New asphalt driveway lifting at garage door

Old 01-29-14, 04:40 PM
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New asphalt driveway lifting at garage door

As the title states, my new asphalt driveway is lifting at the garage door. (long read, grab a chair!)

Brief history:

We bought the house in 2011 and the driveway was original. During the worst hurricane and tropical storm season(in new jersey) our garage got water it in due to the driveway being pitched toward the garage.

We replaced the driveway in the spring of 2012 and had it sealed in summer of 2012. Almost immediately I noticed the driveway didn't look like a brand new driveway with roller marks and I could definately feel dips. However, the problem of water running into our garage had been solved.

In the spring of 2013 I got the paving company to come back and put an overlay on the driveway(I think it was a 1/2 inch or an inch). I saw them drill out in front of the garage, and lay it down properly to my knowledge. Driveway now looks fantastic. No issues. We have not had the overlay sealed yet.

We have had some of the coldest weather on record, or at least in the last few decades with being below freezing most of the last month or so, with many days below 15 degrees and some days below 5 degrees. We have even had a day or two sub-zero temps. We have frequent snow, which I clear off within a few hours or next day. However sometimes I cannot get down to blacktop.

So just today we noticed that infront of the garage, the driveway lifts about 1/2 inch. No cracking yet, and no issues at the bottom of the driveway or where the driveway meets the sidewalk. I cannot see any noticeable dips anywhere else, not even where we used to have problems(it used to be HORRIBLE).

I assume this is because water is getting under the asphalt?

1.Is it safe to assume that my driveway will return to normal when it warms up ?
2. Will this expansion and contraction crack the asphalt?
3. Do you think Im looking at a return of my old problems where a few feet in front of the garage I have huge noticeable dips?
4. Is there anything I can do to try to protect it? We drive the cars into the garage...but is there anything I can put on the edge until I get it sealed?
5. General thoughts and/or comments?

I know its an epic wall of text. Thanks for reading(and responding!)
Old 01-29-14, 05:11 PM
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Driveways and sidewalks heave when the ground freezes. Your garage floor does not, because it is on a footing below the frost line. So the driveway has lifted in relation to the garage, which has not. And yes, it will probably go back down when the ground thaws this spring. At that time, you might apply sealant to the gap between the garage floor and the driveway. This is something you will probably have to do every spring. You may also have some cracks develop wherever the underlying concrete is cracked.
Old 01-29-14, 06:43 PM
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If the open or preformed joint at the garage floor/driveway interface is allowing water to seep into the gap, you can expect problems like you're seeing now every winter. Applying a good polyurethane sealant (with backer rod) could do a lot to minimize the problem. But if you have a high water table, and moisture is "naturally" gathering in the base course and subgrade below the asphalt, heaving problems will continue. Your contractor should have built the finished grade an inch or so lower, such that heaving wouldn't be as noticeable.

I'm a bit confused by your saying you saw the asphalt people "drilling out in front of the garage," which is highly unusual. Normally, milling or deep scarification is done to lower the asphalt grade before additional material is placed on top of it. I'm not sure why any drilling would have been done.

While not wishing to complicate matters, there is something you could check for that might be making the heaving more pronounced. If the asphalt people failed to use adequate tack coat between the underlying asphalt and the new material (or placed the overlay on top of "dirty" asphalt below it), it's possible that the two separate placements are not bonded to each other, and the resulting voids would be a logical place at which seepage water could be trapped. If that's the case, heaving would tend to be more pronounced, as the expanding ice is pushing up just a very thin lift of asphalt. An easy check for delamination between the two layers of asphalt (when the weather warms up) is to vigorously tap the surface over a broad area with a hammer--debonded asphalt will have a lower, duller "thud" sound to it. If you're hearing impaired, just sprinkle some sand on top of the asphalt, and again strike it with a hammer--delaminations will show up by the sand particles visibly bouncing up in the air with each hammer blow.
Old 01-30-14, 03:09 AM
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had it sealed in summer of 2012. Almost immediately I noticed the driveway didn't look like a brand new driveway with roller marks and I could definately feel dips
For future reference - normally driveway sealer is applied with a squeegee but no matter how the sealer is applied, you shouldn't see any roller or lap marks. It sounds like the sealer wasn't applied evenly. To make it look even another coat should have been applied. The sealer had nothing to do with the dips although it might have made them more noticeable.
Old 01-31-14, 07:00 AM
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' water is getting under the asphalt ' either water OR just normal frost lifting,,, northern nj's got a lot of ' hard pan ' soil which has a higher clay content therefore more moisture-laden than southern nj

1.' return to normal ' yes
2. ' crack the asphalt ' probably not severely
3. ' return of my old problems ' - wait & see
4. ' anything I can do ' not in this weather & then only asphalt sealer

5. ' general ' if you're in sparta, it'll probably be worse than if you lived in toms river

i've got cracks in my atlanta garage & basement largely due to no joints which is exacerbated by expansive soils

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