Does your driveway appear to be sinking or uneven? The truth is, it’s more common than you realize and can be caused by a variety of different issues. In this guide, we describe the potential causes of a sunken driveway and also address ways to repair the damage.
A sinking driveway could be due to a number of reasons:
- Poor foundations or ground preparation: A surface is only as good as the base it is laid on. Should the foundations or sub base be poorly laid, not compacted properly, have inadequate drainage or groundwork or generally weak, this may already be setting your driveway up for future problems.
- Water leaks: Water is an enemy of driveways, which is why it’s important to watch out for surface cracks, leaking pipes or garage downspouts. These weaknesses may cause water to pool on and under the surface, causing the soil or sub base to weaken and sink.
- Environmental factors: Nature may have a hand in driveway subsidence. Your home could be located on a unstable ground, such as marshland or an area experiencing volcanic or seismic activity, or an area experiencing altering water tables or gradual root growth.
- New developments: If your home is located on a newly development area, a sinking driveway may simply be because the land has not had time to settle and establish itself, or perhaps because inappropriate or inadequate materials may have been been used.
When a driveway sinks, the surface depressions may experiences water pooling, further leading to structural damage, icy patches forming, algal growth or cracks – this will decrease the functionality of the driveway, and possibly reduce the asking price of your property.
Fixing your sinking driveway
Before you commence repair work, first identify what’s causing the trouble and if there is any way of bypassing the same issues in the future. For example, if water leakage is the culprit, seek out the water entry point or weakness and correct it.
The four main approaches to fixing your sinking driveway are:
- Relay the paving or asphalt: The primary option will be too relay the paving stones or asphalt – depending on the extent of the problem, you may only need to do this on the afflicted sections or possibly the whole driveway. Though, if the issue has been identified as a base level problem, it could be in your best interests to relay the whole surface. Depending on how well you are able to extricate the sunken paving blocks, you may require new blocks as replacement.
- Level the area: Attempting to re-level the surface with an aggregate such as grit or sand could also be an option – however, it may spoil the aesthetic of your chosen surfacing material. Alternatively you can place another layer on top, such as paving stones – make sure you lay the adequate groundwork first.
- Call in the professionals: If DIY just isn’t for you, simply call a reliable specialist to ensure you receive the quality and appearance you’re seeking. A professional company will use your chosen materials to repair or relay your driveway, restoring it to full health and performance.