Concrete has long been one of the most popular materials commonly used for driveways. And rightly so. It’s long lasting, reasonably quick to install, and economical compared to other surfaces such as paving and brick. Because it is an extremely tough building material, your concrete driveway will stand years of use, with even the heaviest vehicle, as long as it is properly installed and cared for. If you want a concrete driveway for practical considerations, but don’t want a plain concrete look, you might consider stamped concrete - or even try using an exterior concrete stain - for a great looking alternative.
What are the advantages of using concrete for my driveway?
Concrete is hard wearing, and will stand up to the stress of years of changeable weather, and heavy vehicles passing over it. Small areas of damage due to age and weather can be repaired easily. Although it might be more expensive than an alternative like asphalt, concrete will last longer, making it a better choice for the long term. See it as an investment, and a job that you will likely only need to have done one time. There’s little needed in terms of maintenance of concrete, making it simple to keep your driveway neat and tidy. And if you don’t like the look of plain concrete, try stamped or stained concrete for a different look for your home.
How long will my concrete driveway last?
One of the main selling points of concrete is that it’s a material that’s built to last. A concrete driveway, if properly installed and looked after, will last somewhere in the region of 25 to even 50 years. That’s considerably longer than most alternatives like asphalt, gravel, cobble or paving. Concrete surfaces should be cleaned regularly using either a pressure hose or water and a stiff brush, and new sealant should be applied from time to time to protect the surface and keep it looking good. If you spot any cracks of damage give us a call as small repairs are usually easy to carry out. Do this, and your concrete driveway will last for decades.
What’s the process for installing a concrete driveway?
Installing a concrete driveway starts with preparing the area. First we will remove any grass or planting in the vicinity of the driveway, and lay out wood forms to show the area the driveway will ultimately be. A gravel base is laid, and compacted, with reinforcement added using a steel wire grid or similar. We are then ready to pour the concrete, which has to be done quickly to ensure a good finish. The next stage is known as ‘floating’, and involves smoothing the surface to an agreed point, or adding any decorative finishes which are required. The concrete then needs to ‘cure’ - harden to a good set. This takes time and depends on weather conditions as well as the specific job.
Although it’s possible to lay your own concrete driveway, it’s a fairly complicated process and can be very difficult to fix if something goes wrong. For that reason we advise using a professional concrete contractor - like our friendly and helpful team at Appleton Concrete. We will be happy to provide you with a no obligation quote for your concrete driveway, including options for stamped and colored concrete if you’re interested in these approaches. A member of the team will explain the installation process for your specific project in detail, and answer any questions you might have along the way.