That Sinking Feeling Sunken Driveways can Be Expensive to Fix or Replace
If you have owned enough homes during your time, you at one point may have had to deal with sunken driveways. Driveway sinking occurs when the ground beneath your asphalt or concrete driveway starts to give way. This is usually caused by poor construction of the base of the driveway
One of the main main causes of sunken driveways is that nothing was used underneath the driveway to compact the soil. Asphalt driveways especially need to have a based of crushed gravel or concrete underneath to make sure the soil is compacted. When such fill is not used, it allows the ground underneath to be eroded over time.
Another cause of sunken driveways is that incorrect material is used to compact the soil. If the fill contains substances that can break down, such as wood chips, then driveway sinking is more likely to occur.
When attempting to remedy a sinking driveway, there are a couple of things you can do. If the sunken area is small, you can attempt to cut it out and replace it. This may not be a long-term fix, however, because if you have underlying issues that are causing the sunken area of your driveway, they are likely to show up in other places. The other solution is to completely tear out and replace the driveway, after correcting the underlying problems. This will solve your sunken driveway problem, but it is an expensive fix that will require a lot of work. The average one-car driveway is 8 to 9 feet long and the average two-car driveway is nearly twice that. Multiply that by how long your driveway is and that’s a lot of concrete or asphalt to replace.
When deciding whether to replace sunken driveways with asphalt or concrete, there are some things you need to consider. Concrete is more expensive, but a properly installed concrete driveway should last you a minimum of 25 years and as many as 50 years. On the other hand, asphalt is much cheaper and it is easier to install. Whatever material you use, you need to make sure that your driveway contractors properly prepare the area beneath your paving so you don’t wind up with another sinking driveway in a few years.