Whether you are thinking about replacing your driveway or planning a home remodeling project for the exterior of your home if your driveway needs replaced it is one of those things that definitely affects the curb appeal of your home as well as the safety especially if the concrete is starting to break apart into pieces. Not only that having a worn-out driveway greatly affects the resale value of your home.
Driveways don’t last forever especially when the preparation (the soil/gravel under the concrete) is not prepared properly. If the preparation is not done properly you are eventually going to have problems. It is one of those things if it is not done properly and hidden behind the walls or in this case under the concrete you are going to eventually have problems.
If the preparation is not done properly and there is not a proper compacted gravel bed under the concrete then the soil underneath the concrete will start to erode away causing a gap to form between the concrete and the soil.
When cars drive across the driveway and there is no support underneath the concrete it will crack. These cracks will then start to allow moisture to seep in and when winter comes and freezes the ground the moisture in the concrete and underneath will then freeze causing heaving and damage.
As you can see our driveway needs replaced. There was no or very little preparation done before the concrete was placed and now you can see over time the concrete is breaking apart. The concrete was poured on the dirt and now over time it just has disintegrated.
There is many types of fish is available today for your driveway but one of the options I extremely like it is a stamped concrete finish. You can virtually create any type of pattern and choose any colors you want but the more customizing the more money it costs.
Preparation is the key. Depending on your area in the country each area might have different codes but generally you need to dig out 4 to 6 inches of soil and then replace it with gravel and then it should be compacted to prevent any movement.
After that be sure to install galvanized mesh in the concrete or rebar. Other alternatives such as stealth fibres that are added to the concrete mix will help make the concrete stronger.
Most codes require a minimum 4 inches thickness of concrete. If you are driving heavier vehicles on it such as motor homes and trailers you might want to go thicker to prevent your driveway from cracking under heavy weights. Be sure to ask your driveway contractor for all available options. Maybe even call your local authorities.
You don’t want to spend all that money on a beautiful looking driveway so be sure to spend the money on preparation and do it right to prevent any problems in the future and keep your driveway looking amazing.