The design of your driveway is part of your home’s overall curb appeal. When planning and building the perfect driveway, there are lots of factors to consider in addition to aesthetics, such as material quality, durability, and expense. Concrete driveways are popular choices which can last for many years, in spite of the wear and tear your vehicles provide day after day. Plus, concrete offers exceptional results and durability when designed and crafted with care. On the other hand, when not properly laid, unwanted issues can arise. Turnbull Masonry offers these tips to help you plan, design, and have your new concrete driveway installed.
Comparing Concrete and Asphalt
As you plan for your new driveway, you may be wondering which is the better material concrete or asphalt. After all, both are popular choices. Concrete driveways tend to deliver greater durability and longevity, lasting 30 years or more without needing maintenance. On the other hand, asphalt driveways are susceptible to wear and tear from vehicles as well as changes in weather conditions, and so require regular maintenance like sealing on a regular basis. While concrete is often most costly on the front end of the project, you will likely find the costs of maintaining, repairing, and replacing asphalt make it more expensive over the life of the driveway.
Choosing the Right Concrete for Your Driveway
The best concrete for your new driveway should be a minimum of 4,000 PSI, with six percent air entrainment. The addition of a moisture reduction mixture will decrease the water to cement ratio. While other concrete mixtures might be less expensive, choosing a high performance concrete with additives like fly ash enhance the overall workability without the addition of water which can result in a higher incidence of cracks. Once you have selected the proper concrete, you need to understand the weight and strength of your driveway correlates with the thickness of the concrete installation. Concrete driveways should be a minimum of four inches in thickness, but five inches is preferable and increases the load carrying capacity by 50 percent.
The Cause of Cracks in Your Concrete
Minor cracks can decrease curb appeal though they do not cause consequential damage nor decrease the longevity of your driveway. Concrete cracks are most commonly the result of improper design or poor installation methods. Concrete shrinks a bit as it sets, and properly spaced joints accommodate for shrinkage and help avoid cracks. Cracks in concrete may also be the result of absent control joints, improper jointing, poor preparation of materials and surfaces, too much moisture, inappropriate curing, and ineffective finishing.
Avoiding Concrete Cracks
Cracks in concrete have a number of causes, may of which can be avoided with the application of the following strategies. Curing is a crucial factor in long-lasting concrete and helps prevent weather damage as well as other issues. In addition, proper joint patters must be selected to avoid an increased risk of cracks. Joints need to be placed at proper distances to elude cracking. Control joints should be spaced at 10 x 10 intervals creating square, uniform shapes. Joint patterns which result in triangular or rectangular shapes increase the potential for cracks. Concrete finishes and seals also play a prominent role in the prevention of cracks. Trowel finish and broom finish are the most popular. Trowel finish is typically applied inside to create a flat smooth surface, while broom finish which creates a durable, slip-resistant surface is used for driveways and walkways. Decorative finishes – patterned, aggregate, color – are also options. After finishing, your concrete driveways should be sealed with concrete sealant, which prevents absorption and reduces stains.
Call on Turnbull Masonry to Create Your Concrete Driveway
Call on Turnbull Masonry to design and install your new concrete driveway with premium quality concrete and unmatched workmanship.