Do you need a concrete driveway? Does your existing driveway need some refreshing? A concrete driveway, as its name implies, is made from concrete and can be used for both residential and commercial purposes. Concrete driveways usually have an average life expectancy of about thirty years. But, how long yours will last, depends on a number of factors, such as the weather conditions that it is subjected to, the concrete used in the making of the driveway, the general quality of the installation work, the regular maintenance measures you perform, and even how well you care for the driveway after it has been installed.
When looking for a concrete driveway, you need to understand the three different types available to you – overlay, rip-stop, and reinforced concrete. Overlay is just what it sounds like – an extra layer of paved area that is above an existing one. Because it’s placed over an existing pavement, it actually causes the existing pavement to grow to fill in some of the space left behind by the overlaying layer. For residential properties, an overlaying layer makes the driveway much easier to maintain and drive safely on. On the other hand, for commercial properties, an overlaying layer can be detrimental, leading to cracks and potholes.
Rip-stop and reinforced concrete driveways are built with layers of either gravel or crushed rock built up on top of a basic or ungraded concrete layer. In order to qualify as a rip-stop or reinforced driveway, it must meet the criteria set forth by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and the National Construction Safety Association (NCSA). An additional factor that helps to define rip-stop driveways is the length of the gravel base and the width between the gravel base and the tread. As long as the combined length of the gravel base and the tread is at least two times wider than the depth of the driveway, it meets all of the requirements for an acceptable rip-stop or reinforced concrete driveway.
The benefits of a concrete driveway have been proven throughout the world. They are designed to last for decades while still providing a superior amount of traction. These drives are highly durable, which allows for fewer maintenance trips due to wear and tear. With these characteristics, it’s no wonder that many consumers prefer them over asphalt alternatives. Not only do they provide a superior appearance and longevity, but they are also highly resistant to punctures, cracks, and chips.
In order for a driveway to be categorized as highly durable, it should have four inches of concrete base depth, which is the minimum amount of depth needed to control the movement of vehicles. The four inch minimum depth helps to ensure that the concrete driveway does not crack or break at the hottest temperatures. The heat that occurs during the summer months can make a concrete driveway melt, which can cause its surface to become damaged over time. With this in mind, most companies will require that any driveways used are three quarter inches deep. These requirements help to ensure that the pavement on the surface is completely even from end to end, while also being well defined in order to maximize its durability.
Any gravel used to construct a concrete driveway should be one that is as high quality as possible. While gravel may be a cost effective alternative to stone, it should be high quality and feature a minimum thickness of four inches. There are several types of gravel that can be used, but one that features a minimum thickness of four inches and is stamped with a qualified insignia will provide the best results. These types of gravels have been tested and meet all government standards. It is always recommended that you contact your local government office for the most accurate and current information regarding construction and grading regulations.