak or faulty base (gravel underneath asphalt). If you had your driveway laid by contractors who lacked experience or expertise, you may find that your driveway starts to show signs of wear much earlier than anticipated. Cracks can appear prematurely if the base was formed using sand, rather than stone. Sand doesn’t distribute evenly, nor is it as sturdy, which increases the risk of cracks. 
  • Changes in weather conditions: changing weather conditions can take their toll on your driveway. If you live in an area where the winters are harsh and very cold and the spring and summer months are temperate and warm, you may find that your driveway is more susceptible to cracking. Both concrete and asphalt can crack when conditions change and there are constant cycles of freezing and thawing. 
  • Winter Salt: using salt in the winter is beneficial for enhancing safety and reducing the risk of slipping and skidding, but it can weaken your driveway and exacerbate signs of wear and cracking. 
  • Heavy vehicles: every driveway has a limit in terms of the weight it can support. If you drive a heavy vehicle, you may find that your driveway starts to show signs of damage and wear. We recommend against parking commercial vehicles on your driveway, such as school buses, dump trucks and transport trucks.
  • Tree roots: trees enhance curb appeal, but they can cause havoc for homeowners if the roots encroach on the driveway. Tree roots increase the risk of cracking and buckling. 

What can I do to repair driveway cracks?

It is possible to attempt DIY driveway repairs if you have very small, new cracks. You can use a specialist driveway crack filler to fill gaps and create a smoother surface, which is stronger and more durable. 

If you have large, deep cracks, or there are several cracks appearing in your driveway, it is beneficial to seek professional advice. In some cases, where damage is severe, or the driveway was laid a long time ago, it may make financial sense to replace the surface, rather than carrying out running repairs. Our sales team can provide you with both options (Fixing versus Replacing) so you can make an informative decision. This can be a cost-effective option in the long term. Experts will be able to provide advice based on the severity of the cracks, the type of material and when the driveway was installed. 

Professional repairs are designed to improve strength and durability and increase the lifespan of the driveway. If experts decide that it is possible to restore and repair the surface, they will use specialist techniques to fill the cracks and create a more robust driveway. 

Why is it important to repair driveway cracks?

If you notice cracks in your driveway, you may be wondering whether or not you need to do anything about them. It may be tempting to leave small cracks, but it’s beneficial to repair cracks, even if they are shallow or small. 

Repairing driveway cracks is beneficial for these reasons:

  • Improving curb appeal: a smooth, smart driveway can improve curb appeal. You will be happier when you arrive home after a long day at work and see your home in all its glory and you can also improve salability if you choose to put the house on the market.
  • Adding value: external features like driveways can add value to your home. Repairing cracks will help to increase the value of your home, make the property more attractive to buyers and ensure that your home looks well looked after.
  • Reducing the risk of further damage: repairing minor cracks will reduce the risk of further damage. Even small cracks can cause problems, creating much larger and deeper cracks, which are more difficult and expensive to repair. 

Driveway cracks can impact curb appeal and increase the risk of more severe and extensive damage. It is possible to repair small, shallow cracks with driveway crack filler, but if you have several cracks, or the pits are deep or wide, it’s wise to seek expert advice. Repairing driveways can enhance functionality, aesthetics and durability. Call Black Tar today to have the professionals do it right for you.

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