When winter fades and spring begins, the ground becomes visible again and everything comes to life. It’s a beautiful transition, but it might also uncover an unsightly driveway that has been cracked and damaged by the cold temperatures, snow, and ice of winter. Let’s take a look at the threat cracks pose to your pavement and what to do about them!
What Causes Pavement Cracks?
There are plenty of reasons for cracks in your pavement:
- A poorly constructed base or improper installation
- Prolonged storage of heavy vehicles or other machinery
- Old age of the driveway
- Nearby trees with invasive roots
- Use of salt (which melts snow and ice very quickly, allowing it to seep into the pores of your pavement and refreeze, causing expansion)
What Makes Cracks Worse?
We mentioned above that using salt during the winter to remove snow and ice from your driveway can cause cracks, but it can also make existing cracks worse. Winter is a time when pavement is most susceptible to damage, because the thawed ice and snow that seeps into the existing cracks melts rapidly with the use of salt. The refreezing of water that has made its way into your pavement pores leaves you with deeper and wider cracks than before the cold season began.
When Should I Worry?
Cracks that are under ¼” wide are usually signs of normal driveway use and are not indicators of deep damage to your pavement. Cracks larger than ¼” wide or more than a couple inches deep indicate more serious issues. Smaller cracks can usually be fixed by patching, but larger cracks require more detailed repairs. Depending on where the problem lies (in your pavement’s base/subbase, in a specific side or corner of your driveway, etc.), your best solution may be to replace the driveway altogether.
Who Can I Call for Help?
1-855-GOT-PAVING is a Maryland paving contractor dedicated to providing our customers with exceptional paving services at an affordable price. We are a family owned and operated business serving Howard, Carrol, Baltimore, and Anne Arundel Counties. Whether you need repairing, patching, sealing, grading, or installation of new pavement for driveways, parking lots, or asphalt, we are here to assist you!
Contact our professionals to learn more about the services we offer, or to request a free estimate for your paving project today!