How To Fix A Sinking Driveway
If you have recently – and rather unhappily, we might add – discovered that your driveway is quite literally sinking into your yard and pulling away from your garage or home, the odds are pretty good that you aren’t happy and are looking for solutions to stop this sinking before things get any worse.
Thankfully, figuring out how to fix a sinking driveway is a lot more simple and straightforward than most people make it out to be. On top of that (outside of some pretty crazy and rare circumstances), figuring out why your driveway is sinking and preventing it from happening ever again in the future is pretty easy, too.
Let’s dive right in!
Why is my driveway sinking?
99 times out of 100, your driveway is going to be sinking into the ground simply because the underlying bed of crushed stone or compacted soil is eroding away from underneath your asphalt driveway – and there’s nowhere for your driveway to go but down!
This is because of a variety of different issues, but all of them have to do with water running underneath your driveway and literally redirecting the stone or compacted soil that your driveway was built top of. Maybe your gutters and downspouts are draining into your driveway and causing flooding every time it rains, or maybe drainage just wasn’t configured correctly before your driveway was poured.
Regardless of the reason, you’ll need to start fixing that ASAP.
But my driveway is brand-new!
If your driveway is brand-new (or even relatively new, like within the past three years or so) and it has started to sink the odds are good that the installation was wrong or you’re dealing with a much more serious problem like a sinkhole located underneath your driveway.
In these circumstances, you’ll want to reach out to professionals rather than try to fix your driveway all on your own. You’ll want to have your driveway inspected, you’ll want to have the original builders come back and fix everything (most driveways are done under warranty), and if you’re dealing with a sinkhole legitimate sinkhole professionals will be able to tell you how you can best proceed.
Start redirecting water
Should you decide to tackle fixing your sinking driveway all on your own, the first thing that you’ll need to do is begin to start redirecting water which is likely causing the issue to begin with.
Most often this involves inspecting your gutters and your downspouts, making sure that they aren’t pushing water out over your driveway, and reconfiguring or realigning them so that water is moved elsewhere rather than underneath your driveway.
You may also have to start digging drainage next to your driveway (on both sides) and strategically located the drainage fiddle that you put in there to make sure that water is pulled away from your driveway while obstructions are put in place to keep your gravel or compacted soil in place so that the driveway stops sinking.
Consider hiring a soil engineer
Even if you decide to do the bulk of the heavy lifting when it comes to fixing a sinking driveway all on your own, it can’t hurt to hire a soil engineer to come out and tell you more about the soil that you are working with – even if they only provide you with inside information about stabilizing the soil so that you don’t have to worry about your driveway sinking ever again.
These kinds of experts will come out in drill strategically into the earth in and around your driveway, and then they will tell you about the soil composition, how to best go about configuring your driveway in the future, and what you can do personally to prevent sinking from ever happening again.
It’s definitely money well invested, especially if you’re going to do the repairs all on your own.
Add a layer of asphalt on top of your driveway
Rather than completely without can destroy all of the work that has already been done on your driveway (work that you have likely spent a considerable amount of money on already), you’re going to want to start off by simply adding another layer of asphalt on top of your driveway to bring things back up to grade.
This is the fastest and easiest way to level off your driveway that has sunken down, and it’s also one of the least expensive ways to fix your driveway, too. The work isn’t all that challenging – though it can be physically – and you want to make sure that you so that the asphalt doesn’t have a chance to set up after it has been heated.
Really do your best to level the driveway as much as you are able to, remembering to leave a bit of a “hump” right down the middle of your driveway so that everything slopes to both sides. This slope should divert water directly into the drainage system that you have installed or reconfigured, preventing your driveway from ever sinking again in the future.
At the end of day, it’s a lot easier to fix a sinking driveway than many people make it out to be. Take advantage of all the tips and tricks (not to mention the inside information) we have been able to share with you above and you shouldn’t have much, if anything, to worry about going forward. If you ever find yourself in over your head don’t be shy about calling in the professionals!About Fergus @MatsGrids
Mats Grids are suppliers of Ground reinforcement systems, grass reinforcement and protection mesh for domestic and commercial landscaping projects. Our business mission is to become the UK’s leading supplier of groundworks, civils and landscaping products. Over the last few years, our company has grown to become one of the UK’s most reputable suppliers to these sectors and today we supply our range of products to thousands of businesses and end users within the UK and overseas.