Top 10 causes of driveway damage in Wilmington DE 

Asphalt driveways are a common sight in most of the urban areas. They enhance the aesthetic appeal of the property and also connect different structures of a building. They are built strong as they have to constantly bear the burden of ever increasing vehicles and constant traffic. Sometimes maintaining these pavements becomes a daunting task. They might sooner or later develop fissures or potholes. The smooth ride on the pavements can become a nightmare for the tyres of the vehicles and backs of the riders. There are multiple reasons which might lead to this condition of the pavements. Let us know the top 10 causes of driveway damages.

What are the top ten causes of driveway damages?

Improper Installation

Concrete driveways have a major threat of cracks if they are not installed in a proper manner. Many parameters are involved when it comes to the process of installation. It could be usage of poor or substandard quality of materials or improper sealing of the base or foundation. They weaken the concrete and are one of the common causes of driveway damage. The driveway may develop cracks because of that. It could also be that the contractors have mixed too much water with the cement. As it is easy to install if water is added to the concrete, but at the same time if its proportion exceeds the required level, then it can cause shrinkage of the concrete. Therefore proper installation of the driveways by a trusted and known professional company like White’s custom paving is essential.


Water is considered as one of the main causes of driveway damages. When water flows down the driveway, it can enter the paved surface and complicate the sand and gravel base concentrate beneath it. Thus it can cause the surface layer of the driveway to become weak and crack over time. Therefore, places that get regular and medium to heavy rainfall like Wilmington DE, are likely to suffer from driveway damages.


We just discussed above how water is harmful for the driveway. Frozen water or ice has the same effect when it melts and seeps in the pavements. The impact of water damage is severe if  it first enters the pavements and then it freezes. It is bound to expand and develop cracks damaging the driveways overtime.

Climatic Conditions

Climatic conditions could be one of the various causes of driveway damages as driveways are directly in touch with the elements. They are affected by all kinds of climatic conditions: extreme temperatures, excess moisture, hailstorm and even tornadoes which appear in some parts of the country.

When water enters the driveway’s surface, it can tear down the seal, thus allowing the moisture to seep into the concrete. This  can cause severe damage to the layers from inside. Even sunrays can tear down the driveways which haven't been maintained regularly. The harmful UV rays can destroy the components in the concrete, resulting in hairline fractures and minor cracks. One can minimize the damage caused by climatic conditions by regular maintenance and applying a good quality sealer to the driveway. This extra layer of protection acts as a safeguard against the elements maintaining its structural integrity. For a good and long life one should reseal their driveway every two years.


Next comes salt, you heard it right! Salt can damage driveways. And that is because many are habitual of using salt on the driveways to reduce the formation of ice. It does help to prevent ice formation but it also has a negative impact as it increases the number of thaw and freeze cycles. Every single time when ice thaws, it has the potential to distort deeper into small cracks, and whenever it would freeze it would expand and thus it would cause more damage to the driveway. Hence one should avoid using rock salt on the driveway whenever possible.

Heavy Objects

Usually driveways are built in such a way that they can handle large amounts of pressure, but still there is a limit for everything. Hence huge and very heavyweight objects which exceed 10,000 pounds may cause breaks and cracks in asphalt. Therefore one should be careful while driving excessively heavy loaded vehicles such as delivery trucks, tankers, cranes etc onto the driveways.

Sharp Objects

Sharp or pointed objects, such as snow shovels could also be a major cause of driveway damage. These pointed objects can penetrate the asphalt driveway especially at the repaired patches and tear off its protective coatings. That's why, one should be very cautious and use safer techniques while exposing sharp objects to the driveway. 

Movement of Soil

As we all know earth constantly moves. Creeping of soil is slow and a long-term movement. Because of that one  might not be able to notice any changes but changes do happen naturally and slowly. These gradual movements can surely affect the concrete by making it uneven and prone to cracks. If damages are caused by erosion then it is more likely to occur on driveways with a slight incline since the slope will get affected by gravity. Though one can't stop earth from moving, one can surely try and ensure to make or create a stable patching on the driveways. Only thing one can ensure is there is no swelling in the soils, otherwise, a driveway has a higher chance of cracking or heaving in the center.

Growth of tree roots

Many nature lovers like to grow towering trees in their front yard for privacy and get natural greenery and a cool environment. But while doing so one has to keep in mind that the location of those trees can affect the driveway very badly. Big trees would naturally have big creeping roots that can run from the front lawn up to the driveway. As a natural process when the roots expand underneath the ground, they push the foundation upward as they continue to grow. This would naturally crack the concrete. To avoid this one should plant trees away from the driveways. 

Studded tires

Snow tires or winter tires have larger gaps in the tread design that the conventional tires. And small metal protrusions are inserted into those winter tires they are called studded tires. They improve the tire road friction but are detrimental for the pavements. These studs or sharp spikes repeatedly bruise and penetrate the concrete dislocating the small pieces of the pavement surface. Gradually, this results in pavement rutting. Asphalt driveways can be damaged and also  concrete lanes can be punctured by these studded tires especially if they are not are not maintained in good condition. These pose a severe threat to the pavements especially at locations that receive regular and heavy snowfall like Wilmington DE. 


Most of these causes for the driveway damage are natural and unavoidable. But there are a few which can be avoided with little effort or collaborating with a professional asphalt paving company like White’s Custom Paving.  


White's Custom Paving is an insured, licensed and asphalt paving company serving the greater Wilmington, DE area. Our main motto is to professionally and consistently meet all our client's parking lot and driveway requirements. Apart from paving new driveways we also provide different qualitative services at a satisfactory pricing like patch paving, chip sealing, milling, crack filing, seal coating, striping and concrete work. Some places where our services are required are: parking lots, driveways, tennis courts, parks, athletic fields, apartment complexes and shopping centers. These services help to maintain the properties of our clients and also meet ADA compliance. So, contact White’s Custom Paving today to minimize the damage of your driveways and build a stronger connection to the future. 


Driveways are prone to regular wear and tear. But if it happens frequently, driving becomes a nightmare for the residents. Therefore, one must be aware of the reasons for such damage. This article explained the top ten causes of driveway damage in Wilmington DE. They are:

  1. Improper Installation
  2. Water
  3. Ice
  4. Climatic Conditions
  5. Rock Salt
  6. Heavy Objects
  7. Sharp Objects
  8. Movement of Soil
  9. Growth of tree roots
  10. Studded tires

Being aware of these causes can definitely help to make an informed decision when it comes to driveway maintenance. It is also important to seek guidance and services of a local professional paving company like White’s Custom Paving. We provide top quality services at a fair price. So next time if you have any asphalt driveway work, think no more, simply get in touch with us!

Frequently asked questions

What is asphalt driveway repair? 

There are usually two primary asphalt patching techniques, one is remove and replace, and other one is surface patching. Remove and replace is done by first cutting out the damaged area, cleaning it, and filling it with a new asphalt mix. This is often a permanent repair method. Surface patching is usually covering only the damaged patch of the driveway.

Why is asphalt driveway repair considered a good option? 

Asphalt driveway repair is considered as one of the most durable options as this material can withstand heavy traffic and extreme climatic conditions. Additionally,  it is also low maintenance and requires only periodic sealing to keep it going and looking at its best. 

What are general causes of driveway damage? 

If water is in excess quantity then it can wash away the soil supporting your concrete. At the same time if water is too little then it can cause the soil to shrink. And when water freezes and thaws again and again, it can cause the surface of your concrete driveway to crack, pit or crumble.

How to protect the driveways? 

To protect the driveways, sealing of concrete should be done at least once in two years. Asphalt driveway repairs should be done every few years to prevent water from penetrating, freezing and cracking. Tree and shrub roots can also cause cracks by pushing up from underneath. Thus one solution is to avoid driveways near trees or else remove trees near drives or have their roots trimmed regularly. 

What could weaken the asphalt?

There are several things that can cause damage to the asphalt, including its location, water conditions, expansion and contraction from seasonal temperature and weather changes, sun exposure and pressure and stress due to heavy loaded vehicles. Hence it's very essential to keep up with regular maintenance so as to recognize the problems and address them early for a smooth run in future.

What material is best for a driveway?

Concrete is considered as one of the low-maintenance materials for a driveway. Yet, there isn't really such a thing as a high-maintenance driveway material, as mostly all driveways require the same level of upkeep, care and periodic maintenance which is not that expensive and easily affordable for all, but for more durability and safety Asphalt driveway repair is a smarter choice. 



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