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Cracks in driveway

We had our concrete driveway replaced last year as the original had not been done properly and it ended up settling (as did the connecting walkway) to about 5 inches below the garage floor. The new driveway is less than one year old and while cleaning it, I noticed it has hairline cracks in it already. Is this normal? We live in an area where we DO get very cold some winters, and this past winter was one of them. Would this be the cause? Is there anything we (or the contractor) could/should do? Thanks!

Re: Cracks in driveway

Hairline cracks in concrete is pretty normal. It happens over time and could start within the first year of a newly poured slab. I wouldn't worry about them unless they get to about 1/8" or greater.

If they get that big, I'd get some concrete filler to patch it. Get something that will dry but stay flexible so the expansion and contraction with weather, won't make things worse.

Regarding the sinking, the dirt below the slab wasn't compacted well enough and you're seeing what happens when that occurs. I had a neighbor who had to remove her whole garage floor because the dirt had settled over 15 years and there was a big void under the slab. You probably have the same condition happening.

Good Luck.

Re: Cracks in driveway

I have worked in the concrete business for a few years, and the most common problem we found was cracked concrete. I wrote an article that you may find interesting about concrete (Why Concrete Cracks). You can patch the cracks as suggested, but then you will have a patchy look, but you can also patch, then cover with an overlay if you do not like the patchy look.

There are several products that you or a contractor can use for overlay, depending on how much you want to spend on covering the area. The overlay will make it look like new, fill the cracks, and you can even change the surface of the concrete to look like flagstone or brick, if so desired.

The article I wrote is found at http://www.novapros.com/blog as it is too long to post here.


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