I've noticed two holes forming in the ground, under and around my garage (so no basement or anything under that location. The house is about 3 years old.

The first is under driveway, just in front of the garage (there's a cavity under the asphalt there, maybe about 6" deep and 6" wide): driveway hole

The second is immediately under the wall of the garage, on the other side of the (two-car) garage door from the driveway hole (note also the crumbling mortar to the left of the hole): hole under wall

I have several questions about this:

  1. Are these holes potentially related, or are they far enough apart that they're more likely separate issues?
  2. Should I be concerned about any of these issues, and if it's hard to say from my pictures/descriptions, who would I call to investigate?
  3. What is causing the driveway hole? Can it simply be filled in, or would it require a bigger fix?
  4. What is causing the hole under the wall? Is it just settling or soil washing away? Can I simply fill it with more dirt?
  5. What caused the mortar to crumble? Is that usually the sign of more crumbling, or is it sometimes just an isolated instance?
  • What's the topography? You don't have an underground stream, do you? They'll do things like that. May 25, 2020 at 23:34
  • No underground stream that I know of. I do have some runoff from my neighbor, but in general that runs along the other side of my house and then down a slight slope away from the garage.
    – Steve
    May 26, 2020 at 13:17

2 Answers 2


I would believe your gutter downspout pipes are in that location(s) if not well sealed or if perf pipe was used without being packed in gravel the dirt gets washed away and creates a hole. I would look for this being the cause as I have seen this when solid pipe was used and cracked later washing the dirt away. Look in the hole if you see a drain you probably have found the reason.

  • 1
    Agree - there's a downspout just around the corner in the second picture. If it's sprung a leak or was improperly installed, it could easily be washing the dirt away.
    – FreeMan
    May 26, 2020 at 17:59
  • Good eye I did not see that+
    – Ed Beal
    May 26, 2020 at 19:07
  • Yeah, there's a downspout just around the corner, although it's connected to a pipe that (theoretically) moves the water about 4 feet away. Could that explain the crumbling mortar there, too? There's no downspout near the other side, where the hole in the driveway is, though, and that's slightly uphill from the downspout.
    – Steve
    May 26, 2020 at 21:08
  • Drain lines usually run along the foundation footing if there is a connection on that corner a good place for for a leak. Mortar especially around foundations is subject to abuse possibly a sealer there is pealing off. mortar That is not protected needs repointing the other areas are painted so they are protected.
    – Ed Beal
    May 26, 2020 at 23:39

After consulting a landscaper and a driveway paver, it appears the issue was primarily just settling/runoff. With the bricks, for some reason, the builder had them overhanging the foundation by about half an inch, which made the hole seem bigger than it was. The landscaper filled the gap under the bricks and the missing mortar with hydraulic cement. The paver cut open and refilled the hole in the driveway and didn't see anything concerning or indicative of a larger issue when he had the hole open.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.