What Should I do About Driveway Cracks?

What Should I do About Driveway Cracks Grand Rapids Asphalt Paving

Cracks in your driveway may not seem like a big deal at first. But they can widen and deepen, allowing water to seep into the foundation. Once this happens, you risk permanent damage to the base layer of your driveway.

Our advice is to repair driveway cracks as soon as possible while they're still shallow. Depending on how much time you have on your hands, you can try filling small cracks by yourself. Although, you'll need to call a contractor for anything wider than an inch.

Here's what else you should know about driveway cracks.

Why Repair Driveway Cracks?

On the surface, driveway cracks may only look like an aesthetic problem. But the truth is that there's more going on under the surface.

Driveway cracks will only worsen over time if left to their own devices. They also create a pathway for water to penetrate the driveway's foundation.

Water expands as it freezes. For this reason, any trapped water will push up against the surface of your driveway. This can expand and widen any existing cracks and even create new ones. Trapped water will also erode the structure underneath your driveway.

Related: Why Asphalt Driveways Pothole in the Winter →

Cracks Under One Inch Wide

You may be able to fill a driveway crack yourself if it's less than one inch wide. If you feel confident in your DIY abilities, you can buy a tube of asphalt patch product from your local home improvement store.

Below, you'll find our general instructions for filling a driveway crack.

How to Fill Small Driveway Cracks

  1. Clean the driveway crack of dirt or any vegetation. You can use a screwdriver, trowel, or similar tool to complete this step.
  2. Wash the pavement crack with either a garden hose or power hose.
  3. Let the crack dry.
  4. Cut the top of the tube’s spout so that its width is smaller than the crack you want to fill.
  5. Fill the crack so that it’s level with the surrounding asphalt.
  6. Smooth out the asphalt patch product.
  7. Allow treatment to dry for 24 hours.
  8. Apply a second coat of the asphalt patch product if necessary.

Keep in mind that these are generic instructions. Be sure to always follow whatever instructions are on the packaging of the product you buy.

Alligator Cracks

Imagine what the scaly hide of an alligator looks like. Then compare that texture to your asphalt driveway.

Do you notice any similarities?

If so, you may have what's called "alligator cracking" in your driveway. This distinctive cracking pattern is a sign that the driveway's foundation is failing.

Premature foundation damage can happen due to water infiltration through cracks and potholes. But it can also happen when a heavy load sits on the driveway for an extended period of time. This compresses and weakens the asphalt pavement.

Cracks Over 1 Inch Wide

Hire an asphalt contractor to fill any cracks that exceed an inch wide. They'll have the proper equipment and a trained crew to handle your repairs.

The sooner you fill deep driveway cracks, the better. Filling cracks will help prolong the life of your pavement. It'll also help you avoid premature driveway replacement.

Request a Free Estimate From A-1 Asphalt

A-1 Asphalt is a reputable driveway contractor serving Greater Grand Rapids. To request a free estimate for driveway repairs, please call A-1 Asphalt at (800) 871-4401. You may also fill out our online contact form and someone from our team will reach out to you soon.

This blog post has been updated.