The extent of damage to your concrete driveway influences what you’ll need to pay for repairs. Repairing minor damage affecting up to 150 square feet of concrete may run around $900. However, severe issues that require you to pay for mud jacking or install a new driveway could exceed $5,400. The amount of traffic and usage your driveway experiences is another important factor to consider. Driveways with heavy vehicle traffic or constant use may require more regular sealing to withstand the increased stress and wear and tear. Sealing your concrete driveway not only enhances its appearance but also adds a layer of protection against stains, moisture, and weather damage. By following these steps and performing regular maintenance, you can ensure that your driveway remains in optimal condition and extends its lifespan.
Every concrete driveway will inevitably need to be replaced at some point. Fortunately, they should last 30 to 40 years, so this is not a recurring expense, but there are some common signs to know when to start planning a replacement driveway. For Mark and Britt, the demo is a lot of work, but based on the age of the house and driveway, the base should be intact—already settled and compacted. So, after the demo is complete, they shouldn’t have to lay a new base, just repair any deficiencies and maybe spread a thin layer of gravel. Avoid this by using wood or plastic “zip strips” to add 1 inch (2.5 cm) deep “cracks” or cuts in the concrete every 4 feet (1.2 m) or so. Adding a steel reinforcement will significantly increase the strength of your driveway and is highly recommended.
You should apply a high-quality sealer to all exterior concrete slabs exposed to freeze-thaw conditions. The sealer helps protect the concrete from moisture absorption, exposure to chemicals, and grease and oil stains. On decorative colored concrete, a sealer will also help enhance the color (see What’s the Best Concrete Driveway Sealer?). Get behind-the-scenes info on decorative concrete driveway projects from across the country. If water pools in a concrete crack and freezes, it will expand and further damage the entire slab. Homeowners should repair the concrete as soon as they notice an issue.
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A circular concrete driveway costs $5 to $15 per square foot or 10% to 20% more than a rectangular driveway because it requires more labor to build curved forms and has a 15-foot minimum recommended width. Building a new driveway can quickly become expensive if you want to customize the design or shape. And if you have an existing driveway in poor condition, consider booking a consultation with a contractor to see if the driveway can be repaired instead. Simply do a quick search for “driveway repair near me” to find a reputable contractor. Here’s a helpful list of ways to save money on concrete driveway costs. Prices for labor and materials are determined by geographic location.
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Many finishes can be applied to improve the appearance and preserve the surface against staining, water penetration, and freezing. Tests can be performed to ensure that the properties of concrete correspond to specifications for the application. Slump can be increased by addition of chemical admixtures such as plasticizer or superplasticizer without changing the water-cement ratio. Some other admixtures, especially air-entraining admixture, can increase the slump of a mix. Nominal mixes are a simple, fast way of getting a basic idea of the properties of the finished concrete without having to perform testing in advance. It increases the workability of the concrete and lowers the need for water content by 15–30%.
Typical materials used are calcium chloride, calcium nitrate and sodium nitrate. However, use of chlorides may cause corrosion in steel reinforcing and is prohibited in some countries, so that nitrates may be favored, even though they are less effective than the chloride salt. Accelerating admixtures are especially useful for modifying the properties of concrete in cold weather. Portland cement consists of five major compounds of calcium silicates and aluminates ranging from 5 to 50% in weight, which all undergo hydration to contribute to final material’s strength. Thus, the hydration of cement involves many reactions, often occurring at the same time.
Lora brings over 12 years of writing, editing, and digital marketing expertise. She’s worked on thousands of articles related to heating, air conditioning, ventilation, roofing, plumbing, lawn/garden, pest control, insurance, and other general homeownership topics. Enter the diameter and height of your concrete column to calculate how much concrete you need for your project. Enter the depth, width and length of your concrete footing to calculate the amount of concrete needed to complete your project. Use these free concrete calculators to quickly estimate how much concrete you need for slabs, footings or columns. It is a good idea to overestimate the amount of concrete needed so you won’t come up short on the jobsite. Samantha is an editor who covers all topics home-related including home improvement and repair.
How thick should a concrete driveway be?
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Detail of picture frame plywood strip installation
Curbing creates a border along the driveway to separate it from the landscaping, preventing soil from washing onto the concrete in the rain. Before installing an apron, check local building codes to ensure the plans meet all requirements. Experts recommend against using polished concrete for driveways because it’s slippery when wet and requires extensive upkeep to maintain the polished sheen on outdoor surfaces.