Stamped Concrete and Slab Driveway Installaton - Roseville, CA
Call (916) 502-9270
Nearly every single house in the greater Sacramento area has a driveway installed. Over the years, concrete begins to crack, and sooner if it was poorly installed the first time. In many of the cities throughout the NorCal area, some of the homes have been around a long time, and are due for a tune-up on their driveway. With all these cracks, and uneven slabs, it may be time for a concrete overlay, refinishing, resealing, or repair job. Maybe even a whole new driveway altogether.
Call us today at (916) 502-9270 to get your free quote.
From the plain ol grey style of flatly poured concrete driveways, to the stylish and colorful stamped concrete driveways, our contractors create them all. Whether you have grown tired of looking at your current driveway, or want a fresh look, we can overlay your concrete driveway with a stamped style that will rocket the front of your home to the best in neighborhood. There are various styles that are available to choose from for your driveway installation, and we can help you figure out just what is suitable for your home.
To get your requested quote for a concrete driveway installation, we also do asphalt driveways, stone driveways and brick driveways too, and our stamped concrete driveways can make it seem like they are stone and brick driveways the way our stamps and colors make them appear, plus, they are easier to maintain. Call us, to get a free quote at (916) 502-9270
What To Know When Installing a Concrete Driveway
Choosing concrete as the material you want for your driveway is only the beginning. Concrete driveways are attractive in appearance and fairly low-maintenance, but there’s a lot that goes into the process of installing one. Plenty of different factors have to be considered: the correct mix design, the weather where you live, how thick it should be, the budget for the project, different aesthetic designs, how to reinforce it to prevent cracks, and more. These things can all have an impact on which contractor you choose for the job. Hopefully after you’re done reading this article, you’ll be a little more informed about the installation process, and you’ll use what you learned to find a contractor that’s right for you. Call us for more at (916) 502-9270
The best kind of concrete mix is air-entrained. This means it has a small percentage of air added into it, which causes it to develop microscopic air bubbles. In the long-run, air-entrained mixes prevent cracks from occurring in colder weather. Freezing and thawing cycles do a lot of damage to a driveway, but if you’re using air-entrained concrete, water enters the little air bubbles when freezing and thawing. This way, there’s less pressure internally, and the concrete doesn’t crack as much. Ask your contractor for concrete that is around 6% air if you live in a colder climate.
You’ll also want to look for concrete with a low water to cement ratio. If too much water is added to the mix, the concrete becomes a lot less durable. A ratio above .50 is probably your best choice. Some contractors add water to the mix at the job site, so you should request that this not be done or look for a company that doesn’t do this. It messes up the ratio, and like I said before, you’ll end up with weak concrete. It won’t be fun having to repair cracks that you could have prevented.
Other Things to Consider
Is your concrete driveway going to be very highly trafficked? You’ll need concrete that can withstand a lot of pressure. When talking the compressive strength of concrete, the recommended amount to ask for is over 4000 psi. It’s also recommended that the slump (thickness and stiffness) of the concrete slab of the driveway should be four inches. If it’s over 5 inches, you’ll run into problems with the finish later. Do you have a way to avoid standing water on your driveway? For the best drainage, driveways should slope towards the street at 1/8 inch per foot, not towards your home or other buildings. Make sure to have a drain installed to collect any standing water if this arrangement isn’t possible. Call (916) 502-9270 to get an additional opinion
Concrete Joints and Patterns
What kind of design do you want? Having joints in your driveway can be very helpful in increasing its longevity. What is a joint, you ask? It’s basically a crack in your driveway that you planned to have. If it gets cold where you live, having control joints will ensure that if the driveway does crack, it isn’t random. It cracks where you said it was okay to crack, in other words. They can be added to fresh concrete with grooving tools, or with a saw if the concrete has hardened enough. Saws should be used within 6-12 hours after finishing if the weather is getting very hot. In hot weather, saws are preferable to using grooving tools, which can cause cracks.
Joints should be cut to the depth of only one-quarter of the slab thickness, and no more. In addition, your contractor should avoid patterns that create triangles or rectangles. If you want, you can have joints installed in the form of attractive-looking patterns. You should work with your contractor and create a jointing plan that you can both agree on.
Steel is a good reinforcing material if your driveway will be experiencing a lot of car traffic. Unfortunately, it doesn’t prevent cracking, but it can keep the cracks from getting worse if they do happen. Wire mesh can also be used as a reinforcing material. Either way, reinforcements need blocks placed underneath them, so that they stay centered.
When a driveway is being finished, there should never be any bleed water (this is when water rises up to the surface of the concrete from within the mix). Bleed water can ruin the finish of a driveway. For it to be finished, the concrete needs to be leveled with a tool called a screed, bleed water needs to be prevented with a bullfloat, and then it can be stamped with a design or physically swept with a broom to increase traction. If your driveway is finished with a broom, you can have dyes or stains added to it if you wish. Decorative driveways usually aren’t broom-finished.
You thought finishing was the last step, didn’t you? Nope. Curing is one more thing that has to be done if your concrete driveway is going to remain durable. It helps the concrete hold up against the effects of changing weather. There are a number of different ways to cure concrete. Sometimes it’s covered with plastic sheets. Other times, contractors have it covered with “curing blankets”, which need to be wet. It can also be continuously sprinkled with water. Whether sheets or curing blankets are used to cover it, a curing compound should be added so that a “membrane” forms on the top of the concrete. The curing compound is usually a liquid solution.
Feel overwhelmed yet? I even did a bit while writing everything down. But hiring a contractor instead of worrying about all of this yourself will definitely save you a lot of trouble. And it’ll save you money in the long run, if everything is done the way it should be. Hopefully you’ll end up with a durable, weather-resistant driveway, but it all comes down to who you choose do install it for you. At least now, you’re better prepared and you have a lot of informed questions to ask the people you hire.