Answers to Some Common Questions About Getting a New Residential Driveway

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When your home needs new driveway construction, you don't want to put off this work for too long. Chipped or cracked concrete can mean allowing moisture to settle under its surface, which can cause more damage to the concrete and also allow that moisture to collect around your home; this can mean water damage to the home's foundation. A cracked driveway is also very unsafe for foot traffic and may be putting wear and tear on your car's tyres. When you are ready for a new residential driveway, note a few questions you might have and then discuss these with your contractor if you need more information.

What is the difference between painted, stained and stamped concrete?

Concrete can be painted just like any other surface, although you need to use a special type of paint to adhere to the material. Painting it will mean a monotone finish. Stained concrete means using special stains that may make the material look like stone; consider how natural stones are never monotone but have a variety of colour tones and shades, and this is the look you'll get with stained concrete.

Stamped concrete is done when you want the look of separate pieces or bricks, without installing those separate pieces. The concrete is poured and then a stamp is used to create indentations that make the surface look like individual pieces. Note that stamping can be used along with painting or staining; you might opt to have the driveway stained to look like a natural stone and then stamped to create the illusion of separate stone pieces, for added visual appeal.

What if the new driveway begins to chip or crack?

All concrete cracks eventually; it's very durable but not indestructible, and the shifting of the ground underneath it as well as how it absorbs moisture and then dries out will affect its longevity. However, if your old driveway always cracked in just one area, note this to your driveway installer. You may need to have the ground braced in that area to keep the driveway better supported.

Note, too, that if you have a caravan, heavy-duty truck, trailer you use to haul heavy material, and the like, you need to work with your installer to choose a thickness of concrete that will support the weight. If not, your driveway is more likely to chip or crack sooner than it should. Invest in a thickness and mixture of material that is needed for your everyday use to protect the longevity of your new concrete.