Concrete Driveway

Concrete is quickly replacing asphalt, bitumen, and other paving options as the material of choice for new driveways. Concrete driveways, often known as cement driveways, are distinct from other road building techniques due to the wide range of decorative alternatives available.

Construction of Concrete Driveway

The contractor in charge of laying the concrete for the driveway must ensure that the process goes smoothly if the driveway is to meet the necessary standards for quality, appearance, and durability. The functionality and visual appeal of a concrete driveway are entirely dependent on the quality of the construction and the materials utilized. The following requirements must be met when constructing a concrete driveway.

  1. Proper Subgrade Preparation
  2. Subgrade Preparation

    Preparing the subgrade is essential for achieving consistency in soil type and compaction. Meeting this standard helps ensure the driveway can handle the weight of vehicles and other vehicles using it.

    This aids in obtaining:

    • Uniform Slab Thickness
    • Slab-crack prevention

    If weak soil is discovered during preparation, it should be replaced with a stronger material like crushed rock or gravels. A geotechnical engineer must be consulted to determine the site's soil qualities. Compaction may be accomplished using either rammers or vibratory compactors.

  3. Selection of Proper Concrete Mix
  4. Ready-mix concrete is recommended by ASTM C-94 for use in the construction of concrete driveways due to the consistency it offers. Using the right concrete mix may prevent issues of random cracking. Among the requirements are:

    1. In most environments, a compressive strength of 4,000 psi (About 25 N/ after 28 days is sufficient for concrete.
    2. Concrete with a high air content (about 10 percent) is more durable and easier to work with.
    3. Coarse aggregates are the primary emphasis while constructing a concrete driveway. Their dimensions are between 0.75 and 1.
    4. High-performance concrete is ideal for a driveway that will be exposed to heavy vehicle traffic, fluctuating temperatures, and chemical spills. It's more expensive than your standard mix design, but it will save you money in the long run because to its durability and low maintenance requirements.

  5. Placement of Reinforcement
  6. Rebar Placment

    Plain concrete is often used for driveways that aren't heavily used. Concrete or reinforced concrete might be used to strengthen the driveway's foundation. In high-traffic areas, including driveways, reinforced concrete is your best option. No amount of reinforcing can stop fractures from developing. However, if fractures do appear, the rebars will keep them together and stop them from spreading. Reinforcement for a concrete driveway might take the shape of either a wire mesh or a grid. By placing blocks beneath the rebars, the reinforcement may be positioned accurately in the middle of the concrete driveway. Synthetic fibers are increasingly being used as reinforcement due of their effectiveness in preventing shrinkage cracks. They are employed in conjunction with primary steel reinforcement, but not as the primary reinforcement itself.

  7. Concrete Placement
  8. Concreting

    The thickness used has a significant impact on the driveway's structural capability. A concrete driveway should be at least 4 inches thick. Based on driveway requirmeents and standards, an increase from 4 to 5 inches improves structural capacity by 50%.
    Because of the concentrated stress at the margins, The concrete curbs around the driveway are thickened by an extra 1-2 inches .

  9. Proper Finishing of Concrete Driveways
  10. Overworking the surface or performing operations over bleeding water on the surface are the two most common causes of mistakes in the finishing process of a concrete driveway. The following procedures are used to complete the finishing of concrete driveways.

    1. Excess concrete is removed with a screed to create a smooth surface.
    2. To avoid the accumulation of bleeding water, the concrete is floated using a magnesium bullfoat or a wood.
    3. It is recommended to have a broom finish over the surface if there are no plans to offer a smooth or decorative finish.
    4. It is not essential to use a steel trowel for any further finishing.
    5. Sealing the cement surface ahead of time will prevent the bleeding water from evaporating.

  11. Proper Placement of Joints
  12. Control Joint vs Expansion joint

    The problems of random cracking may be mitigated by the use of control joints at suitable intervals. Driveways made of 4 inches of concrete often have 10 feet separations between each slab. Cracking at random does not indicate serious structural collapse. On the other hand, it diminishes the attractiveness of the driveway.
    Avoiding triangular or rectangular areas in your joint layouts might help keep your joints from cracking at random. Control joints should be one-fourth of the thickness of the driveway. Isolated joints must be provided at all points where the driveway connects the sidewalk, other pavements, or garage floor slabs. Joints should be planned out in advance of constructing a driveway.

  13. Adequate Drainage Facility
  14. Concrete driveways benefit from a well-thought-out drainage system that keeps water moving. Concrete driveway drainage may be achieved in two ways,

    • By sloping the driveways toward the streets
    • By installing drains
    The side that will be facing the existing structures should be elevated. A drain must be placed in a low area of the concrete driveway if sloping is not an option. This water is redirected elsewhere.

  15. Adequate Curing
  16. When laying a concrete driveway, most contractors skip the curing phase. Curing is just as crucial as the other processes described. Curing the surface promptly after completing is essential. Curing can be done by:

    1. Covering with Plastic sheets
    2. Continuous Sprinkling
    3. Covering with wet blankets
    4. Liquid Membranes
    The typical suggested cure time for a concrete driveway is 7 days. If the curing process isn't done properly, the strength could be dropped by 50%.