When homeowners explore ways to enhance and improve the functionality of their homes’ exteriors, a new driveway is one of the first projects they consider. A driveway will not only provide a path to your home, but it will also provide an even surface for your vehicles.
It is well known that driveways are often exposed to a great deal of pressure, and as a result, the rate of deterioration (wear and tear) on them is much higher than on other parts of your house that sustain foot traffic. This can be attributed to the friction and weight produced by various types of vehicles.
In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of installing a concrete driveway for your home or commercial property.
Concrete Driveway Pros
It is one of the best landscaping materials and can handle more wear and tear than other options. Concrete can withstand a lot of abuse in high-traffic areas including driveways and front entrances without displaying signs of wear and tear. Concrete will last for 20 years or more if properly installed.
2. Minimal Upkeep
Concrete needs little or no maintenance, saving time and resources in the long term. It can last for more than 20 years and prevents weed growth in the paved area.
The cost of building a concrete driveway is less than that of other materials such as interlock pavers.
Concrete offers a polished, professional finish (whether plain or exposed aggregate concrete) without the need for continuing repairs. It is the most effective way to increase curb appeal and impress visitors.
With a diverse color palette to choose from, as well as limitless pattern, shape, and texture options, you can build your own landscape to your heart’s content.
6. Summer and Winter Friendly
If the concrete is coated in a light hue, it will keep cool in the hot summer sun – a major bonus for those who want to wander around barefoot. In the winter, snow can be easily cleared from concrete driveways.
Concrete Driveway Cons
1. Hard to Repair
Unlike pavers, which can be repaired by replacing a single component, concrete requires the removal and reconstruction of the entire concrete area.
2. May Crack Over Time
Concrete, like asphalt, can break over time. This can be avoided if the concrete driveway is built by an experienced contractor who ensures that measures are taken to code. The depth of the structure and the materials used for the foundation, subgrade, gravel, and rebar, as well as the thickness of each rebar, all contribute to a stable foundation. These measures, when combined with a 32 MPa concrete (MPa: megapascal is the common unit for compressive strength), optimum environmental conditions when the concrete is poured, and carefully placed stress joints, will prevent concrete cracking.
Because of its light color in nature, concrete is prone to staining. Special cleaning agents may be used to clear oil and tire stains.
Concrete as a Building Material
Concrete is often incorrectly referred to as cement, but the term cement refers to only one part of concrete. Concrete is a construction substance composed of different types of stone aggregate bound together by a combination of water and a lime-based binder—typically Portland cement. The cement is a pulverized powder composed of limestone and clay.
Based on the planned use of the concrete, the size of the aggregate in the concrete mixture can differ. Concrete is typically formed with gravel-sized aggregates, although for finer work and smoother finished surfaces, finer sands may be used as the aggregate. The aggregate used in driveway slabs, sidewalks, and other paving surfaces is usually a combination of gravel and sand-sized particles.
Concrete, when first mixed, is a pourable slurry that can be molded into whatever shape is desired. When the concrete cures, it eventually hardens. While a few days of curing makes it hard enough for most uses, the hardening process can take months or even years.
Concrete is reinforced in many applications by inserting steel metal reinforcing wire, or rebar, inside the slab. Other ingredients, such as agents that increase strength or slow drying time, may be applied during the mixing process.