Counts Contracting specializes in concrete driveway paving. If you live in Ballantyne / South Charlotte or in the Waxhaw / Marvin / Weddington areas, call us to come out and quote your job. Here are some important things to know about choosing to invest in an concrete driveway:
- A Concrete Driveway is the most durable and low maintenance way to go. Concrete driveways last for a long time and if they are installed correctly, there should be minimal cracking and breaking of the surface. Concrete driveways do need to be maintained and cleaned, checked for cracking and sealed properly but if you work with a reputable contractor like Counts Contracting, your concrete driveway will be guaranteed to last a long time.
- Concrete driveways are the preferred aesthetic choice… they just look better than any other type of driveway! This adds value to your property and keeps it looking new and clean all the time. Investing in a concrete driveway has been proven to help properties retain and maximize their value and sell quickly when put on the market.
- Concrete is better on the environment than any other surfacing material. The raw materials in concrete are natural and easy to find/replenish. The making and mixing of concrete does not pose any major impact on the environment. Concrete is a material of choice for the environmentally minded.
- Concrete is more expensive but it is a better value over time because little to no maintenance is required. Furthermore concrete poses less wear and tear on your vehicle. Driving on a smooth surface vs. a gravel or dirt road is so much better on your automobile. Your entire property will seem and look neater/cleaner, even your cars, if you opt for a concrete driveway.
CONCRETE DRIVEWAY CONSTRUCTION BASICS
To ensure that your concrete driveway will look good for many years to come, there is an important process to follow. How well your driveway looks and performs long-term is largely related to the quality of workmanship and materials that go into it. Here are basics of the concrete paving process followed by Counts Contracting:
- A properly graded surface | Uniformity, in both soil composition and compaction, is the key to properly grading and preparing the driveway surface. Adequate support will ensure an even slab thickness, and prevent slab settlement and structural cracking. Soft spots should be removed and replaced with good material, such as gravel or crushed rock. Counts Contracting is familiar with the soil makeup in this area.
- The correct concrete mix is essential | Mix design will impact the performance and longevity of a concrete driveway. At Counts Contracting we take very seriously the mixing and quality of the concrete materials and we stand by the products we use.
- Correctly placed joints | To help prevent random cracking, control joints must be placed at a maximum spacing of 10 feet for a 4-inch-thick driveway slab. While random cracks are generally not a structural problem and will not reduce the service life of the driveway, they can be an eyesore. Also avoid joint patterns that produce rectangular or triangular sections. The depth of control joints is also critical. Counts Contracting will hand tool or sawcut joints to a depth equaling one-fourth the slab thickness (or 1 inch for a 4-inch slab). In addition to control joints, an isolation joint should be installed where the driveway meets a sidewalk, garage floor slab, and other existing pavements. If you have any questions about the joints on your concrete driveway we’ll go over it with you.
- Reinforcement | Using steel reinforcement will provide additional structural capacity for your driveway and is especially important if the slab will be exposed to heavy traffic. Reinforcement won’t prevent cracks, but it will help hold them together if they do occur. Reinforcement can be either wire mesh or ½-inch (#4) steel rebar placed in a grid pattern with a spacing between bars of approximately 12 inches. In either case, blocks should be used under the reinforcement to keep centered within the concrete. Synthetic fibers have also proven to be beneficial in driveways as a way to reduce shrinkage cracks. Fibers will not provide structural reinforcement, however.
- Placing concrete at the proper thickness | Thickness is the major factor (even more than the strength of the concrete) in determining a driveway’s structural capacity. Counts Contracting will evaluate the thickness requirement for your concrete driveway.
- Proper finishing | The biggest mistakes that occur during the finishing of concrete driveways are overworking the surface and performing finishing operations while bleedwater is present. Finishing is a careful process followed by Counts Contracting. We will be glad to go over these steps with you in person.
- Proper drainage | To eliminate standing water on your driveway, it should be sloped toward the street and away from existing structures (such as your house and garage). If proper drainage is prevented because the concrete slab is wedged between two structures, you may need to install a drain that will collect the water at a low point in the concrete and divert it away. Drain need and installation are evaluated on a project to project basis.
- Proper curing techniques | Cure the concrete as soon as finishing is completed. Curing of the concrete is the final step of the process, and one of the most important. Unfortunately, it can be neglected by some contractors and lead to problems. At Counts Contracting we consider this a crucial part of the process. In extreme cases, failure to cure the concrete immediately after final finishing can result in strength reductions of up to 50% by reducing the concrete’s resistance to the effects of weather and increasing the possibility of surface defects. We guarantee you that we’ll pay attention to your driveway’s structural integrity all the way through the curing process.