If A new concrete driveway is a major investment in your home and you should not skimp on cost and quality. At American Concrete we believe in quality, affordability, and reliability with a guarantee to provide the best value for our customers. We use quality materials and processes to provide the best product to stand the test of time and we have worked in the concrete business for many years on all types of concrete projects. We know what it takes to install a concrete driveway properly. Having repeat business and referrals is our goal.
Concrete driveways are a versatile design option due to it's quality, appearance, and low maintenance. It can make a dramatic difference in home landscaping and enhance property value. Today's homeowners want the status of an elevated design and concrete allows for that because of the wide variety of textures, colors, and patterns that impart an inviting image. The concrete driveway has become an essential part of a landscaping plan and allows form and function to make a dramatic difference to enhance property values.
There are many decorative appearances from the traditional to stamped concrete that looks like brick, tile, slate, or stone. Many other design choices are available that can complement a variety of exterior treatments of the house.
Another advantage of concrete driveways is their durability and most last 30 years or more without major maintenance. The initial investment is high but as with most high quality purchases, the cost in the long run will be offset. The long lasting curb appeal and added value to your home will be something that you can assured of for many years.
Planning For The Driveway
Everything in life worth doing is worth doing well as the saying goes and so we believe to get a quality product, the planning is key. Spending time at this stage can help to eliminate possible problems later on in the construction process.
The size of the driveway is the first major consideration. Most driveways suggested width for a single-car driveway is 8-9 ft, and 15 -18 ft for double width. Considerations for widened areas to turn around, extra parking, or additional car stalls should be put in the design at this time. Also, the planning stage is the time to consider adding that concrete patio or porch addition.
The thickness for standard passenger car driveways is four inches and does not have to be reinforced. For heavier vehicles, a thickness of five inches is recommended. To eliminate standing water, the driveway should be sloped towards the street a minimum of one percent, or 1/8 inch per foot, for proper drainage.
Stamped Concrete For Concrete Patios
Pattern stamping is an decorative and colorful way to enhance ordinary concrete paving. The concrete can be formed into practically any shape, texture, pattern, or color. It is a way of adding a new dimension of quality and elegance to the design with minimal additional cost.
Essentially, the driveway is cast-in-place concrete which has been colored and imprinted with a pattern designed to look like brick, tile, cobblestone, or other various patterns. Textured finishes include bromide, swirl, or exposed aggregate.
After the design process is complete, the site preparation begins. If there is an existing asphalt driveway that is to be replaced, the thin layer of asphalt should be removed first and the gravel underneath to be prepared at the proper elevation. The existing gravel base is reusable but some gravel may need to be removed then compacted with a vibratory plate compactor. For a new driveway, a gravel subbase is not needed, but the subgrade must be compacted in a similar manner.
The form composed of lumber on all sides are placed and securely nailed to stakes in the ground. These stakes should be no more than four feet apart and support each joint in the forming lumber. The elevation and base should be uniform for proper slab thickness. Also it should match the sidewalks and garage slab. An isolation joint is needed where the drive is to meet these existing pavements. Typically, contractors use 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick premolded joint material to make this joint.
Ordering Quality Concrete
American Standards for Testing and Materials specification ASTM C-94 sets the specifications for ready mixed concrete for driveways. By following the correct specifications and construction methods, it will help avoid problems such as random cracking. The specs for:
Placing & Finishing
The delivery and discharge of ready mixed concrete should be done in under 1.5 hours. Moisten the subgrade with water and spray or brush all forms with form oil. There should be no puddles or standing water on the subgrade before placing the concrete. The concrete should be placed as near as possible to its finished position, either chuted directly, or into wheelbarrows and wheeled to its final location. Fill along the sides of the forms to make sure there is even distribution. Smooth the surface with a straight edge and check for low spots. Immediately after strike off, a bullfloat is worked back and forth across the surface to remove any irregularities but be sure not to overwork or the surface may be weakened. At this point, edges can be tooled into the concrete. Surface bleed water must evaporate before proceeding with the final finishing. Properly specified concrete should allow finishing operations to begin almost immediately using a concrete broom. Before brooming, the surface should be stiff enough to retain marks or grooves left by the bristles of the broom. A trowel finish is not recommended because it could leave the surface slippery and unsafe. The rougher broom finish improves traction. Snap chalk lines to indicate where joints go.
Caution: Avoid prolonged contact between unhardened (wet) cement or concrete mixtures and skin surfaces. To prevent such contact, it is advisable to wear protective clothing. Skin areas that have been exposed to wet cement or concrete, either directly or through saturated clothing, should be thoroughly washed with water.
Improperly cured concrete is likely to crack and not be as durable so this process must not be neglected. Curing should take between 3-7 days, the longer the better. There are several methods of curing including plastic sheets to cover the concrete, or continuous sprinkling, or applying a special curing compound. Areas with different temperatures will have different curing times but irregardless, it should be setup as soon as it is finished.
Joints in concrete pavements control the location and spread of cracks. They should be spaced less than 10 ft apart and at least 1 in deep for a standard 4 in slab. Driveways that are 12 ft or wider should have a joint down the center.
Applying a sealer to exterior concrete will protect it being damaged by freeze/thaw cycles and absorbing moisture. This is necessary to increase it's durability and ease of care. The first type of sealer is a liquid acrylic-based copolymer. It is transparent and acts as a film over the surface. This type of product has been on the market for years and is widely used due to the value for the money.
Penetrating sealers are clear solutions that penetrate deeply and chemically react with cement surfaces therefore offering the best protection from moisture penetration. Combining proper aftercare with great quality workmanship will result in a concrete driveway that will last many years.
We are Georgetown's expert concrete contractors when it comes to home solutions, so American Concrete should be your first choice. We have a no hassle free estimate policy so you can get a quote and a timeline that it can be completed. Whether you’re in Georgetown, Round Rock, Hutto, Taylor, Cedar Park, or Leander, we will work hard to make your outdoor dreams a reality. If you want to enhance the use, function and beauty of your outdoor spaces, contact us first.