Why Is My Driveway Sinking in PA? 


Caring for your asphalt driveway involves much more than sweeping and washing it with soap and water. You need to observe the pavement to check for deeper issues, such as cracks and water pools. Cracks allow water to seep through and weaken the foundation of your driveway even further.


Finding the underlying cause for any cracks can tell you why your driveway is sinking. Some of the most common reasons include poor drainage, low-quality foundation, roots penetrating the material or excess weight. 


Use this guide to understand the signs, causes and solutions for your sinking driveway.


Signs Your Asphalt Driveway Is Sinking


You may notice some signs of your driveway sinking as soon as they appear, but you may have to inspect the area closely to pick out others:


  • Cracks along the surface, whether small or extensive
  • Patches of stagnant water along the pavement
  • Patios and other structures near the driveway sinking 
  • Vibrant plants along the pavement drying

4 Causes of Central Pennsylvania Driveway Sinking


Successfully repairing your pavement and achieving lasting results relies on uncovering why it’s sinking.


1. Poor Foundation


If your original contractor used subgrade with soggy clay, the driveway could sink because of the wet clay’s instability. Rainwater drains through the soft topsoil, creating empty spaces below the asphalt — the material sinks to fill these holes, leaving your driveway with cracks and water pools.

Your contractor can correct the issue by creating a foundation with solid subgrade and aggregate bases and using a high-quality asphalt mix. Removing the soft soil around the driveway and replacing it with hard rocks also strengthens the pavement.


2. Tree Roots


Trees close to the driveway may dig cracks through the pavement as they spread roots in search of water and nutrients. You can avoid the issue by planting trees a safe distance from the driveway. If doing so isn’t possible, you can hire professionals to remodel the path with sufficient subgrade material, allowing tree roots to expand without affecting the asphalt surface.


3. Heavy Vehicles


Heavy-duty tractors, haulers and tankers may outweigh your driveway foundation, causing it to sink. You can avoid the issue by parking trucks in designated areas or building a commercial driveway that can withstand the equipment’s weight. 


4. Poor Drainage System


Poor drainage may occur for various reasons. For example, a flat driveway does not allow water to flow through it, and your house may drain water onto the pavement. Water wears out asphalt and flows into the soil below it, creating empty spaces that weaken the subgrade.

You can solve the issue by remodeling your driveway to allow water to run through or away from it. 


How to Solve Drainage Issues Causing Asphalt Driveway Sinking


You can prevent water from draining your pavement by remodeling your home:

  • Slope the driveway: If you live in a flat area, your contractor can slope the pavement a quarter inch per foot or more to allow water to flow through within minutes. 
  • Fill gaps in the cracks: Use high-quality subgrade and asphalt to cover empty spaces to prevent damage in the future. 
  • Install gutters: Ask your roofing consultant to fix gutters and direct rainwater away from your driveway.
  • Install catch basins: They attract rainwater and drain it from your path, leaving it to dry quickly in wet seasons.

CMI Paving recommends lifting the center of your driveway to allow water to drain on either side. 


How to Repair a Sunken Asphalt Driveway in PA


The extent of your pavement repair depends on the intensity of the damage. If there are only a few cracks on the driveway and you’re sure there is no major issue with the foundation, you can fill the cracks with a new asphalt layer. Asphalt is superior because a new layer can blend into the original material to form a continuous surface.



If the damage is extensive, you need comprehensive repair to seal cracks and keep your driveway in good condition for the next few years. CMI Paving can repair your driveway by:


  • Removing the surface layer of the asphalt through a milling process
  • Spreading a new base with stable materials 

A commercial setting may require a denser base than a residential home because more people use the space — vehicles carrying different weights use commercial driveways, meaning they need a stronger foundation. 

You can hire experts to help you repair the driveway because they know how to create the base and stabilize materials to form a solid foundation. 


Hire CMI Paving to Repair Your Asphalt Driveway 

Are there cracks on your asphalt driveway? Our team can assess, repair and construct driveways for residential and commercial use. We have over 40 years of experience serving clients in Central Pennsylvania and are committed to offering excellent customer service. Schedule an estimate to learn the extent of damage on the pavement and the materials needed to complete comprehensive repairs.