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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    Default Plumber laid asphalt is collapsing - should I be freaking out?

    I'm sorry if this is in the wrong area - I wasn't sure where to put it, and since it resides in the driveway put it in this forum area. If it should go somewhere else, I can delete this and move it to the more appropriate location. Thank you!

    Almost a month ago, I hired a plumber to replace our old cast iron sewer pipes with new pipes. He did so, digging a trench in our driveway and under our home as part of the process.

    When he left, he repacked the trench with the earth that had come out of it and laid asphalt on top. I'd noticed that there was a slight gap at one section of asphalt and informed him, he came out a couple of days later and filled it at no cost.

    Since then, my wife and I (and anyone who comes over and steps on it) have noticed that it's squishy underfoot. I brought this to his attention via phone, and he let me know that was normal and it's harden up.

    Fast forward to this Monday, when there was a moderate rain here in LA. The next day I went outside and immediately noticed that almost all of the asphalt has sunk - by about a quarter of an inch - and the portion that goes up to the house and completely washed away. Additionally, two smaller holes have appeared where the asphalt touches the old hardened asphalt of the driveway.

    I called him right away, and again he stated that this was ok, it was because he hadn't used professional tools to pack the earth, and he'd come out and fix it this week.

    Can you guys tell me if this really IS normal and ok? I'm worried that this may have twisted or damaged the pipes (I relayed this to him and he said they were fine). Also, is there something I should do to make sure that this doesn't happen again? I don't want whatever he lays down when he comes to fix it to wash away again when the next rains come. It worries me more that there is water, earth, and asphalt routing under my home into my crawlspace. Do plumbers usually do something special to shore this up?

    Thank you.

    This is the hole leading under our house. I've no idea where the asphalt that used to be here went, I'm guessing it's somewhere under our house now.

    Another shot of the hole and how the asphalt and earth has washed away.

    A view looking toward the house. In the foreground to the left you can see where the new asphalt pulled away from the driveway and has formed a gap. You can also see how the entire length of the new asphalt has sunk down in the middle.
    Last edited by MBeach; 04-15-2010 at 04:27 PM.

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