Concrete driveways offer functional and aesthetic benefits to the property. Apart from providing a hard surface for vehicles to pass on the landscape, a concrete driveway also can be the focal point of a property.
However, the investment in the concrete driveway can go down the drain if it begins to crack. And that validates the question: “How do you keep a concrete driveway from cracking?” There are techniques and materials that, if used when making the concrete driveway, can prevent the concrete driveway from cracking. Below are four tips for keeping a concrete driveway from cracking:
1. Compact the Subgrade Properly
The subgrade on which the concrete driveway will be made should be compacted adequately and evenly throughout the span of the driveway in preparation for the driveway construction. This will ensure that the subgrade is solid and firm, even if the soil is naturally soft. If a spot on the subgrade is soft or weak, the chances are high that the concrete driveway will be weakened on that spot, which can cause a crack in the future due to a differential in expansion.
2. Install Reinforcement
Another way to strengthen the concrete driveway during construction and prevent cracking is to reinforce the concrete with a welded wire fabric or rebar mat. However, ensure that the mat or wire fabric is in the concrete, and not pressed to the bottom of the concrete when pouring the concrete as workmen walk on it.
3. Proper Concrete Design Mix
Use a proper concrete design mix to ensure success. You may try from 2500 to 3500 PSI concrete mixes for the concrete driveway for the best results. Also, use a correct cement to water ratio to avoid using excess water that will cause shrinkage and reduced strength later. You can consider a plasticizer if you want to reduce the amount of water needed.
4. Correct Concrete Pouring and Curing
Ensure that the weather is not too hot or cold when pouring the concrete to avoid issues. Also, use expansion and control joints for proper installation to create breaks. Finally, after pouring the concrete, allow it to cure correctly.
Ensure that the concrete slab doesn’t dry out on the surface; mist the slab, use a film-forming curing compound, or cover it with plastic sheeting to prevent the water from evaporating. Maintain the curing process for at least seven days.