Driveways are usually made from robust materials, like concrete, flagstone or asphalt. However, even durable materials such as these can deteriorate in certain circumstances. Here are two things that could potentially damage your driveway.
A tree-lined street or path can look beautiful, which is why many homeowners choose to plant them along the edges of their driveways. However, whilst the aesthetic benefits of this are undeniable, trees can inflict major damage on driveways as they mature and expand in size.
This is because a tree's roots naturally grow outwards as they seek out water in the surrounding soil. If they are located next to a driveway, they can end up extending into the earth directly underneath it. When this happens, the pressure of the roots pushing up against the driveway can result in large bulges and cracks appearing on its surface.
If you find yourself needing to hire a contractor to repair this type of damage, it would be wise to ask them to install root barriers, after they have performed the necessary driveway repairs and cut back the roots; these barriers will block roots from causing the same kind of damage in the future. Whilst their installation can be somewhat complex, it could spare you the hassle and cost of further repair work later down the line.
Rainwater converting to ice
Some driveway materials are porous. This means that any rainwater that falls onto them can seep into their tiny openings. If this happens during periods of mild or warm weather, no damage will occur; the water will simply evaporate over the course of a few hours.
However, if water enters a porous driveway during a cold spell and ends up freezing whilst it is still inside the driveway material, it will cause cracks. This is because, as water converts to ice, it expands and hardens. This growth and solidification can place a lot of pressure on the driveway material, sometimes to the point where it splits and develops cracks.
This problem usually arises if a driveway hasn't been resealed in a long time; the sealing agents that paving contractors use can make naturally-porous materials, like concrete, impermeable to water.
If your driveway develops damage of this kind and your contractor suspects that it is the result of the old sealant having worn off, it's important to ask them to add a fresh coat of sealant after they have filled in the cracks. For more information on driveway repairs, contact a professional.