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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    2

    Unhappy New driveway lifting and settling

    We just had a driveway replaced in mid October and the contractor performed what I believed to be a beautiful placement of asphalt. I selected the best contractor I could find and consequently, the most expensive. However, during this winter's coldest and wettest period, the driveway began rising and settling in certain areas. It raised up approximately 1 1/2" in front of the garage and at the end of the driveway in front of the concrete sidewalk. At the same time, we have several areas of depressions or sinking areas also mainly in the area where the driveway was lifting in front of the garage. The contractor gave us a one year warranty which will expire just before this next winter. We've spent all of our savings on our new driveway and it's already beginning to look like the old one that we replaced! We did contact the contractor and made him aware of the issue and to his credit, he came out and looked at the job. However, he told my wife that this was a normal condition and that we should seal the driveway as soon as possible. I do not believe that this is a normal condition and if the base was prepped properly, this would not have happened. The driveway is already beginning to have the appearance or contour of the old driveway that we replaced. I'm afraid that the contractor is going to string us along until the one year warranty expires and then charge us for any further repairs when the same thing happens again this winter. Any and all advice is appreciated.

    Yours truly,

    Matt from NJ

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Eden, NC
    Posts
    285

    Wink Re: New driveway lifting and settling

    Matt, the first thing I would do is to formally (with a letter that is sealed by a Notary) address the issue with the contractor citing your previous conversation and his visit. This way legally you will be stating the problem before the warranty runs out. I would request any response from the contractor in writing, you may have to get an attorney in the long run of things. Usually, when they see you have your ducks in a row they respond satisfactorily. Take pictures now while the driveway is heaved from the winter, it may go back down in the summer and look ok. Believe me, the base is not prepared as it should be if you are experiencing this kind of problem already. Records, keep everything in writing, if the contractor refuses to put it in writing, write what he says,date, time and that he refused to put it in writing. This will help if you need an attorney. Good luck.

    Calcats

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,418

    Default Re: New driveway lifting and settling

    It's a bit too late for this advice now, but it may help others in the future. Any time you hire a contractor to install concrete, the contract should state what the acceptable amount of cracking and movement is.

    Please understand that ALL concrete will crack to some degree, and some settling is to be expected. Usually, hairline cracks will not be covered under warranty. Cracks that separate over a certain amount (say, 1/8") or where there is vertical displacement should be addressed in the contract.

    In my layman's opinion, 1-1/2" is NOT normal. Imagine how awful the freeway would be with "normal" 1-1/2" displacement. However, I would not expect to demand replacement for displacement of less than 1/4" on a driveway slab.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    2

    Wink Re: New driveway lifting and settling

    Thank you very much for your comments.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: New driveway lifting and settling

    ***, if this was not written by Matt from NJ, I would have assumed it was a post by me.

    Last year, I had some major renovations done to my home, including some excavation work on almost all sides of my home. At the end of the project, I had to have my driveway redone becuase of all the trucks that had sunk their tire tracks into my asphalt driveway. Now, the job, to my knowledge was done correctly - the old driveway was ripped up, Item 4 was placed down and allowed to settle before asphalt was put on, etc. And, I even sealed the driveway this past fall.

    But, as Matt pointed out, this winter was extremely cold and wet. By December, I was noting some large indentations and rises from not only the driveway, but the surrounding walkway paths as well.

    While the warmer weather has seen some of the lower levels rise up a bit and the bumps have settled down a bit, you can still see that the driveway and paths are not totally flat.

    I believe that the driveway was laid down properly, but am in the process of contacting the driveway guy now. But, do you think the recent excavations and construction, combined with the extreme winter weather, caused a lot of this damage? Should I wait out this year to give the ground some time to settle before having the driveway redone?

    Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    Alexandrasdad (Westchester County, NY)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,387

    Default Re: New driveway lifting and settling

    Howdy, do you know if you hae expansive soils? Was rebar installed in the re construction?
    I'd go to a concret supply company and get several tubes of never hardering self leveling expansion caulk. Not what the big box stores have as the contrete supply companies have better products... for this in my past usages. When the slab is dry caulk all the joints this will greatly help keep water out and if expansive soil this will help minimize the movement. It also helps if it is freeze and thaw movement too.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: New driveway lifting and settling

    Sorry Timothy, not sure if I've misunderstood your post, but does your suggestion apply to an asphalt driveway?

    alexandrasdad

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,387

    Default Re: New driveway lifting and settling

    Opsee i cannot multi task no more phone and posting at same time... . Most is of my suggestion was for concrete. Have any heavy delivery trucks used the driveway? If so consider making an insurance claim on your home owners insurance for a one time truck damage to the driveway. Excuse the rebar comment. Was any compaction done prior to the repaving? Any allegator cracking in the asphault? How thick was the ribbon applied?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: New driveway lifting and settling

    No problem Timothy. I know the feeling.

    The problems were not made by any delivery trucks, those trucks do not go on my driveway, and the problem sites are scattered throughout the driveway.

    As for the driveway specifics, I know that Item 4 was put down and was given two weeks to settle. I was not there on the day of the paving, but there was a roller there to smooth it all out. No cracking in the asphalt, just depressions and raises. Even under the red stone pavement walkway in front and on the side of the driveway

    Not sure that was all that helpful.

    alexandrasdad

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