Did an earthquake hit? Prevent driveway cracks from becoming gashes before winter hits

Jan 4, 2012, 6 a.m.

The development of driveway cracks is a common occurrence that plagues nearly all homeowners. Many people watch in horror as their smooth driveways slowly transform into cracked eyesores that are in need of significant work. Cracking is the natural by-product of ground settling, heavy loads, variable temperatures and invading root systems. It is difficult to protect your driveway from these crack-inducing issues, but there are things you can do every year to limit driveway damage. As winter approaches, take the time to get these quick fixes in place since the freezing and thawing that occurs during the colder months can exacerbate crack development.

To help slow driveway damage, there is a an easy solution that can be accomplished in minutes. Pajamas and slippers are even an acceptable dress code for the job! At your local home improvement store, you will find a variety of products designed to fill in existing cracks and limit spreading. The filler material will seal the crack so that water does not seep in and enlarge the current gap. The repaired area remains pliable and will move with the inevitable movement of your driveway.

The only way to completely repair driveway cracks is to replace the damaged section with new concrete. Unfortunately, when this is done it is nearly impossible to match the color of the old and new sections of driveway. By filling in small gaps each year, you will help prevent the formation of more noticeable driveway damage and will eliminate the need for larger, more costly repairs.

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