Durability and curb appeal are a couple of benefits you can derive by having a concrete driveway, but the thing to note is whether it was installed by a qualified concrete contractor or a novice! In order to ensure that your driveway stands the test of time, you need to get it installed from an experienced contractor. Although, you’ll find countless driveway installers Staines you can’t be sure that they’ll produce quality work. Whether you are planning to have your existing concrete driveway repaired or want to begin from scratch, you must be very careful when hiring a contractor for the work.
Look for the following signs to ensure that you have found the right professional for your driveway installation project:
A majority of contractors can give you a basic quote over phone, but professionals work differently. They’ll begin the project by examining your home, any existing driveway, or the area where you want to have the new concrete pad.
To find out that the contractor you’re going to hire knows his job from inside out, ask detailed questions regarding your imminent installation. He should be able to come up with an estimate regarding time required to finish the job, plus offer suggestion as to how soon you can use your concrete driveway. Concrete attains maximum strength in around four weeks time, and experts often suggest waiting at least two. If you’re prospective contractor suggests a week or less, it means he’s a complete novice. So, it is wise to give him a pass.
Cement driveways tend to crack and in a majority of instances they crack soon after they are poured. Expert driveway installers Staines have full knowledge about why these cracks happen and can offer recommendation as to how to prevent them. An expert must have basic knowledge of the effects of water on concrete. Concrete gets weaker if the mix contains more water than required, since as this material dries up, it contracts. Using only the required amount of water means less shrinking and less chance of cracks.
Furthermore, the professional you’re thinking of hiring must know the role control joints play in keeping the cracks at bay. These joints must be the depth of the concrete pour, with their average distance apart discovered by multiplying the thickness of concrete by a factor of two or three. A five inch pour, for instance, requires joints every 10 or 15 feet. These joints enable the material to stiffen without cracking. Any long, unbroken stretch of concrete will crack before the first winter comes.
A driveway installation isn’t simply pouring concrete and allowing it to dry. To get a strong and lasting driveway the expert has to first press down the soil and then put a layer of tightly packed crush material on top. Next, loose aggregate is rolled out and pressed down again to give a stable base of uniform depth.
Most professional driveway installers Staines recommend steel rebar grids to get more stability. The concrete pour itself requires total planning from the beginning to the end and must happen on a sunny day. An expert will never recommend doing a pour on a frozen ground, or when it’s raining.
To sum up if the installation is carried out correctly the only thing you’ll need to do is the occasional sealing to keep excess water at bay.