The 4 steps to build a concrete driveway are provided for the DIY or as a guide or so you can better understand and monitor the proper installation by a contractor. We will focus on the removal and replacement of an existing asphalt or concrete driveway procedure. The information provided will be a valuable guide for you. The steps are outlined below, so you can plan, prepare, place and clean up your new concrete driveway project. Let’s get started and build a concrete driveway.
4 Steps to Build a Concrete Driveway
Visit the Site
Be sure to walk the area and understand how you can remove and replace the material.
Contact Ms. Utility
Mobilize to the Site
Ready, set, go, have all the tools you need to move through the process in a prompt, precise and professional manner.
Remove Existing Material
Have the equipment on site, break the concrete, load the concrete for disposal.
Grade to Uniform Depth
Take your machine or shovels and provide for a smooth sub grade (the material under the driveway surface).
Layout out your concrete forms (wood or steel) in the shape of your new driveway.
Run a tamper over the sub base material and compact.
Install Stabilization Sheet
This is a geotextile fabric will diminishes the chance for sinkage of materials.
Install 6 x 6 #10 Wire Mesh With Stirrups
Wire mesh is metal mesh that is welded into a 6″ x 6″ metal screen. This needs to be in the middle of the concrete material.
Install Grade Pegs
These are installed to serve as a guide for the height of the concrete surface. The technician with the straight edge will reach from the edge of the driveway to the center. This allows for the even and level placement of the concrete.
Straight Edge The Concrete
This straight edge levels the top of the concrete in relation to the edge for a level finish.
Bull Float Concrete
The bull float helps to push the aggregate into the concrete and bring the cement to the surface.
Concrete edging provides for smooth edges with a bull nose for enhance appearance and reduction of rough edges.
Install Control Joints
These joints are installed to allow concrete to crack at these locations. Concrete does crack. You should design your concrete slab into 10′ x 10′ squares when it is 4 inches thick.
Install Light Broom Finish
As the concrete sets up, you can then apply a light broom finish to your driveway. All exterior concrete gets a light broom finish.
The next day, remove your concrete forms.
Dress Up Edge
Smooth out the grade alongside of the driveway edge.
Pick Up Debris
Walk the job site and pick up all the project materials for proper disposal.
Place Soil, Seed & Straw
Now you can apply soil to the edge of the driveway. You can now rake the soil and taper the edge to the lawn. Apply seed and cover with straw.
Suggested Concrete Tools
- Work Boots
- Safety Glasses
- Screed / Straight Edge
- Edging Tool
- Bull Float
- Hand Float
- Come-Along Rake
- Tape Measure
- String Line
- 2 x 4
- Water Bucket
- Soft Broom
- Skid-steer loader
Cleaning & Sealer
It is always a good idea to properly maintain your driveway. You want to be sure to inspect for cracks and stains regularly. Weather conditions will have a direct impact on your driveway. You should reseal a concrete driveway every two years. You want to monitor your driveway and apply sealer when the finish begins to show wear. Go to your local supply house or hardware store. Ask for recommendations. Always apply the sealer as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Be sure to remove oil, gasoline, grease and other spills as soon as possible. You can remove these stains with a pressure washer or cleaning chemicals. When power washing, be sure to not use to much power and remove the concrete from the top. An EPA approved cleaning agent is my recommendation.
Avoid Deicing Chemicals
Chemical deicers can cause surface damage to your concrete driveway. These chemical products containing ammonium nitrates and ammonium sulphates. This can cause damage to the concrete surface. There are chemicals which provide deicing and do not harm the concrete surface. You should avoid the use of any deicers the first winter after driveway placement. New concrete is more susceptible to the harmful effects of salt. Always check the product specifications and apply as instructed.
Although concrete is a durable paving materials, residential driveway have their limits. Use caution with heavy vehicles (moving vans, dump trucks, etc..) and large construction equipment.
Concrete driveways are generally four inches thick.
Do you need gravel under concrete driveway?
You need a strong sub base for your driveway.
Is rebar needed in concrete driveway?
Residential concrete driveways do not generally require steel reinforcement bar. Steel rebar applies when you want to build a structural concrete slab.
Should you put plastic under concrete?
This not required for a concrete driveway.
Can you lay concrete on soil?
Yes, be sure the soil is solid, well-drained base
When should I start watering my concrete?
Apply moisture to the surface in a misting fashion. You want to keep the concrete moist for a couple of days. This is dependent on your unique weather conditions.
What is the best PSI for a concrete driveway?
4000 PSI strength concrete is recommended. Concrete will achieve 70% of its required strength in the first 7 days. 100% strength is achieved in 30 days, the normal concrete curing process.
Does a concrete driveway need wire mesh?
Yes always install wire mesh or fibre mesh. This will increase the durability of the concrete.
How much should a concrete driveway cost?
Your cost is based on your location and the use of sub contractors or concrete contractors. In addition, do you have a large driveway or small. Both will require, skilled labor and equipment to proceed. The removal and replacement of 4 inch thick concrete can be $5.00 – $30.00 a square foot. Get three estimates.
How long does 4 inches of concrete take to cure?
How long for initial strength?
Generally, concrete sets in 24 to 48 hours allowing for you to walk on it. In a week you should be able to driveway on your new concrete.
What is the ideal temperature to pour concrete?
50-60 °F are ideal temperatures.
What is the best base for a driveway?
21-a is crushed gravel and provides for a great driveway base. The base is the foundation for a durable driveway. Pick the right material and be sure to compact the material prior to concrete placement.
Does a concrete driveway increase home value?
A driveway does improve the home value. Be sure to check with your local real estate professional for the increased value in your market area.
Is it cheaper to asphalt or concrete a driveway?
Asphalt is generally much cheaper to install than concrete. The asphalt driveway is thinner also. This also provides for reduced cost. Generally speaking, the asphalt driveway will need replacing sooner than a concrete driveway.
When Should I seal my concrete driveway?
Sealers should be after new concrete has completely cured, at least 28 days. There are exceptions to this rule based on performance applications. Be sure to check the product specifications and application procedures.
Why should I seal my concrete driveway?
Sealing the driveway can provide protection from stains and unsightly hairline cracks and peeling. Always apply the sealer as per manufacturers recommendations.
What is the best PSI for a concrete driveway?
The typical concrete strength used for a driveway is in the 3000 psi to 4000 psi range, although temperate areas of the country may use lower strengths. Contractors, when ordering ready mixed concrete, should advise the producer of the intended use for the concrete.
Can I drive on concrete after 3 days?
Your new concrete is designed to reach 90% of its full strength potential after 7 days. It will take a full 30 days to reach 100% strength.
Now you have some idea as to what it takes to build a new concrete driveway. The information provided above will allow you to complete the job yourself or know what to expect from a professional contractor. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Dirt Connections.