Tips to Install, Maintain, and Repair a Strong Concrete Driveway

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When you install a new concrete driveway in your yard, you will want the concrete slab to be strong and last as long as possible. Here are some tips to help you install a strong concrete driveway, maintain it to help it last, and repair any cracks that may occur in its surface.

Build a Strong Foundation

Before you install your concrete forms and pour the concrete, it is important to make sure your concrete site has a strong and stable foundation. If you pour your concrete driveway over a bumpy and uneven surface, the concrete can settle and crack on the uneven ground after it has hardened. Heavy vehicles driving over your driveway can further cause damage to the concrete driveway. 

To remedy this problem, it is necessary to pour a foundation layer of sand or gravel four inches thick on your driveway site. Then, use a compactor to compress the sand or gravel into a solid layer. 

Reinforce Your Concrete

Concrete reinforcement rebar or mesh installed within your concrete slab is also helpful to ensure your concrete retains its strength, as the rebar will help the concrete from breaking apart. Before you pour your concrete, set your wire mesh within the framed driveway pour site. The wire mesh will need to be raised off the sand or gravel foundation with the use of rebar support chairs to position the wire in the center of your concrete layer when it is poured.

If you are not using supports for the rebar, you will need someone to pull up on the reinforcement rebar mesh up as the concrete is poured into the frames. This will help to position the rebar within the concrete. 

Maintain Your Concrete

Once your concrete driveway has fully cured, it is recommended that you seal it with a concrete sealant. This type of treatment creates a protective barrier over the surface of your concrete to help keep stains and moisture from permeating its porous surface. If moisture is allowed to soak into your driveway, it can cause weathering cracks, erosion, and damage from freeze-thaw cycles during winter. Sealing your driveway also keeps oils and other vehicle fluids from seeping into its surface. After you have protected your driveway with a concrete sealant, it is necessary to reapply a new coat of sealer every three to five years as the old sealant wears off from weather and traffic.

Avoid completing vehicle maintenance on your concrete driveway, as this will increase the risk of vehicle fluids and oil stains soaking into your concrete. If you do spill any staining fluids or oils onto your driveway, blot as much of the fluid as possible with kitty litter, and then scrub the remainder of the stain with warm water, a scrub brush, and liquid dish detergent. Keep your concrete surface cleaned all year long by spraying it with a power washer every few months. This will rinse off any residues, such as snow and ice-melt salt, vehicle traffic tracks onto it from public roads.

Repair Cracks

Even the most well-maintained concrete can shows signs of cracking and other types of damage over time. As your concrete forms cracks, repair them as soon as possible to help keep your concrete lasting as long as possible. 

First, remove any rock debris and vegetation growth from the crack in your concrete with the tip of a screwdriver or garden trowel. Spray out the crack with a pressure washer to remove sand and silt from the interior of the crack. Then rinse the crack with some concrete masonry cleaner to remove any oils or residues from the surface around the crack in your concrete.

Following the package directions, combine dry-mix concrete resurface product, found at most home-improvement stores, with water in a bucket. Press the mixture into the crack with a shovel or trowel to fill any air pockets. Overfill the crack with the mixture and smooth the surface of the repair with your trowel, extending the repair patch several inches around the crack to make the repair uniform. Allow the patch to dry and cure completely.

Use these tips to install, maintain, and repair a long-lasting concrete surface. Talk to a company like Hanover Concrete Company for more tips.

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1 November 2016

Use Concrete as a Form of Art

Concrete doesn't have to be boring. In fact it can be absolutely beautiful. My name is Andrea Reese, and I am an artist as well as an avid gardener. I enjoy sculpting and decided to try to combine my two passions to create an incredible backyard oasis. The results are incredible. In this blog, I'll show you how I learned to make small sculptures and etchings in walkways to turn what used to be ordinary concrete into something amazing that adds tremendous artistic flair to the beauty of my garden. You can make visitors to your backyard think they've stepped into a fairy land. I can show you how.