Unfortunately, it’s not IF a new concrete driveway will crack, but WHEN it will crack.
Concrete driveways have what’s called controlled joints. These joints or seams are put into the concrete while it’s still wet so that as the concrete dries and cures, it will crack in those joints and not through the field. But unfortunately, there is really no 100% surefire way to keep a concrete driveway from cracking through the fields. Concrete driveway cracks can happen anywhere at any time. Spending hundreds or even a thousand or more dollars hiring a soils engineer to test your soil and put together a concrete driveway design for you, can certainly help to minimize cracking, but the truth is, even then, there’s really no guarantee it won’t crack. A soils engineer won't guarantee it ether! Cracking is a normal occurrence when it comes to concrete driveways unless it’s excessive and it happens very soon after installation.
Cracks will need to be sealed to prevent further damage which is part of the ongoing maintenance of a concrete driveway that will need to be performed on a regular basis. Concrete repair contractors will provide crack sealing as part of a service package that includes sealing.
Now, on the other hand, if your driveway is fairly new and you begin seeing an excessive amount of cracks within a couple of weeks or a couple of months after it’s been installed there are a variation of other issues to be concerned about. Even worse, if area’s begin alligatoring or cracking in a way that looks similar to an alligators back… that could potentially be a much bigger issue. The concrete more than likely was not installed properly. There may be also be sub-grade problems. In this case, you’ll want to call the installation contractor back and have them take a look at it.
So when it comes to cracks, you can count on them... but when and where, that’s the real question!
A lot of times we find the unethical, "fly by night" rip off contractors won't even call you back if you have problems. More than likely because they installed the driveway too thin or they watered down the mix. They know why you're calling, therefore, they won't return your phone calls and will avoid you. Sometimes, they'll promise to come back and fix the driveway but never show up. This is all covered in our series, "The Most Common Ways Concrete Installation Contractors Rip Us Off and How To Avoid Them"™. So make sure you check that out before you hire any contractor.
On the other hand, if you have already had your driveway installed and think you may have been ripped off, file a complaint and we'll investigate it. If we find the contractor was in the wrong, we'll try to help you recoup your losses.
Or make it easy and request a concrete installation estimate from one of our Trusted Contractors!