Does Your Drainage Cause Asphalt Driveway Heave?

Asphalt has become one of the most popular paving materials in the world due to its durability, flexibility, and affordability. Asphalt makes a great paving choice for your private road or driveway but like any other construction material, asphalt has its weaknesses and subtleties that can ruin your day.

Many of the most common asphalt driveway issues, like heaving, are due to poor or inadequate drainage. Does your drainage cause asphalt driveway heave, or is there something else at play? Let’s learn more about asphalt driveway heave, why it has to do with drainage, and how homeowners can keep heaving at bay.

Asphalt Driveway Heave

What is Asphalt Driveway Heaving?

Asphalt driveway heave, also known as frost heave, is a common asphalt problem in colder climates. Heaving is caused when moisture trapped under your asphalt freezes and thaws. When the moisture pockets freeze, they expand, which can push your driveway up as much as three to four inches. Once the area thaws the asphalt sinks to its original position which could cause cracks, breaks, and dips in your asphalt. This cycle of heaving and thawing can cause injury hazards, cracks and other issues, and at its worst could compromise the integrity of your driveway.

Does Drainage Cause Asphalt Heave?

The more moisture that’s trapped under your asphalt, the more severe heaving homeowners can expect. Poor drainage around your asphalt could mean hundreds of gallons of moisture are trapped underneath your asphalt instead of draining to the proper channels. Groundwater can cause issues under asphalt, but it’s normally drainage from your property. Cracks in your asphalt can also allow water to infiltrate the subgrade under your asphalt.

How to Remedy Frost Heave and Poor Drainage

Walk around your asphalt driveway during a rain or snowmelt. Are there areas where water is seeping beneath your asphalt? Is there a gutter that empties directly onto the asphalt? Look for any areas where excessive amounts of runoff might be entering underneath your driveway.

While no asphalt driveway is heave-proof, the less chances moisture has to enter the ground below your asphalt, the better. If there are obvious areas where moisture is entering, homeowners can re-route drainage, build berms, seal cracks and otherwise redirect any water that could be causing heaving issues. You might not be able to mitigate all water from getting underneath your asphalt but the less water, the less likely you’ll experience heaving.

Fixing Asphalt Heaves

While you can mitigate your chances for heave, there is nothing much homeowners can do with active heaving other than wait for a thaw and any necessary fixes. Heaving may look terrible, but it won’t always cause secondary damage once the area thaws.

Using Asphalt Experts for Heaving

If you need help mitigating heaving or repairing your asphalt after a frost heave, it’s best to contact a local asphalt professional. A local asphalt professional can help determine if your asphalt is the victim of heaving, what can be done to mitigate future heaving, and can repair cracks or other damage that results from heaving. If you’re suffering serious heaving, more extensive repairs might be necessary to fix the root of the problem.

Better Drainage for Better Asphalt

Don’t deal with a heaving driveway this winter if you don’t have to, fix your drainage, have an expert look, and take the right steps to keep your asphalt in place no matter how cold it gets. If you’ve experienced some having after this winter, contact Colorado Pavement Solutions for a free estimate on repairing or replacing your affected asphalt or concrete.