How to Prevent Driveway Damage Caused by Landscaping


A solid, smooth driveway is an investment in the comfort and curb appeal of a home. A paved driveway eliminates the dust and mud of a dirt driveway and creates a tidier and more upscale look to the yard. To enjoy the investment for as long as possible, homeowners must prevent any damage to the driveway from the surrounding landscape.

Avoid Drainage Issues

Yards that do not drain properly could cause driveway problems in a couple of ways. Water can collect on the surface of the asphalt or concrete and eventually erode the material. Sealcoating the surface helps, but water can enter gaps and cracks if some spots do not have coverage or you don’t reseal the surface often enough.

Water may also affect the driveway from beneath the surface. A sloped yard that keeps water away from the home may allow the moisture to run towards the driveway instead. The soil may swell if the ground beneath the driveway becomes oversaturated, and movement of the ground over time can cause cracks in the asphalt or concrete above.

Improve drainage throughout the yard before the driveway installation takes place or as soon as possible around the existing pavement. New driveway installations should include a layer of gravel or crushed stone for better drainage and less ground movement. Avoid introducing more water to the area — instead, aim sprinkler heads away from the driveway.

Protect Against Tree Roots

Mature trees in a yard add value, shade, and beauty. Unfortunately, the root systems of some trees can cause a lot of damage. Any driveway material can crack or lift as tree roots expand below it. You may have to make expensive repairs if you don’t deal with the problem early.

Near your driveway, only plant trees with roots that won’t harm it, and research your options for existing trees with the potential for harm. You may be able to install an underground barrier that prevents root growth under the driveway, as well as remove any roots already causing problems.

Some solutions may harm certain trees. Root removal can make a tree unstable, and taking too much of the root system could kill the tree. Use caution with trees that you want to keep in the yard. Talk to an arborist or landscaper first to learn how to protect the driveway and the tree.

Address and Prevent Fertilizer Stains

Some fertilizers contain an ingredient that leaves orange stains behind on concrete. Fertilizers commonly include metals and minerals. The stains are rust stains that come from the iron in the mixture. Once the iron mixes with water, the rust develops. The discoloration is not noticeable in soil, but it is visible on solid surface materials like concrete.

The removal requires some effort because it is not possible to just sweep or rinse the stains away. Commercial rust removers exist for this purpose and work effectively without harm to the surrounding landscape.

Use caution when fertilizing to prevent future stains. Do not spread the fertilizer on the grass next to the driveway, and consider creating a line of mulch or crushed stone between the driveway and yard. Sweep or blow away any fertilizer that lands on the driveway. Do not rinse it off the surface because the contact with the water will cause rust to develop.

A little extra caution can extend the life of a driveway for many years. At Star Paving Company, we can help you get the most for your investment. Our goal is to offer the highest-quality material and service on every size project we complete. Contact us today for more information.