Concrete Contractors Omaha, Nebraska | WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CONCRETE DRIVEWAYS
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CONCRETE DRIVEWAYS
Your home's concrete driveway is intended to last for many years if properly cared for and maintained. Even with the best maintenance and care, your driveway will eventually wear out, and you will want to replace it with a new concrete driveway installed by your Omaha, NE Concrete Contractors.
Let's take a look at the lifespan of a concrete driveway to get a better understanding of everything you need to know.
Building a Concrete Driveway
Your concrete driveway started as a plan on paper or in a computer app. The design of your driveway is critical to the overall appearance of your home. You should ensure that the driveway's shape, size, and route are appropriate for your needs. For example, if you have a two-car garage but three vehicles, you should include a parking space on one side for the third vehicle.
Once you've created a design, you'll want to check with your local county clerk/ municipality office to see if you need a residential permit to install the driveway. It is critical to calculating the appropriate amount of concrete to use for the driveway.
You should aim for a thickness of at least four inches. Otherwise, it will break and crack because it cannot support the weight of vehicles on it. If you want to extend the life of the driveway and increase the amount of weight it can support, consider adding another inch of concrete.
To determine how much concrete you will require, multiply the length by the width by the depth. The result is then divided by 27—the number of cubic feet per cubic yard.
For example, suppose you want a rectangular driveway and determine the length from the garage doors to the street curb to be 50 feet. The width of the driveway is measured to accommodate a two-car garage with a little extra space on both sides, which is 15 feet wide.
Now multiply 50 by 15 to get 750. What you multiply 750 by depends on whether you want a 4-inch or 5-inch-thick driveway. If you want a 4-inch thick drive, multiply it by 0.34 inches. If you want a 5-inch-thick driveway, multiply the length by 0.42 inches.
The result for a four-inch-thick driveway is 255, and the result for a five-inch-thick driveway is 315. Divide this result by 27. 9.45 cubic yards of concrete is required for a four-inch-thick driveway. You'll need 11.67 cubic yards of concrete for a five-inch-thick driveway. This is the amount of concrete that your Omaha, NE, concrete contractors will need to order.
Please keep in mind that the calculations used here are only for illustrative and informational purposes; the amount of concrete required for your driveway will vary depending on its desired shape and depth.
Getting Ready to Pour a Concrete Driveway
The next step is to prepare your driveway now that your concrete driveway is designed and know how much concrete your contractors will need to order. The dirt must be removed, and the subgrade must be properly prepared. Depending on the type of soil, different methods are used to prepare the subgrade.
Homes in Omaha, NE, can have a variety of clays, loams, or a combination of the two. Most houses are built on dark clay soil. Prior to pouring concrete on top, the subgrade must be compacted and leveled. Furthermore, crushed rock or gravel is frequently used to help even out the area and to address problems with soft soil.
A soil plate compactor may be required in some cases to ensure that the soil is properly compacted. After the subgrade has been prepared, the next step is to construct a frame around the area using the appropriate forms and reinforcement materials. Once the concrete is poured, it will be contained by the frame.
To ensure a solid finished concrete driveway, you should add reinforcement over the subgrade. The majority of people opt for steel reinforcing bars that are linked together in each section of the driveway. These "mats" provide additional support and strength to the concrete. Furthermore, the steel "mats" ensure a more even distribution of weight on the concrete.
Pouring a Concrete Driveway
Prior to pouring, the concrete must be mixed. There are various combinations available, depending on the desired outcome. Speak with your Omaha, NE, concrete contractors to learn more about the various types of mixes available.
There are also various methods for pouring the driveway. The most common method is to use a concrete truck and pour the concrete directly from it. If the truck cannot be maneuvered into the desired location, a wheelbarrow can be used to transport the concrete and fill each section of the driveway. Another option is to use a concrete pump to transport the concrete from the truck to the pouring area.
After the concrete has been poured, it must be evened out so that it is flat. To ensure proper runoff and drainage, the surface does not need to be level and should slope away from the house and toward the street.
Before the concrete can be set, it must have joints added to it. Every four feet or so, joints are one-inch-deep cuts in the concrete. The joints allow the concrete to expand and contract in response to temperature changes, which helps to prevent cracking. Concrete joints can be used to create special patterns or other design effects.
In addition to the joints, the top surface of the concrete should be "broom finished" to ensure proper traction and prevent the concrete surface from becoming slick once it has been set. If you use a different finishing method, such as a texturized colored finish, a "broom finish" is not required.
Curing the Driveway Concrete
The driveway must cure now that it has been poured and finished. The curing process entails applying a moisture-retaining barrier to the surface. This is accomplished by using a liquid curing compound or a special plastic sheeting. To prevent cracking, the concrete must retain some moisture as it hardens and cures. A sealant should also be applied to help prevent staining.
It is critical to stay off the drive's surface while it cures. Curing time can range from three to seven days, depending on humidity and temperature. You should also avoid driving over or parking on the driveway until it has completely cured.
Maintaining a Concrete Driveway
Concrete driveways are built to last for many years. To get the most out of your new concrete driveway, it is critical to perform the following regular maintenance at set intervals:
- Maintain a clean driveway. On a weekly basis, use a broom to remove dirt and debris from the surface. You can use a garden hose with a nozzle but not a power washer to remove dirt and debris.
- Remove stains as soon as possible. To prevent stains from setting into the concrete and eating through the sealant, clean them up as soon as possible. If you work on your vehicle at home, put down a tarp or another protective covering to catch any grease, oil, or other fluids.
- Avoid using harsh cleaning chemicals. Certain chemicals can eat away at the sealant, causing the concrete to deteriorate, break, and crack.
- Repair any cracks right away. Even with the best maintenance, concrete can develop minor fractures and cracks over time. Make sure your Omaha, NE, concrete contractors repair these as soon as possible to prevent them from growing in size and weakening the concrete.
- Keep large vehicles out of the driveway. These delivery trucks and other commercial vehicles are too heavy for residential driveways to support and should never be parked on them.
When a driveway develops many cracks, chipping, and other such issues, it is usually time to replace it with a new one.
For more information on residential concrete driveway installation, repair, and other services in Omaha, NE, please contact Omaha Concrete and Paving today!