Having a home means keeping up with certain maintenance tasks. Driveways tend to be fairly resilient, though, especially if they were recently installed. However, if you're noticing that there are cracks developing in your driveway, whether it's a recent installation or not, this is surely a problem. If you're not sure what to do, then here are three of the most likely causes of your driveway cracks and what you can do about it.
One of the most common causes of cracks in both concrete and asphalt driveways is temperature changes. As moisture seeps under the ground beneath the driveway and into any fine cracks that have developed, it's possible for that moisture to cause cracks when it slips below freezing temperatures. Frozen water swells, which puts strain on the stiff nature of the driveway. Over time, this can lead to cracks developing, and as more of them appear, it becomes easier for moisture to slip in. In essence, once cracks develop in areas where the temperatures drop significantly in the winter, then the problem is only going to get worse.
Another possibility is that trees on or near your property may be causing a problem. Trees often develop roots that are just as sizable as the tree branches at the top. This can lead to roots growing across the entire underground portion of your yard, and when they encounter something stiff like asphalt, they can cause cracks to develop. If left untreated, the roots can get thicker and longer, causing significant breaks in the asphalt.
Finally, it's possible that the ground moving beneath your feet is to blame. In areas that are frequently hit by earthquakes — even the tiny ones that you can't physically feel — asphalt and concrete can start to get pulled apart. If this is the culprit, you may notice other issues around your home of a similar nature, like fine cracks in your foundation or cracks on the walls of your home.
At the end of the day, all three of these issues can be resolved by calling a paving contractor in your area and having your driveway either repaired or reinstalled, depending on the level of damage. With a good sealant job and any necessary touch-ups in the case of fine cracks appearing in the future, you can ensure that your driveway lasts for years and years to come.