Frost Heaves in Walkways and Driveways

Repair Tripping Hazards in Walkways and Driveways

As Spring finally comes around and it the temperature begins to creep above freezing, we enter a period of repeated freeze-thaw cycles at night. When this occurs, you may start to notice frost heaves in your walkway, patio or driveway. What you are seeing is not unlike the frost heaves you experience driving your car. You know –  when you see signs along the road that say “Frost Heave” and you’re wondering “Where?” And then, BOOM, you nearly hit your head on the roof of your car. THAT’S a frost heave.

Drainage is the Key

Your walkway may do the same thing as our buckling roads depending on the base of the walkway or driveway, the drainage in the area, or the integrity of the surface, meaning if it seals out water or sheds it well. Depending on the type of finished surface you have, it may be designed to allow water to flow right through it and away from the base or it may be crowned to shed water without creating puddles. When either of these design elements are compromised, water will get underneath, puddle below the surface, and push the bricks, stones, timbers or pavement up, creating an unsightly condition and a tripping hazard as well.

The solution is to either prevent water from penetrating the surface, or to ensure it drains away properly instead of sitting below and expanding enough to ruin your finished surfaces.

Frost Heave Ahead Warning Sign

About Carpenter & Costin

Carpenter & Costin was established in Vermont in 2005 and remains locally owned by Russ Marsan and Matt Cataldo who take a personal interest in every client’s property needs. We specialize in enhancing outdoor living spaces and commercial landscape design and maintenance.  We offer a full range of year-round landscape management services from spring and fall clean-ups to lawn mowing and seasonal maintenance programs, and complete snow plowing and removal services.

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