Concrete driveways are a durable and long-lasting option for homeowners. However, proper installation and maintenance are crucial for ensuring their longevity. We’ll discuss 14 tactics for creating a high-quality concrete driveway and concrete patios.
1. Use Reinforcement Materials
Reinforcement materials, such as steel bars or fiber mesh, are often used to strengthen concrete driveways. These materials help prevent cracks and other damage from occurring over time. Be sure to discuss with your contractor which reinforcement materials are best for your driveway.
2. Proper Mixing Techniques
Proper mixing techniques are essential for a strong and long-lasting concrete driveway. Make sure your contractor uses the correct proportions of cement, sand, and gravel, and that the concrete is mixed thoroughly. This ensures that the concrete will cure properly and be less likely to crack.
3. Finishing with a Trowel
Finishing with a trowel is an important step in creating a smooth and level concrete driveway surface. A trowel is used to smooth out any rough spots or ridges in the concrete surface. Make sure your contractor’s workforce has experience using a trowel and is able to create a level surface.
4. Proper Curing Techniques
Curing is the process of allowing the concrete to dry and harden over time. It’s important to follow the proper curing techniques to ensure the concrete sets properly and is less likely to crack. Your concrete contractor should be knowledgeable about the correct curing process and should take steps to protect the driveway during the curing period.
5. Use of Expansion Joints
Expansion joints are gaps placed in the concrete to allow for movement caused by temperature changes and other factors. Without expansion joints, concrete can crack and become damaged. Make sure you take extra care to include expansion joints in the driveway installation plan.
6. Adequate Drainage
Proper drainage is important to prevent water damage to your concrete driveway. Your contractor should take steps to ensure that the driveway is sloped away from your home and that proper drainage is in place to prevent standing water. If water stands on the driveway, it can cause slippery surfaces and inadequate drainage can loosen the land below the driveway and wash it away. Washing away of soil can create hollow spaces under the driveway which can cause damage.
7. Hire a Professional Contractor
Hiring a professional contractor is essential for a quality concrete driveway installation. Look for a contractor with experience in concrete driveway installation and be sure to check references and reviews before hiring.
8. Consider Colored Concrete
Colored concrete can be a great option for homeowners looking to add some visual interest to their driveway. Colored concrete can be customized to match your home’s exterior and landscaping. Colored concrete is durable, looks good, gives personal touch and can be maintained easily. Colored concrete is little pricier than the normal concrete.
What to keep in mind while choosing the colored concrete?
- Match the color to the house color scheme.
- Dark color absorb heat while light color reflects.
9. Seal the Driveway
Sealing the driveway can help protect it from damage caused by weather and wear and tear. Talk to your contractor about sealing options and when the best time to seal your driveway is. There are plenty of sealers available in the market that does the great job. Sealers adds up an extra protective layer for your concrete driveway.
10. Regular Maintenance
Regular maintenance is key to ensuring the longevity of your concrete driveway. Keep the driveway clean and free of debris, and be sure to address any cracks or damage as soon as possible. Cracks can widen with time and that can cost you hefty amount of money to get it repaired.
11. Avoid Heavy Loads
Heavy loads, such as large trucks or construction equipment, can damage your concrete driveway. Avoid parking heavy vehicles on the driveway for extended periods of time. More weight is directly proportional to do likely more damage your driveway.
12. Use High-Quality Materials
Using high-quality materials is essential for a long-lasting and durable concrete driveway. Be sure to discuss with your contractor which materials they plan to use and why. Concrete quality parameters include the compressive strength of 4,000 psi, air content ranging from 4-5 percent. Consultation from a professional is required as per the weather conditions of your area.
13. Consider the Climate
Climate can have a significant impact on the durability of your concrete driveway. If you live in an area with extreme temperatures, be sure to discuss with your contractor which concrete mix is best for your driveway.
14. Plan for Future Repairs No matter how well-maintained your concrete driveway is, repairs may be necessary over time. Discuss with your contractor about what the repair work has to be done and how they suggest to do it.