Will a dumpster damage my driveway?

Junk Removal Advice:

Handymen and do-it-yourselfers are frequently looking for creative ways to save some cash and skip professional services. Many who prefer to complete projects themselves consider the money that they will save, but forget about the damage that may be incurred in the process.

Dumpsters have sharp steel wheels that may scratch or mar your driveway during delivery, and depending on the weight of the container, how old your pavement is, and the material of your driveway, cracks can also form.

When considering whether you should hire a junk removal service or get a dumpster and complete the process yourself, it’s important to consider whether getting a dumpster yourself can cause damage to your driveway. Prior to completing the project yourself, it’s important to first consider whether damage can occur, how it might happen, and what can be done to prevent it.

Common Questions About Damage

There are many different aspects to a driveway that you need to consider when thinking about whether a dumpster can cause driveway damage. This includes factors like scratching, cracking, discoloration and damage to the surrounding landscaping. Here are some of the most common questions people wonder about when considering getting their own dumpster.

Can a Dumpster Cause Scratches and Cosmetic Concerns?

One of the primary concerns when considering a dumpster on your driveway is scratching or chipping. When a delivery service places the dumpster or comes to pick it up, any dragging or movement of the dumpster once it’s placed may cause the dumpster to become scratched or scraped.

Rough edges or corners can be extra concerning when considering scratches. Although the surface of driveways are durable, a heavy item such as a dumpster can still be a concern.

Think of how you can easily scratch a piece of glass when you drag a heavy or sharp object across the surface. Although cement and driveway materials are much more durable, the idea is still the same. Scratching and chipping are possible without proper care and management.

Can a Dumpster Crack My Driveway?

An even bigger concern when it comes to storing a dumpster on a driveway is the possibility for cracking. Although extremely rare, it is possible for the weight of a dumpster to crack your driveway.

This is most likely to occur during the delivery or removal of the dumpster. However, it’s also possible for it to happen while the dumpster is simply sitting on the driveway. It’s more likely to happen when the driveway is full.

Old driveways are more susceptible to cracking than newer driveways. This is because the materials of the driveway have already withstood years of wear and tear, and may already contain cracks and scratches. A dumpster may make a hairline crack or small crack even larger.

Can a Dumpster Damage the Landscaping or Grass Around My Driveway?

A dumpster can also cause damage to the landscaping or grass surrounding your driveway. If the dumpster is stored on your driveway, the greatest concern is during delivery and pick-up. Delivery companies use large trucks to transport their dumpsters. These companies may accidentally drive over grass or landscaping when attempting to back into your driveway. They may be required to drive over these areas if you have an oddly shaped driveway or want to keep the dumpster out of the way.

In order to prevent damage to their driveway, some consider setting the dumpster out of the way on their grass or landscaping. This, however, will almost certainly cause damage to the plants under or around the dumpster. Anything below the dumpster will be smashed or killed under the enormous weight. Plants that are around the dumpster may be damaged during delivery and pick up. The enormous size of the dumpster may also block the essential water and sunlight that plants need to survive, causing them to wilt. If you want your grass and plants to survive, it’s important to consider where you’re placing the dumpster.

Can a Dumpster Leave Discoloration?

Unless you leave it there for a really long period of time, a dumpster shouldn’t cause any discoloration to your driveway at all. However, if a dumpster is left in the same spot for years or even months at a time, the elements may cause rusting on the dumpster. If the rusting develops on the bottom of the dumpster, rust stains may develop on the driveway’s surface.

New driveways may also be susceptible to discoloration from a dumpster if it is left for long periods of time. Certain types of cement may become lighter colors with exposure to the sun. If a dumpster blocks the exposure to the sun in a certain area while the rest of the driveway is exposed to the elements, it may result in a different color below the dumpster’s bottom.

Factors that are More Likely to Cause Damage

There are several factors that increase the likelihood of your driveway being damaged by a dumpster. Each of these is important to consider when thinking about a do-it-yourself dumpster project. Being aware of these factors can help you discover solutions to decrease the risk for damage.


Weight is the primary factor that increases the chances of causing damage to your driveway. The sheer heaviness of the dumpster and its contents may cause weak driveways to crack beneath their weight.

Uneven distributions of the contents inside the dumpster can also cause weight concerns. If a lot of heavy items are placed into a particular corner or side of the dumpster, it can cause the weight to be focused on a single point of the driveway. This is more likely to cause cracking than if you evenly distribute the weight between each of the sides.

Falling Debris

Overfilling a dumpster can increase the risk for falling debris. Falling debris can easily cause scratching, chipping, or cracking on your driveway.

Think about a porcelain toilet or bathtub falling from a 10 foot height. The force exhibited on the driveway is significant. Any heavy or metal object could potentially harm your driveway.

Falling debris causes a huge hazard for your driveway and its structure. Be sure to avoid overfilling the dumpster to help eliminate this concern.

Drop-Off and Pick-Up

Even with the best dumpster delivery service, drop-off and pick-up always cause concern for scratching and cracking on driveways. As the delivery truck places the dumpster on the driveway, the force may lead to cracking, especially at weak points in the driveway like the sides or uneven surfaces.

Drop-off and pick-up may also lead to scratches on the surface of your driveway if the dumpster gets dragged or moved at all during the process.

Uneven Driveways

An uneven driveway can cause more concern for cracking. An uneven surface will cause the force of the dumpster to be unevenly distributed on the surface. The higher points will bear most of the weight. This weight, especially if the dumpster is full, can become significant enough for the driveway to crack.

How to Protect Your Driveway

With these concerns for cracking, scratching and other types of damage, there are a number of measures you can take to help protect your driveway. Each of these measures helps to protect your driveway from a different aspect of damage.

Place the Dumpster in the Street

One option is to ask your dumpster delivery service to place the dumpster in the street. This prevents the dumpster from ever being placed on your driveway, lowering the risk for damage during your project. Although it may be an extra long walk from your house to the street to dump the junk, it may be worth it if it saves your driveway from damage.

One thing to keep in mind with placing a dumpster in the street is the legality of it. Some neighborhoods may require you to have a permit to leave a dumpster in the driveway.
Others may not allow it at all. Before placing your dumpster in the street, be sure to check local laws to avoid large fines and tickets.

Use Plywood or Boards Underneath the Bottom

Placing plywood or boards under the bottom of the dumpster can help protect your driveway from scratches or cracking. There are a few reasons why this helps to prevent damage.

First, the plywood or boards act as a cushion or buffer between the surfaces of the metal dumpster and concrete driveway. Just like you may want to use cardboard or a towel when moving large appliances over a hardwood floor to prevent scratching, the plywood or boards create a protective layer from the dumpster’s sharp metal base.

Second, plywood and boards can help to distribute the weight from the dumpster more evenly on the driveway. It can help to compensate for uneven surfaces and imperfections of both the driveway and dumpster. This can save the driveway from cracking under the uneven weight distribution.

Don’t Overfill

Overfilling a dumpster can cause several problems as well.

First, filling a dumpster too high can greatly increase the weight, increasing the possibility that your driveway may crack under the weight. Be conscious about how high you fill your dumpster, especially if you’re adding several heavy materials.

Second, overfilling a dumpster can lead to debris falling from the top. As pointed out earlier, falling debris can cause the damage to become scratched or cracked, especially if the debris is heavy. To help eliminate this risk, keep the level of debris below a level even with the top of the dumpster.

Be Careful About Where you Place the Dumpster

When the dumpster company arrives, discuss with them the best spot to place the dumpster on the driveway. It’s important to find a level spot to ensure even weight distribution. Placement on uneven surfaces may cause the pavement to crack under the dumpster’s weight.

It’s also important to avoid the edges of the driveway. The sides tend to be less even, especially in old driveways. Additionally, the edges of the driveway are less strong making them more susceptible to cracking.

Choose Your Servicer Wisely

Choose a dumpster service that has a reputation for quality and careful delivery. A good servicer will know strategies to help protect your driveway and will work with you to minimize damage concerns. They may be familiar with the best area in your driveway to place the dumpster or use rollers during pick up and drop off.

For the Most Safety, Hire a Junk Removal Service

If you’re concerned for the safety and quality of your driveway, hiring a junk removal service can help eliminate the risks posed by a do-it-yourself dumpster project. Junk removal services are professionals at removing junk from your house efficiently and safely.

Many companies take everything, big or small, and they never shy away from a project. With convenient services offered for hauling and removing junk, a junk removal service can help reduce the stressors of doing it yourself.

Most companies are also well-aware of the risks posed to your driveway when removing junk or placing a dumpster on the driveway. Some companies will use a dump truck instead of a dumpster. These dump trucks can be easily parked in the driveway, and risks for cracking and scratching are minimal as the bucket doesn’t have to be removed and placed on the driveway.

Junk removal companies also tend to be fast and efficient at what they do. You won’t have to worry about a dumpster sitting in your driveway for days, causing inconvenience and potential damage. Instead, their fast and efficient services can be completed in just a matter of hours or a few days.


If you’re wondering if a dumpster can damage your driveway, the answer is yes. Although damage from dumpsters is rare, it is possible for a dumpster to cause cracking, scratching, discoloration or damage to the surrounding landscaping. Factors like weight distribution and falling debris increase the risk for damage to your driveway.

In order to reduce the risks for damage, it’s important to place the dumpster on an even spot on your driveway. Be careful not to overfill the dumpster to reduce the risk for falling debris. Using plywood or boards underneath can also help to evenly distribute the weight from your driveway and reduce the risks for scratching by creating a fusion between surfaces.

If you want to decrease the risks of damage to your driveway, consider hiring a junk removal service. They are fast and efficient and are professionals at getting rid of your junk. Ditch the do-it-yourself project and hire a junk removal service to reduce the inconvenience and damage concerns.

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