The A-Z Of How Concrete Driveway Contractors Pave Surfaces
A driveway is a permanent addition to your home. It could be made of pavers, gravel, asphalt or concrete. In comparison, concrete driveways are more permanent. They provide a link to your home that not only provides smooth passage to your home from the street, they also add to its curb appeal. Indirectly, concrete driveways provide your kids with a safe area to ride bikes and scooters as well. And lastly, concrete driveways prevent soil erosion and keep your car clean from dirt, mud, etc.
When your tooth aches, you consult a dentist. When your car breaks down, you consult your local mechanic. The same norm remains true even for paving services. Concrete driveway contractors are professionally trained on how best to pave your surface for the best result. It may sound as easy as ABC, but the technicalities involved will compel you to sort professional services and nothing else. Concrete driveway contractors follow a strict process in order to come up with the perfect surface. This includes:
Developing a driveway plan
Before any groundwork can commence, a detailed plan has to be developed. A driveway plan is critical in installing your concrete driveway. This is to ensure your safety as well as guaranteeing that your driveway is functional, durable, and aesthetically pleasing. Among the critical factors considered is the structural location of your home as it will determine where you turn your car around to get into the street. Driveways constructed close to blind corners are dangerous. The concrete driveway contractor may have to create a circle drive from your home to the street in such a manner that you’ll have the advantage of facing the street when you pulling from your driveway.
The concrete driveway contractor walks you through the financial implications the entire installation will have on your budget. Factors considered here include the amount of concrete to be used, the design of the driveway and any reinforcement material if any, to be used in the concrete slab.
Engineering and permits
Concrete driveway contractors will always have to consult your municipal or county authority to egress on the right-of-way. This avoids any damage of buried utilities such as stormwater runoff. From here, the groundwork begins.
Determination of soil composition
The service lifetime of your concrete driveway depends on the soil composition. Loose sandy soils and soft loamy soils require addition of clay soils and gravel respectively to guarantee sufficient permanent support for your concrete driveway. Concrete driveway contractors are sufficiently trained to handle all forms of soil structures.
Excavating the driveway
The concrete driveway contractor then outlines your driveway using visibility materials such as white powder. The driveway needs to have a minimum width of approx. 8 feet for a single lane and approx. 16 feet for twin-lane driveways. The outlaid site is then rid of any vegetation and sod by excavating. The soil is then reinforced to guarantee adequate support. If you come from a cold-climate area, the contractor shall add capillary-fill material like crushed stone or gravel to prevent cracks from forming on your concrete paving due to water expansion during freezing conditions.
Any underground utilities like storm sewers and telephone lines passing underneath your driveway are inspected and modified if need be. This is done to ensure community and state property isn’t damaged.
Installation of forms, fill material & compacting
Forms are simply nominal lumber that act as supportive structure for the fill material and eventually, concrete. They are installed on what is to be the edges of your driveway. The forms make a 4-inch thick structure that is to be the foundation of the driveway. The fill material, (sand and gravel) is then filled into your driveway structure and compacted to make it firm. Contractors then thicken the edges to ensure extra strength. A plate compactor is used to make the fill material firm. The filler material takes up 2 inches of the structure.
Once the fill material is compacted, an optional reinforcement grill is laid on top then the concrete is carefully poured to fill out the remaining inches on the structure. Concrete driveway contractors then flatten out the concrete to give it a uniform terrain.
This is the final step. After the concrete is laid out, your driveway is left to harden and “cure” for at least 5 to 7 days before it can be driven on. This process also involves watering the concrete to avoid cracks as well as regular inspections in order to keep dirt from embedding on the fresh surface.