Ask the Inspector: Driveways & Walkways

By
Home Inspector with National Property Inspections

The type and condition of your driveway and walkway are things you should make note of, especially because these high traffic areas could pose a safety risk.

Typical materials used for driveways and walkways include dirt, gravel, asphalt, concrete, patterned concrete and pavers such as cobblestone, brick and concrete. Water destroys driveways and walkways. If the land around the driveway doesn't shed water, the driveway will start to break up, especially in cold climates. If the driveway is surrounded by saturated soil, freezing temperatures will cause frost heave and make the driveway buckle. Long driveways going downhill are especially vulnerable to erosion because of the water's velocity as it races downhill alongside and over the driveway.

The inspection of driveways and walkways is part of a general National Property Inspections home inspection. Your NPI professional will note any major cracks and degradation of the surface, any major potholes, low areas that saturate and hold water and raised sections of the surface. Cracks or potholes can mean ice accumulation, water pooling and possible trips or falls. These can undermine the surface of larger areas of the driveway. Your NPI professional will note any areas of concern and recommend any needed repairs.

For more information on home inspections or commercial inspections, go to www.npiweb.com.

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