Driveway Cracks

I am looking for the correct wording to use and who to refer to on a large driveway crack. The driveway goes downhill to the garage and also slopes away from the garage which is on the right towards the top of the hill on the left that has a retaining wall that is 8’ high. The crack has followed the relief cut in the concrete but the bottom slab has slid away from the upper slab by over 1 1/4 inches. This home was built 6 years ago. The picture of the crack did not come out so this is why I have this view only. I see the cracking on the left of the picture but what I am talking about is the large crack on the right that runs up the driveway. I feel that if it took 6 years to come apart 1 1/4 what will it look like in another 6 years.

Hi Louis,

I guess in another 6 years that the driveway surface will have slid of to the rear right of the property, it appears that the ground does not offer enough bearing support for the drive and as water can now pour directly under the slab the rate of erosion will increase. This driveway needs an engineered repair to stabilize the ground.



The slab also may not have been properly prepared. Jerry is right, it will need an engineer to fix.

Your statement at the onset is pretty accurate but I would stick to only the facts as to what the conditions are on the day of the inspection and not speculate what could be there in 6 years. I would also go back and take some additional photos to detail out exactly what I am trying to get across to my customer. Nothing can tell the story like pictures and as the others have said, I would recommend calling in the professionals to assess the extent and solutions for the problem. There may be drainage issues at work here that will need to be addressed before any work is started. I personally do not get too much into events that have not happened yet but do the report with photos and let the customer draw their conclusions. Sometimes you can lay it all out for them but they either do not do anything because “they really just looooove the house” or they wait too long to do something. I do not want or let their problems become my problems. Im sure others will have a difference of opinion.

Very good point Doug. Commenting on future performance can open up future law suits.

Well said. I completly agree. Lots of pics and report on present conditions.

Good advice and thanks for the info.

It’s possible the driveway was built partly on original grade and partly on uncompacted (or organic) fill, and that may have led to the cracks as the uncompacted fill settles. It’s hard to tell without a good overview of the entire area. The cracks should be monitored for further movement. It may have cracked all it’s going to crack, and move all it’s going to move, or as has been said, maybe there are drainage issues which will continue or even accelerate the movement.

Also, if the driveway is concrete, without control joints or expansion joints, and possibly not even wire mesh, then cracks were inevitable. All concrete cracks…the trick is to build it in such a way that the cracks are limited to microscopic size. Such thinking may have been beyond the ability of the driveway constructor.