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Separation between driveway and garage

I have a separation between my concrete driveway and garage that has expanded where the previous expansion gap was previously. There are no cracks in the driveway but a home inspection cited it as a problem. Anyone have ideas on how to seal the crack without having to remove a big piece of the driveway.


Re: Separation between driveway and garage

Is the crack a straight line (like a seam that's opened up) or a jagged crack? How wide is the gap?

Re: Separation between driveway and garage

The gap is straight and is about 3'' wide. There are no ragged edges.

Re: Separation between driveway and garage

You certainly have a problem with movement. 3" gap will require an investigation to find out why it's happening. A mere band aid won't do.

How long did it take the driveway to detach 3" away from the garage? If it happened fast, contact a professional (reputable cement contractor or an engineer). If slow, do a repair.

Rather than filling in the 3" gap with new concrete, I'd:
- cut off a foot of the driveway, straight line widthwise, and break and remove the concrete.
- Inspect the soil. If OK, prepare it by compacting well.
- Then drill 5/8"x9" holes into the garage concrete, 24" o.c.
- Insert 18" #4 rebar in the holes and inject epoxy (available at masonry shops) to fill the holes.
- When dry, pour new concrete up to the garage concrete. These rebars will tie your driveway to the garage.

Re: Separation between driveway and garage

3" inches is a problem.. if it were 1/2" id let it go. the garage slab and the driveway are supposed to be treated as two seperate slabs as one is exterior and one interior.. they should be allowed to move independently via a control joint..

in your situation would cut a 2' section rather than 1' and see whats going on with hte soil. you may just need some compacted 3/4" fill in their to keep it from further shifting.. but dont rebar the two togehter

Re: Separation between driveway and garage

Thanks for the ideas, looks like this is going to be a job that requires a little more help!

Re: Separation between driveway and garage

If you do bring in a pro, please follow up and let us know what happened. I'm very interested in the cause of shifting that much.

I can only think it was built on a sloped grade and erosion is causing creep. Or maybe the slab does not have a proper foundation to lock it in place throughout freeze/thaw cycles or cold weather.

Re: Separation between driveway and garage

This is a good ethics case study . . . the issue came up during a home inspection so the OPer is either selling or buying a house.

My experience is limited to CA and Virginia, and the 2 states are almost opposite of each other on how something like this can be addressed.

The OPer learned something valuable -- if he is a buyer, he learned that it will be $ thousands to repair something that is obvious wrong, and he will have to decide how to price this in his offer.

If the OPer is a seller, he will try to hide it in plain sight. In California, he is on notice of a problem and is obligated to disclose it or his listing agent will attach the seller home inspection for potential buyers to read and hope buyers don't see the cost potential. In the hot market, I've seen a neighbor buy a house with a shot roof which the seller (a money grubbing real estate agent) listed with "as is" (which doesn't release the seller from disclosing problems under CA law; "as is" means the seller won't do any repairs, but this seller didn't disclose the roof leaks and the buyers were stuck, and the theoretical legal recourse was theoretical because my neighbors overpaid and didn't have the money to pusue the claim.)

In Virginia, it's caveat emptor -- buyer beware. In my 2011 experience, the home inspection mentioned a few things, but you have only a few days to negotiate with the seller over issues, and if one of you (your spouse or partner) wants the house or the seller is an a-hole or has another offer, you either walk away or take your chances. In my case, my wife wanted the house and the inspection was only luke warm about the issues, and we ended with about $10,000 of repairs without recourse. The inspector gives you 3 hours + 1 hour of report writing, and that's what I got for $695 in Virginia. The seller discosed zilch, and even put lipstick on a pig, like latex paint over oil paint, noisy HW heating system, worn parquet floors covered over by area rugs, overrun gutters, etc. We were fooled by the family antiques he had (the seller was from oil money). That's why "Holmes on Homes" is a phenomenal show and an inspector will catch only half of the issues.

The rest is up to you and the buyer or seller. But hope you are a wiser buyer or a seller with some ethics.

Re: Separation between driveway and garage

Ethics indeed!

You raise some interesting points, in our case I did not disclose the issue on our listing because we did not know it was a problem. I think on the other side of the coin is the consideration of sellers in today's market, this particular offer is the first we have had in over 9 months on the market, it was well below our asking price, and now the buyer is nit-picking things such as a new mailbox flag, completely new vinyl siding due to a couple of spots of hail damage, the list goes on. I as the homeowner am more than happy to take care of true issues with the home, such as the driveway problem, but it's a terrible situation to be in as I am unsure if another offer would come in if we turned this one away for being unreasonable.

Interesting dilemma indeed, I will post what happens with the driveway.

Re: Separation between driveway and garage

I hear you . . . 9 months, low ball offer and PITA buyer (they're all related). What to do ?

I don't walk in your shoes, so will leave things alone.

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