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Why Is My Concrete Driveway Cracking?



Concrete driveways are popular amongst homeowners across the country. Like everything else, however, they are subject to the damage that comes with time and exposure to the elements. Still, if you’re finding large cracks in your concrete driveway, you’re going to need to get that fixed sooner rather than later. If you want to avoid facing the same problem again before long, you need to address the reason behind it. So why might your concrete driveway be cracking?


Temperature Extremes


Utah is no stranger to temperature extremes. Blazing hot and freezing cold conditions come around every single year. While it may be refreshing for homeowners to experience the range of temperatures the seasons have to offer, such temperature extremes can cause your concrete driveway to crack. Heat causes concrete to expand, which results in cracking when it meets an inflexible surface. Freezing temperatures can also cause cracking by causing any water that has seeped into the concrete to freeze and expand, stressing the concrete and resulting in cracks.


Settling


It’s normal for some degree of settling to occur. If the settling creates space under the driveway, the concrete can crack under the weight of vehicles on it or even its own weight. Some settling may occur due to poor compacting during insulation, but that isn’t always the case. The removal of a tree or the decomposition of tree roots that were under the driveway can also result in settling.


Too Much Weight


Driveways are meant to be driven on, but that doesn't mean that there isn’t a weight limit. If you put vehicles that are oversized or extra heavy, you could find your driveway cracking well before it reaches the normal end of its life. Even if the concrete itself can hold up to the weight, such vehicles can cause the ground underneath the driveway to shift. That can also cause your driveway to crack. This is more likely to happen if it has rained heavily, since the ground will be softer and more likely to shift.

A concrete driveway should last anywhere from 25-30 years. How long it actually ends up lasting will depend on things like how well it was installed and the local climate and temperatures. If you notice that your concrete driveway is cracking, it’s worth considering why such a thing is happening. It may be possible for you to do something to fix the problem so that any repairs or replacement that you have done lasts longer.


Do you want to get a better idea of the overall condition of your home? BTS Home Inspections can help! Click here to schedule your inspection today!


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