Concrete is one of the most popular materials for a driveway, as many homeowners enjoy its durability and ease of maintenance. In addition, concrete driveways can add to the value of your home, especially when compared to cheaper materials such as gravel and asphalt. A properly installed and maintained concrete driveway should have a long, useful lifespan of 25 to 50 years.
Concrete driveways begin with a plan. Commercial concrete contractors will work with homeowners to create the best driveway layout for their home, considering things such as the size of the driveway or the thickness of the pavement. Properly planning a concrete driveway installation will help eliminate any possible problems later on during construction.
Once the plan has been finalized, workers begin to prepare the site for installation. Before they are able to install a concrete driveway, a concrete contractor must remove grass and other vegetation from your driveway area. Wooden forms are then installed around the perimeter of the driveway, and gravel is poured into these forms and compacted. The driveway is now ready for the concrete to be poured.
After the concrete is mixed, it should be poured immediately for the best results. Once the concrete is poured, it is recommended that a steel roller be used for consolidation within the first 15 minutes of placement. This will ensure your driveway comes out smooth and even.
The next step is curing, one of the most neglected parts of a concrete driveway installation. Curing is the chemical process that hardens and strengthens the concrete, making it solid. The ideal weather for curing is about 70 degrees, and the process can take between three and seven days. During the curing process, the concrete should be regularly dampened to ensure the best results.
Once your driveway is installed, it’s recommended that you wait at least a week before driving on it. This is to make sure the curing process is complete, and the concrete has been properly hardened.