What Causes Driveway To Sink

What Causes Driveway To Sink
  • Author: Amanda Arnold
  • Posted On: September 10, 2022
  • Updated On: August 21, 2023

You probably put in a lot of effort and money to get your new driveway installed. Once completed, it was not only extremely functional and practical, but it also had a wonderful appearance. Erosion is one of the most frequent reasons for a sunken driveway. Erosion is the act of being eroded by water or other natural forces.

In this article, we’ll concentrate on sinking and go over the most typical building blunders that lead to concrete settlement. We’ll also offer some advice on how to lessen the likelihood that your new or existing concrete may sink as well as how to quickly fix sunken concrete without replacing it entirely.

What Are The Reasons For Sinking Driveway?

It is either because of poor construction or water infiltration when a concrete slab sinks or settles noticeably over time. In the same way that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, the foundation upon which concrete is formed also determines its quality.

Therefore, it is likely that concrete placed over a subpar basis will eventually begin to sink. A basis that was not properly compacted or that was made of incorrect materials, such as loose aggregates or soft soil, is said to have a poor base.

Around the edge of your foundation is a typical location where sunken concrete is seen. As correct backfilling takes time and the home builder wants to finish the building and sell it as soon as possible, sinking driveways or concrete are a very prevalent problem in newly constructed homes.

Additionally, the impacts may not become apparent for years, by which time the home builder may have passed away and the guarantee may have run out.

Water Intrusion Can Really Damage Your Driveway

The entry of water is another factor in concrete sinking. The soil or stone base will eventually deteriorate or be washed away by water that is constantly seeping beneath the slab.

Clay-rich soils will exacerbate the impacts of water infiltration and settling because the clay expands and contracts as a result of freezing and heating up in response to temperature changes, leaving voids behind.

Where water is being discharged directly along the edge of a slab by downspouts is a common location where water intrusion occurs. Concrete can also sink as a result of a poorly graded yard, where water collects instead of flowing away to a designated spot like a storm drain or an open permeable area as intended.

Ways To Fix Sinking Driveways

Relay Your Concrete

Relaying your paving area entails a time-consuming operation that starts with outlining the area before removing the joint sand between the blocks. You can now complete the task at hand since the buried blocks become loose and the rest of the blocks follow suit.

Grit sand can be used as a leveling agent in addition to other options. Again, the process isn’t exactly as simple as you might first think. The grit sand might readily become shifted over time, necessitating repeated attention to the issue.

Hire Professionals

If all other options are exhausted, it is worthwhile to pick up the phone and contact the questioned organization. The vast majority of tradespeople take great delight in providing their clients with top-notch standards of service.

Unfortunately, there are occasionally a few crooks looking to make a quick buck that cut corners to save money, endangering your property in the process. If they have a conscience, they would recognize their errors and take every precaution to make things right by repaving the sunken areas at no additional cost to you.

Making their terrible standards of service known will be worthwhile if they keep allowing the phone to ring nonstop. Hopefully, they’ll realize their blunder and take every possible measure to make it up to you by providing you with the premium driveway you deserve.

Install Downspouts Appropriately

Your driveway may experience additional erosion issues if your downspouts and gutters are installed incorrectly. Poor yard drainage is comparable. You can assist stop this from happening by taking care of your gutters, downspouts, and yard.

The concrete may eventually sink as a result of heavy cars. Large cars should be parked there if you have any other options.

Re-Seal The Driveway

The life of the concrete may be extended by sealing your driveway, which is a useful maintenance measure. Sealing, however, will not stop concrete from sinking. Make sure the gravel base is compacted when installing new concrete.

Stomping your feet on the base shouldn’t cause it to budge. Additionally, install all downspouts that are near any slabs, such as a walkway, below the concrete and extend into the yard.

Is It Possible To Repair A Sinking Driveway?

If your driveway is just a simple gravel one, you may simply top off the stones every few years to keep the necessary level. The task of fixing a sunken driveway is typically significantly more challenging. If it is found that the sub-base is the problem, starting over will be the only solution.

To ensure the highest likelihood that the same problem won’t arise again, it is necessary to remove the old driveway surface and base and replace them with a layer of compacted earth.


It should never be necessary to make repairs to a freshly installed driveway, which is why picking a contractor that is familiar with driveways is crucial. In rare circumstances, a resin-bound driveway material can be utilized for repairs, but most of the time, a new driveway is laid and works best.

Consult a professional as soon as you see any cracks or unevenness in your driveway or walkway. Your driveway will only get more expensive to repair if you wait until it has sustained substantial damage. You can rely on Stratum Structural Systems for all of your waterproofing and foundation repair needs.

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Author: Amanda Arnold

Amanda has been working with ConstructionHow since 2021. Her experience spans over 5 years in the creative niche such as home decor and trends, landscaping, renovations, and custom architectural values. As a home designer expert, she has a keen eye for the latest home improvement trends with accurate facts that readers find impossible to ignore. Being invested in home-building trends is how she has gained her lucrative expertise exploring more to bring a positive ambiance for all homeowners (and even tenants!). Currently, she lives in a beautiful beach home, a source of fascination for her.