Opting For Concrete For Your Driveway
Many homeowners are preferring concrete over other materials for their driveways, and this is for a good reason. For one thing, concrete is durable and needs very little maintenance. Even though concrete driveways are more expensive than asphalt and gravel driveways, they are cheaper than pavers such as cobblestone are and brick. Usually, plain concrete is dull and less attractive, but experts can use stamps and colors to create very attractive and unique surfaces. Before you can use a concrete in your driveway, you need to know and understand the basics.
What is concrete?
Many people normally refer to concrete as cement but this is not exactly the case. Cement is just one of the main ingredients of concrete. In basic terms, concrete is a composite material consisting of sand, cement, crushed rocks or aggregate, and water. Experts have to mix these ingredients at very specific ratios to achieve a high quality concrete. The quality of the cement and sand also affect the quality of the concrete. Usually, the mixing takes place on site for various reasons. The experts add the some decorative elements once the concrete dries in your driveway.
How can you maintain a concrete driveway?
Concrete driveways are not completely maintenance free as most people like to assume, though as aforementioned, they are low-maintenance. Keeping the concrete driveway clean and neat will help bring out the decorative pattern you decide to go with, as well as enhance its endurance. It only takes a good scrub using a stiff brush and a horse to get the cleaning done. If you want to take the level of protection high, apply a concrete sealer at least once a year. The best time to apply a sealer is during fall if your region experiences snow, to protect your drive against the harsh winter weather and road salt.
Cost versus endurance
Depending on how well your concrete driveway is built and how you well you will maintain it, it can last anywhere between 25 to 50 years. A simple concrete driveway will usually cost about $4 to $10 per square foot. The cost is slightly higher if you decide to stamped or colored finish to make your driveway more appealing. Other materials used in driveways might be cheaper in terms of the initial installation cost but when you calculate the maintenance and repair cost overtime, concrete is much more economical.
Concrete installation process
Before installing a concrete driveway from scratch, the experts begin by clearing grass and/or other vegetation to achieve a stable soil foundation. Next, they install wood forms around the perimeter of the driveway and then add a gravel of at least four inches deep, graded and compacted. The experts then move quickly to pour wet concrete and cover the entire surface and reinforcing it with welded wire or rebar. Then the finishing crew comes in with a sufficient number of expansion joints. Once all these is done, the curing process begins, which is the most important step. The ideal temperature for curing is 70 degrees.
To know about using concrete for your driveways, you can always consult us at Hardscape Design by DaVinci.