If you are keen enough, you must have noticed that your driveway is wet almost daily, especially in the morning.
This happens even when it has not rained overnight.
If you are a first-time homeowner, you get worried about this ‘unusual’ wetness.
However, a wet driveway is common in most homes and even on some roads.
So, Why Is Your Driveway Always Wet When It Hasn’t Rained?
Well, there are several causes, but the main one is sweating. Apparently, sweating is caused by the hydrostatic pressure that pushes water and moisture from underground through the concrete surface. The concrete becomes cooler than the air, and condensation occurs, making the surface appear wet. In other situations, if there are water pipes beneath the driveway, they may be leaking, and the water rises to the surface.
Seven Reasons Why The Driveway May Be Wet?
There are several reasons why a dive way may appear wet even when it has not rained. Here are some of the causes of a wet driveway made of concrete.
1. Water Leakage
In most homes, the main water pipes are below the driveway.
Due to the numerous soil activities, the pipes can get damaged and eventually leak.
The leaked water is sucked by the surrounding dry soil and goes up to the surface of the concrete.
Leakage wetness on the driveway usually covers a specific spot, alerting the homeowner to check the piping system.
2. Dew Point
The phenomena of sweating are the major cause of wetness on a driveway, even after a calm night, without rain.
When the atmosphere is relatively warm, the moist air gets in contact with the cool driveway slab, making the previously warm air cool.
This cooling process can go to or below the dew point, and condensation will start at the driveway’s surface.
It is the condensed air that makes your driveway appear misty or wet.
3. High Ambient Humidity
If the moisture within the material used for your driveway is lower than that of the surrounding, it will try to absorb it so that it reaches an equilibrium.
Through this process, some water droplets may form on the surface of your driveway.
4. Nearby Wet Soil
Even though the material used for your driveway is hard and dense, it still has some tiny capillaries that facilitate water movement.
So if there is a water point near your driveway, it will easily sweat.
For instance, if you have flowers close to your driveway, when they are watered thoroughly, the undersoil of the driveway will also receive some water that will pass through the capillaries to the surface.
The movement of water from nearby places to your driveway is more practical when the air above is warmer.
This warmth makes it possible for the water to rise faster, forming efflorescence that makes the surface wet.
5. Presence Of Salt Deposits
Salts have a prominent property of attracting moisture from the surrounding.
Though rare, you can find some salt deposits present on your driveway for some clearly known or unknown reason.
The salt will attract moisture from the driveway and the surroundings and will get wet.
The salt will eventually melt when there is more moisture nearby, making your driveway wet.
6. Density Of The Material Used To Build The Driveway
If your driveway is made of concrete that was not well finished, it will start sweating.
In most cases, this is usually avoided through compaction of the finish.
A driveway strip’s porosity is usually bigger than that of the other parts of the driveway.
Moisture from the hound passes through these porous pores making the driveway wet.
7. Cleanliness Of The Driveway
The driveway should not be neglected whenever you are cleaning your home.
A surface covered with runner tire marks and other exhaust deposits can lower surface permeability.
Reduced permeability affects the ability of the surface to absorb vapor.
This makes the moisture level within the concrete and near the driveway surface high over time.
Your driveway will appear wet due to lowered permeability of the surface.
Can A Leaking Pipe Under The Driveway Be Repaired?
Well, a leaking pipe under the driveway is among the many reasons why your driveway will appear wet even when it has not rained.
Before you conclude that your driveway is getting wet because of leakage, there are a few issues to look at.
Once you confirm that the water on your driveway is due to a pipe leakage, you can now consider how to fix it.
Here are a few ways to help you identify leakage in pipes under your driveway.
1. Water At One Spot Of The Driveway
This is basically the easiest way to conclude that there is a problem under the driveway.
If a pool of water increases over time, it indicates that the water is sourced just beneath that spot.
Such a visible leakage can become a great hassle if not carefully handled. Calling in a plumber is the best way to fix such a problem.
2. Increasing Water Bills
If the leakage is not great, you may not easily identify it by just looking at the driveway.
However, increasing water costs can be a dependable leakage indicator.
Check your expenses on the water in the last months and compare them with the hereby month. Also, remember to look at the price spiking differences.
If you haven’t increased water consumption in your home, you will be worried about the increasing cost.
Such added costs indicate that water is being consumed elsewhere and may be beneath the driveway.
3. Low Water Pressure
When a water leakage starts, you will likely discover water running through the taps at very low pressure.
You can as well use a pressure gauge to examine its pressure fluctuation intervals. In most cases, the home’s water pressure can be between 40 to 50 psi.
If your gauge indicates anything below that, there is a leak somewhere on the water line.
4. Rumbling Or Hissing Sounds
If you hear such sounds while moving on your driveway, there must be an underlying leakage.
When you establish that there are such hissing and rumbling sounds, you should first ensure that all taps are off before you listen again to confirm if the sounds are still there.
If yes, that is the point your plumber will need to work on.
How To Fix A Driveway Leak
After approximating the exact place where there could be a leakage, you can call in a plumber or DIY with these tips.
- To deal with a plumbing task under a driveway, start by excavating a specific portion that is likely to be above the area with a leaking pipe.
- Break the concrete or carefully remove the material making your driveway.
- Check the underlying pipes and identify the exact leakage point.
- Fix the leakage and cover the space created earlier to make your driveway complete.
- Alternatively, you can reroute the underground pipes above the ground. This is quite tiresome and complex, but your driveway will remain untampered. A leaking pipe is often re-lined by pushing a liner in the existing pipe. This liner will, later on, solidify and cover the present leaks or cracks.
A wet driveway is a common occurrence even when there is no rain.
A driveway will sweat at least two times a week in many areas.
This should not worry you as it is a normal process.
However, when the water on your driveway is more than just simple wetness, you need to find out the cause of this wetness and fix it.