Why your Asphalt Driveway is Cracking

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Despite being an afterthought for most homeowners, the driveway is one of the first things that pop out to people. Asphalt is still among the most popular materials used to create a driveway – this is because it is a material that is known to be reasonably priced and durable when tested against the elements.

However, much like anything, it is a material that will creak and break over time. With that in mind, find out the most common reasons for asphalt cracking.

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Believe it or not, the sun can actually do a number on our asphalt driveways. This is because the sun physically heats up the material and can break down components in the mixture. Sunshine over long periods of time will dry out asphalt and cause it to creak and break apart.

And although the sun can cause the physical properties of the asphalt to break away – it’s the actions on the surface, like foot and vehicle traffic, that cause it to crumble and crack.


Water can really affect an asphalt driveway. It penetrates the surface by washing away the gravel and sand base of the asphalt, leading to cracking.

You can look for a special hot mix type of asphalt designed to withhold Mother Nature’s rigors.

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Ground Movement 

As the seasons change, the earth’s surface expands and contracts, and this greatly affects an asphalt driveway.

This ground movement puts pressure on our driveways, which leads to potholes and cracking. It’s fixable by patching up the damage.

Improper Installation 

A poorly constructed base during the installation of the driveway is a very common reason we have asphalt cracking issues. It is not unheard of for contractors to use cheap materials and cut corners.

The loose base collects moisture and the freeze-thaw cycle in northern climates puts extreme pressure on the driveway.

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Tree Roots

Tree roots growing below the earth’s surface can be a death sentence for an asphalt driveway.

Over time, the pressure increases and increases, which leads to cracks.

Excessive Weight

A number of factors come into play when attempting to determine the maximum amount of weight the driveway can handle before asphalt damage occurs.

This includes the material used, if the material was reinforced, the depth of the asphalt material, and the construction of the driveway’s base. Heavy trucks and machines can easily crack a driveway.

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This is especially concerning during long periods of heavy precipitation. And even if the material can withstand the weight, that doesn’t mean the ground below can. The foundation can shift, which will also lead to cracks and craters.

If you do keep heavy vehicles and machines on your driveway, it’s a good idea to move them around, and not keep them sitting in the same spot.

Asphalt Breaking? 

It’s no secret that your asphalt driveway is up against a number of threats. This is why it’s important to ensure you hire a trusted contractor to perform the work properly, so you can get as many years as you can out of your driveway, and really maximize your investment. For all of your paving needs – you can turn to VIP Paving.