Why Do Concrete Driveways Crack?

Concrete driveways are a common fixture in modern homes. Concrete is a preferred choice of material for driveways mainly because of its durability, which often surpasses the expectations of a homeowner.

That said, the emergence of cracks is one of the most common problems associated with concrete driveways. Understanding the factors that might cause the emergence of these cracks is necessary to mitigate the effects of these factors, thereby prolonging the life of your driveway.

Below is a discussion of some of these factors.


Overloading refers to a situation in which excess pressure is exerted on a concrete driveway. In the residential setup, this can happen of the concrete surface is exposed to traffic from heavy vehicles and huge dumpsters or skip bins.

Overloading is a common problem during the rainy season. This is because the rain makes the ground below the driveway soft and wet, thereby encouraging the concrete surface of the driveway to give in to the excess weight.

Intrusive Vegetation

It is common practice for homeowners to plant trees right next to the edge of their driveways. This is because vegetation increases the curb appeal of residential driveways.

However, it is important to point out that trees that have large roots known to spread far and wide could easily cause cracks on the driveway. This can happen if the invasive roots lift the concrete surface of the driveway out of position, thereby resulting in cracks.

To avoid such a scenario, you can choose to have flowers and shrubs planted at the edge of the driveway rather than planting trees. Shrubs and flowers rarely have invasive roots, and they could be the solution to avoiding unsightly cracks on your cherished driveway.

Thermal Expansion

Concrete is known to expand when exposed to heat and to contract when the heat subsides. Over time, the expansion and contraction cycles lead to the emergence of cracks on concrete driveways.

As a homeowner, you will have very little control over the expansion and contraction cycles referred to above. However, you can mitigate the effect of thermal expansion on your driveway by ensuring that expansion joints are incorporated into the structure of the driveway during installation or when undertaking repairs.

An expansion joint can be made out of rubber or asphalt. An expansion joint will allow for the expansion of concrete with minimal force and pressure, thereby reducing the likelihood that cracks will emerge on your driveway.

To learn more about concrete driveways, contact concrete specialists in your area.