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Old 11-30-2010, 08:12 AM
 
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We live in the South Durham area, and recently over the past year or so, our driveway has developed long (deep) cracks across the slabs, with one half of the driveway (left of the cracks) sinking relative to the other by a few inches. This seems to extend out into the garage as well, where I have noticed long running small cracks.

Has anyone experienced this kind of cracking before on a driveway? Seems to have happened in the past year or so. If so, what remedies have you pursued. I am wondering if there is some other underlying cause out there, sinkhole effect, termites, not sure what else could cause this..

Also, would you have some recommendations for a good structural engineer in the Triangle Area who can inspect this and offer some suggestions?

Thank you..
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Old 11-30-2010, 09:02 AM
 
Location: Holly Springs
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Are there large trees adjacent? It is typically caused by tree roots or another possibility, expansive clay soil (very common in the Durham area). I would recommend taking a close look for cracks around foundation of the house if there are no adjacent trees at the displaced driveway. I know a few Structural Engineers I can recommend, but maybe I can narrow down the cause before you have to spend any money.
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Old 11-30-2010, 09:11 AM
 
5 posts, read 12,288 times
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There are several large trees (pines and others) in the yard, but not adjacent to the driveway - the closest one is at least 10 to 15 feet away. It is possible that the roots may have spread underneath the driveway perhaps. I did look for some cracks around the foundation, and found a small crack toward the rear of the house that I had not noticed before, on the wall, right about the ground level on the bricking.
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:06 PM
 
Location: Holly Springs
3,861 posts, read 9,271,586 times
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Here is a great engineer: Splash
You can also try foundation repair companies as they staff structural engineers, and typically come out for free, but the opinion may not be unbiased as they perform repairs.
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Old 12-01-2010, 06:59 AM
 
Location: ITB Raleigh, NC
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How new is the house/driveway? Just wonder how much earth was moved/resettled under the driveway before it was laid.
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:11 AM
 
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Do you have indications of washout under the portions that have sunk?
Clay soils do have a nasty habit of expanding and contracting based on moisture content which could be a factor here.
Sometimes the concrete is placed over buried debris which decomposes over time and causes the ground under the concrete to drop.

A structural engineer is the way to go. Few builders/contractors pay much attention to the base under concrete which is unfortunate.

Frank
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:24 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sacredgrooves View Post
Here is a great engineer: Splash
You can also try foundation repair companies as they staff structural engineers, and typically come out for free, but the opinion may not be unbiased as they perform repairs.
Be VERY careful with foundation companies. Although some are licensed to practice engineering, others are not and do so unlicensed.

Always check the Professional licensing Board to verify licesnure first. You can also call and see if they have any past disciplinary actions.

https://www.membersbase.com/ncbels-v...c/searchdb.asp
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:05 AM
 
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Default Structural Engineer - Driveway issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by Usedtobe VaNC View Post
How new is the house/driveway? Just wonder how much earth was moved/resettled under the driveway before it was laid.
The house is about twenty or so years old, the problems have become more pronounced only in the last year or so. It also gets a lot of water flow, being toward the lower end of a hill.
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:08 AM
 
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Default Structural Engineer - Driveway issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by frankpc View Post
Do you have indications of washout under the portions that have sunk?
Clay soils do have a nasty habit of expanding and contracting based on moisture content which could be a factor here.
Sometimes the concrete is placed over buried debris which decomposes over time and causes the ground under the concrete to drop.

A structural engineer is the way to go. Few builders/contractors pay much attention to the base under concrete which is unfortunate.

Frank
The house is about twenty years old, and the problems have become more pronounced in the past year. I think there is some washout underneath as the entire plot is toward the bottom of a hill, a lot of water flows through when it rains.
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:09 AM
 
5 posts, read 12,288 times
Reputation: 10
Default Structural Engineer - Driveway issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by sacredgrooves View Post
Here is a great engineer: Splash
You can also try foundation repair companies as they staff structural engineers, and typically come out for free, but the opinion may not be unbiased as they perform repairs.
Thanks for the link, I will check it out..
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