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Question DetailsAsked on 8/14/2013

very recently had my driveway done, (1 week ago), and I am now seeing cracks is that normal?

Hoping you can all help with a question very recently had my driveway done, (1 week ago).
I am now seeing cracks in the asphalt or ‘slippage’ as the contractor is referring to it. I am being told it is very common on driveways on a hill and is to be expected from the roller.
My question:
Is this just a line? Has anyone heard of anything like this? Should I really expect this?
Can it be fixed?
Luckily the company has not been paid in full but any advice from anyone would be appreciated

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1 Answer


I would say he is feeding you a bunch of bull.

If your drive is truly steep (more than about 15%) then he should have installed keyways in the subgrade - slots about a foot or two uphill to downhill, about 4-6 inches deep, and full width of the drive, to act as asphalt shear keys to prevent slippage ofthe asphalt on the base material. Less than that slope should be no problem.

The "slippage" he is talking about is actually creep of the asphalt. It is likely one of several things happened:

1) if the cracks appeared during placement, then he was using too heavy a roller, vibrating (if a vibratory roller) on the downhill pass, or the base material was poorly graded or not compacted adequately.

2) if they did not appear till days after it was done, then probably the base material was not compacted adequately, the asphalt was not rolled properly, it is too thin, or he used cold mix asphalt rather than hot mix, which does not really bond to itself very well.

This is definitely NOT normal - for instance, 2/3 of my drive is 20% grade and except at a cold joint where a street repair replaced the lower end of my drive that has a slight crack across it, has zero cracking after 31 years.

You have a problem - your choices are to not pay the rest (however much that is) and hope he does not sue or file a lien and seal the joints with joint filler (which will not help if it keeps creeping), to demand he pull it out and do it right (which if he did not do the first time he probably will not be able to right the second time), to get a civil engineer dealing in paving to do a site report documenting the cause of failure and demand your money back in total (and sue if necessary) then have another contractor do it right, or call his bond to have another contractor do it right. To call the bond you will need documentation (start a dated photo log right now) and probably an attorney to advise you, and you will have to proive to the bonding company that it is a faulty job so you will likely need the civil engineer's report and your photos as proof.

You can also, of course, ding him with a bad review on Angie's List, and file a complaint with the stte contrator licensing board, but of course those do nothing to sole your immediate issue.

Personally I would start with the documentation and talk to an attorney about getting an engineer's report and first asking for your money back (under threat of calling his bond or suing), second choice calling his bond (hopefully he is bonded), otherwise suing. One of the first things the attorney does is send a letter stating your case tht the work is defective so you are withholding payment and you want a ful refund for defective work, to establish your case and start the claim process rolling.

One thing that will work in your favor is, because you have to keep the evidence (the drive) intact untill the issue is settled, it is likely to get eworse and probably start bulging or breaking up as time goes by, so your case against him will get stronger with time.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD

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