Concrete is one of the most favored materials for driveways in the US. Their immense popularity can be attributed to the strength and durability of concrete slabs which make them a great long-term investment, especially for big areas of paving. Concrete driveways require very little maintenance as well which adds to the overall value for a homeowner. However, using concrete slabs for a driveway surface can be more expensive when compared to the other options such as gravel and asphalt. However, concrete driveways are much cheaper than those made with cobblestone and brick. Below are some reasons why you should opt for a concrete driveway.
Durability and Quality
Concrete is often mistaken with cement. Cement is actually just one of the components that make up concrete. In fact, concrete slabs are made with different types of stone aggregate that are combined together using a mixture of water and lime-based binder or Portland cement. For driveways, sidewalks, and other paved surfaces, gravel and or sand-sized aggregate particles are used to give a smoother finish. Concrete slabs for driveways can be strengthened by using steel metal reinforcing bars or by adding other ingredients in the mixture as well to further improve its durability and strength. Concrete driveways harden over time and can last for years with minimal maintenance.
Ease of Installation
It is very easy to mix and pour a concrete mixture to construct a driveway on your own but hiring professionals for installation will always yield the best results. Concrete installation experts understand that time is a very crucial element when dealing with the material, as concrete starts to harden very quickly once the mixture is poured. Experts will make sure to complete all the preliminary tasks necessary before pouring the concrete mixture. Typically, it takes a couple of days to complete the entire project. The process involves ensuring a firm soil foundation, installing wooden forms, adding and grading gravel, including reinforcement material, pouring the concrete mixture, and finishing the driveway surface.
Maintenance and Costs
Although a concrete driveway is generally considered to be maintenance-free you still need to keep it clean and sealed in order to ensure its long life. A simple scrubbing with water and a specialized cleaning solution would be enough to remove the dirt and grime buildup on the concrete surface while using a concrete sealer can give it an added layer of protection. Likewise, properly sealing your driveway once a year will ensure that your concrete driveway stays safe from the harsh weather, especially during the winter. With proper installation and maintenance, a concrete driveway can last up to 30 to 50 years or more.
As for the costs, professional concrete repair and home renovation experts typically charge around $4 to $10 per sq. ft. area to build a concrete driveway. However, the costs might vary depending upon how the finish of the driveway that you prefer.
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