When cruising through any well-maintained neighbourhood, what is shown in grandeur is the well-pruned bushes or trees, the manicured lawns and the variously designed driveways that instantly put our troubled minds at ease.
It would have never crossed our variously troubled minds, the ingenuity, and effort behind the perfection of the Driveways and the manner in which they are laid out.
While the contractor is majorly responsible for the installation of the pavement, important steps should be followed to ensure a long-lasting driveway, in both looks and functionality:
1. Preparation of the Subgrade:
The subgrade forms what is the basic base of any foundation laying. Uniformity between soil compaction and its composition is the underlying key that will furnish any adequate support preventing structural cracks or uneven slab settlement.
Different Western states have expansive soils that differ from region to region. Accordingly, the subgrade should be laid out keeping in mind the expanding property of the soils.
Additionally, the concrete must not be laid out on dry subgrade. It is understandable that the concrete itself will differ, whether it is the concrete available in a remote place or concrete driveways in Penrith, when placed on a dry subgrade, there are chances the subgrade will mooch off the water from the overlying concrete.
2. Correctly placed Joints:
Random cracks occurring in the driveways are more of an eyesore than a potential problem in the structure and servicing of the driveway. Control joints and Isolation joints are much-needed joints to be installed in the driveways at the spacing of the slabs and the point where the driveway meets the sidewalk or the garage flooring, respectively.
Using steel reinforcements has been proved really beneficial in regards to providing the much needed structural capacity to the driveway when exposed to heavy traffic. While synthetic fibers are used to decrease the occurrence of shrinkage cracks, they do not offer any sort of structural reinforcement.
4. Proper placing of Concrete:
Surprisingly, the thickness between the concrete plays a bigger role in determining the structural capacity of the driveway, than the strength of the concrete. Adding inches between the spacing of the concrete slabs put pressure on the concrete cost but positively adds to the additional structural support of the driveway.
5. Finishing and Drainage:
The two major mistakes committed during the finishing process are overworking of the surface and undertaking the finishing process in the presence of bleed water.
Proper draining measures must be undertaken to prevent the stagnation of water on your driveway. Ensure the water slopes away or install a drain to divert the excess water.
6. Applying proper Curing techniques:
Curing of the concrete is both, the most essential and the most neglected of processes, undertaken after the finishing of the concrete. The quality of concrete depends upon the proper methods of curing and whether they are applied in the right case or not. For example, the concrete in Penrith is obtained after long and carefully used hours of applying the appropriate measures of curing of the concrete.
There exist certain curing methods like covering the concrete with wet blankets and plastic sheets, continuous and regular sprinkling of water as well as the application of a liquid membrane-forming curing compound. When these methods are not followed in their entirety, it can result in the reduction of about 50% of the strength of the concrete making it vulnerable to surface defects and thereby decreasing the resistance to the elements of weather.
How well your driveway will function in the long-run is largely dependant on the workmanship and quality of materials used. Thus, to ensure the tip-top performance of your driveway, make sure you employ the best contractors open to suggestions and with a reputed and reliable history.