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How to Fix a Sinking Driveway

This article shows you what to do when your driveway starts to sink and pull away from your garage floor. The fix is easier than you might think, and you can do it yourself. You just need to use pavers to create a new apron where the driveway is sinking. We'll show you how.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

A durable fix for a sinking driveway

Sometimes asphalt driveways sink a couple of inches in front of the garage door, leaving a big gap that water runs into. This article explains how to fix the problem.

Filling the gap will help keep out water and reduce potential damage to your garage foundation. But it's only a band-aid, not a long-term fix. The best solution is to remove the settled asphalt, compact the underlying soil and patch the driveway.

Although the soil correction is a do-it-yourself project, asphalt work is not. The bagged asphalt at the home center isn't intended for this type of patch; it won't hold up. On the other hand, an asphalt contractor will charge up to $600 to make the repair. Another approach is to make an apron from paving brick. It's attractive, you can do it yourself, and you can easily reset the pavers if the soil settles again. Follow these steps:

  1. Snap a chalk line parallel to the garage door. Make sure it's out far enough to include all the settled asphalt. Lay out a row of your paving bricks, starting against the garage floor slab to position the chalk line at a full brick.
  2. Rent a gas cutoff saw with an asphalt-cutting blade and cut through the asphalt (it's usually 2 to 3 in. thick) along the chalk line. Be sure to wear hearing and eye protection.
  3. Remove the asphalt and dig a 12-in.-deep trench. Angle the wall of the trench slightly under the remaining asphalt. Rent a plate compactor and run it along the trench at least four times to compact the soil. Line the sides and bottom of the trench with landscape fabric. It's available from landscape suppliers.
  4. Spread a 2-in. layer of Class V or other compactable gravel, dampen it and run the compactor over it four times. Continue to spread and compact the gravel in 2-in. layers until it's 3 in. below the existing driveway.
  5. Install paver edging along grass edges and spread a 1-in. layer of coarse sand. Don't compact it.
  6. Set your pavers, compact them with the plate compactor and fill the joints with sand. Be sure to use joint stabilizing sealer to keep the sand from washing out.
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How to Fix a Sinking Driveway

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