How To Install Decorative Concrete
When the basic driveway design has been decided, the next step is site preparation. As an example, let’s assume that an existing asphalt driveway is being replaced with a traditional, broom-textured concrete driveway. In brief, this is how a typical site preparation works.
That already laid thin layer of asphalt can be quickly dislodged by using a fork-lift truck or by any technique and simply carted away. Any existing gravel base can be used again, though because the new concrete driveway should be really thick, a portion of the gravel should be removed to keep up the right height.
That gravel base may be compressed by using a vibratory plate compactor. With a new concrete driveway design, the gravel subbase is not essential, though the subgrade should be compressed similarly.
Wooden side forms must be placed and properly hammered to stakes in the soil. Such wooden stakes must have no more than 4-foot intervals and must support each joint in the wooden forms. Do some measuring for height and make sure the base is even to guarantee an evenly thick slab.
Make sure to match the new driveway elevation with the already laid garage slab and walkway. One isolation joint is required where the drive is to meet this already laid concrete. Usually, one-fourth to one-half of an inch thickness of precast joint material can be utilized to make this joint between them.
CURING YOUR DECORATIVE CONCRETE THE RIGHT WAY
Next is the curing which is one of the most essential and often the most often forgotten stage of good concrete installation. Incorrectly cured concrete will have a tendency to crack and may not be as durable or long lasting.
The curing stage must not be less than 3 days, and even as long as 7 days, when possible. Once can use several methods for curing, from plastic sheets to cover the concrete, or periodic sprinkling, or using a specific curing substance. The curing stage must start as soon as can be done after the finishing procedures. For locales which get cold temperatures, the curing process could require an adjustment.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PLACING JOINTS
The joints in good concrete driveway designs manage the location and distribution of cracks. These can be hand-tooled or saw cut, and must be made to a depth of no lower than one inch for a 4 inch thick concrete slab. Joints must be spaced no higher than ten feet apart for a 4 inch concrete driveway. Those that are wider, like 12 feet or more, may also need a joint in the very middle. Panels must be as square as can be done, though in no case, must the long side be more than 1.5 times more long or shorter on the side. Jointing must start as soon as can be done as quickly after the finishing procedures. When jointing needs to be performed with a hand groover, go ahead if the concrete can withstand foot pressure with only a fourth of an inch indentation. But for sawed jointing, start inside of one day at most.
POST MAINTENANCE OF YOUR DECORATIVE CONCRETE
Just 2 of the good benefits of installing concrete driveway patterns is the longevity and low maintenance. The best suggestion is applying a great quality sealing agent on all the outside concrete that is open to freeze/thaw seasons. The sealing agent aids in protecting concrete from 2 elements such as too much moisture and getting damaged from many freeze/thaw seasons.
Whereas there are a lot of types of curing substances, sealants and penetrating sealants, just 2 examples are:
- First are liquid, acrylic-based copolymers. These are transparent and work as a covering film over the top layer. This kind of item has been on available for many years and has been well used due to its added value. The penetrating sealants are clear, silane-based substances which penetrate totally and bond in a chemical reaction with concrete slabs. These provide the most effective protection from moisture which can damage it.
- Lots of various kinds of sealants can be applied by just using brushes, rollers or by utilizing a low-pressure airless sprayer machine. Installing must be made following the maker’s directions. When you follow such installation directions and combine them with quality labor, those concrete driveway designs can create a lasting impression for decades.
DECORATIVE CONCRETE DESIGNS FOR YOUR HOME
As everything comes to a finish, the quality of your concrete driveway designs is based upon the work quality of the concrete contractor and the good characteristics of the concrete material utilized in the project. Concrete driveway designs which are good will be made using ready mixed concrete made locally from Portland cement, the best quality aggregates, and clean water with low acidity.
Best quality ready mixed concrete, appropriate for concreting is sold from many ready mixed concrete manufacturers all over Sydney and other parts of Australia. Just go online for a list of ready mixed concrete producers. These can help you find the best place to get nice concrete driveway designs and the ready mixed concrete suppliers in your locale.
ADVICE YOU SHOULD FOLLOW
Never stay in contact for too long with fresh or wet cement or concrete mixtures and skin surfaces as these can cause skin problems. In order to prevent prolonged contact, we suggest wearing protective materials like gloves. Any skin which has been exposed to fresh concrete, directly or into saturated clothing, must be completely washed with water and good detergent.