Everything You Need To Know About Concrete Driveways

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It can be tough to decide between a new concrete driveway versus a new asphalt one. Here is everything you need to know about concrete driveways to help you make an informed decision.

Do you need gravel under a concrete driveway?

Yes, a concrete driveway should have a solid gravel base underneath. For most applications, a four-inch gravel base that has been compacted well is sufficient, however, there are circumstances that will warrant a thicker base, such as a sandy, loose subsoil and anticipated use of the driveway by heavy trucks and machinery.

Do you need to reinforce a concrete driveway?

Typically, concrete is reinforced with rebar, a reinforced steel bar system that is usually in the form of a wire mesh. As cement wants to shift and crack over time and during severe weather conditions, the rebar holds it together. Rebar is installed an inch or two below the surface in cement sidewalks, patios, and driveways. 

How many inches of concrete do you need for a concrete driveway?

In order to support the weight of cars, trucks, and other vehicles, a concrete driveway should be four to six inches thick with a solid base. 

When is the best time to install a concrete driveway?

Concrete can be poured any time of year as long as the overnight temperature does not dip below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. In northern climates, this means that a winter pour is unlikely, but the weather also plays a factor in southern climates. When the weather is extremely hot, the concrete may dry too fast, making it unworkable for the construction crew. 

Do you have to wait to park on a concrete driveway?

You do not want to park on your new driveway right away. You will need to wait at least a week for the driveway to cure. In fact, you should wait up to a month before allowing any heavy delivery trucks to drive on your driveway. 

How do you maintain a concrete driveway?

The two biggest factors in maintaining your concrete driveway are de-icing products and sealant. You should avoid using de-icing products as they damage the concrete over time and your driveway should be sealed every few years to protect it from the elements. 

How do you know when a concrete driveway needs to be replaced?

As concrete ages, you will notice cracks, pitting, and even potholes in your concrete driveway. These are all signs that you need to talk to the professionals about having a new concrete driveway installed. 

A concrete driveway is a solid surface and a solid investment. Talk to a professional concrete driveway installation team near you for specifics in your area. 

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