As a property owner, you can probably imagine how stressful it is to see the beginnings of a sinkhole forming on your asphalt driveway, particularly if you just had it installed within the last three years. Pavement repair in Vaughan can vary in price depending on the type and extent of the damage that needs to be fixed. While sinkholes aren’t particularly expensive to repair, they’re usually a big signifier of a potential underlying structural issue. Namely, a sinkhole formation that takes place only a short while after your asphalt driveway has been installed is generally connected to very low quality and often lazy workmanship.
If you notice that either a small or large portion of your asphalt driveway is sinking, then it may be time to call in expert contractors to investigate and repair the issue at its core.
Asphalt Driveway Sinking
Asphalt driveway sinking can occur to varying degrees and for many different reasons. Initially, the problem will be isolated to a specific part of your driveway. However, if it’s neglected for too long, routine wear and tear can cause it to get worse and spread until your entire driveway becomes a liability. A professional pavement maintenance contractor in Vaughan is your best bet in guaranteeing the structural integrity, high quality, and longevity of your asphalt driveway.
Causes of Asphalt Driveway Sinking
When it comes to the formation of minute or massive sinkholes in your asphalt driveway, the usual suspects typically include poor initial installation, severe internal water damage, as well as cracks and potholes that have been left alone for too long.
Some building contractors can be careless and somewhat economical while installing brand new asphalt driveways. Rather than taking their time and doing things the right way, they tend to rush the job and use low-cost or completely free materials just so they can get the job done faster and move on to the next one. The correct way to install an asphalt driveway is to put in a solid stone foundation and then compact it to make sure it’s secured in place and that it’ll stay that way no matter how much pressure is applied to the structure. Instead, some contractors might use tree stumps as the base and then add a light coat of compaction on top of that. The problem with this method is that the tree stumps will eventually begin to rot or die and this will weaken the overall structural integrity of your asphalt parking lot.
Cracks and potholes also present a whole slew of problems because the longer they’re left in disrepair, an increasing amount of water and debris can seep through the surface of your asphalt and cause internal damage.
Water that penetrates the surface of your asphalt driveway can cause the internal aggregate to expand and contract in varying temperatures, which will eventually lead to internal cracking. In some cases, these damages can take many years to build up and manifest themselves aboveground. This means you might not even be aware of them until a sinkhole begins to form.
Sometimes, unknown geological instabilities, features, or structures in conjunction with inclement weather patterns or animal burrows can also cause sinkhole formations in your asphalt driveway.
Additionally, prominent soil erosion and drainage problems can also damage the internal structure of your asphalt driveway and cause it to become unstable. If your water drainage system isn’t properly disposing of precipitation such as excess rainwater or melted snow, then this can be absorbed by your asphalt, causing it to unceremoniously expand and contract in the process. This is essentially how cracks and potholes form.
How to Fix Asphalt Sinking Spots or Potholes
The first thing you should do if you notice a sinkhole in your asphalt driveway is contact an asphalt repair contractor in Vaughan and have them evaluate the extent of the damage. As mentioned, sometimes sinkholes can be caused by undetermined structural issues or there may be other problems at play that need to be addressed before the dip can be repaired.
However, if it’s just a minor sinkhole and you fancy yourself a handyperson, then there are a few do-it-yourself techniques you can utilize.
First and foremost, you’ll need to remove the portion of your driveway where the sinkhole is so that you can gain access to the internal structure. Then, you need to make sure you clean it out carefully, extracting all excess standing water, debris, tree branches, or broken off pieces of asphalt you might find under there.
Place a durable and secure foundation that consists of hard stone and a hot or cold asphalt mixture (it’s best to find out which one was used in the initial installation of your driveway and try to match it to the best of your ability). Then compact this aggregate to secure it in place. Keep in mind that any cold patch mixtures you find at your local hardware store will also work, but these are just temporary solutions to a long-term problem. Even if you go that route, eventually you’ll need to call a professional asphalt pavement maintenance contractor in the GTA to permanently repair your driveway.
Asphalt Driveway Repair and Maintenance in Vaughan
Looking for high-quality asphalt repair and crack sealing services in Vaughan? Sure-Seal Pavement Maintenance Inc. is one of the most reputable and reliable asphalt driveway and parking lot contractors throughout Toronto and the GTA. For over 20 years, our professional contractors have installed, repaired, and replaced countless asphalt structures. Backed up by our seven-year warranty for materials and labour, we’re confident that we have the expert manpower to deliver pristine results and make your property function and look like new again. Feel free to contact us for a complimentary consultation.
Photo Credit: iStock.com/MarcBruxelle