A concrete driveway can add significant value to your home. It’s a good idea to spend some time planning out the design of your driveway to ensure that it will look good for years to come. By doing proper planning, you can prevent problems from arising later on in the construction process. The first thing to consider when planning out your driveway is size.
The thickness of concrete in your driveway will depend on how much weight it will be carrying. A 3 to 4-inch-thick pad can easily support a light vehicle, but a heavier vehicle will require a thicker slab. For these reasons, many contractors recommend pouring concrete driveways between four and six inches thick.
The process of pouring concrete requires the use of forms. You’ll also need a gravel sub-base and reinforcement. Then, you’ll want to smooth out the surface of the driveway using a hand float. Finally, you’ll want to apply an acrylic sealer to protect it from scaling and spalling. It’s important to allow the concrete to dry thoroughly for a week after pouring it.
When laying concrete, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for jointing. Isolation joints are necessary in areas where the driveway meets existing pavement. In addition, make sure that your contractor provides you with a jointing plan. Doing so will prevent excessive bleedwater from entering the driveway. Also, remember that if your driveway is wedged between two structures, it’s important to slope it away from those structures.
Rebar reinforcement is another essential component of concrete driveway construction. It will enhance the structural strength of your driveway and give it a longer lifespan. Rebar is usually made of 1/2-inch (#4) steel and will add another three to five inches to the thickness of concrete. It helps prevent cracks and helps hold concrete together even when it cracks. Rebar is also essential for protecting your driveway from delivery trucks.
It’s important to choose a professional concrete driveway contractor who is licensed and registered by the Attorney General’s Office. He or she must also meet specific requirements regarding insurance and compliant contracts. You should also have a written contract with your concrete contractor that specifies the start and end dates. The contract should also state any warranties and guarantees. In addition, it should include any changes that you may want to make. You can also visit the Pennsylvania Aggregates and Concrete Association for technical information and education on concrete driveway construction.
When laying a concrete driveway, it is important to consider the type of soil beneath it. If you have a clay-based soil, you should choose a material that is suitable for the local climate. Organic soils and peat are not the best choice as they can shrink when wet or become moist. A solid rock such as limestone or granite provides good support. If you have an undisturbed soil beneath your driveway, sand or crushed stone material will be an ideal base for the driveway.