Thinking about pouring your own concrete driveway? If so, there are a number of tips you should keep in mind to make the process successful. Check out these ideas.
1. Set Up a Drainage Layer
Ideally, you shouldn't just pour your new concrete driveway directly on your grass or whatever surface is currently in that spot. Instead, you need to make sure that you set up adequate drainage. That may include a waterproof barrier covered by gravel.
That helps prevent the buildup of moisture under your driveway. That in turn, protects your driveway from the free-thaw cycles that lead to cracks in concrete. Tamp down this layer so that it is as firm and dense as possible.
2. Build a Frame With a Slope
Generally, you need to build a wooden frame to pour the concrete into. When putting together the frame, you don't want it to be a flat rectangle. Instead, you need it to slope slightly toward the road. That helps with drainage and ensures you don't get giant puddles of rainwater sitting on your driveway.
3. Make Your Concrete Driveway Thick
You can choose virtually any thickness you need for your concrete driveway, but the thicker you go, the more load bearing capacity your driveway will have. You may want to consult with a concrete driveway professional to figure out the optimum thickness for your driveway.
Although it costs more to make a thicker driveway because you have to buy extra concrete, you reap the rewards in terms of durability.
4. Pour the Concrete
Once the frame is ready, you need to pour the concrete. Some people do small mounds of wet concrete piles throughout the driveway. Then, you need to spread these layers around. That's an easier approach than trying to pour the concrete evenly on the first pass through.
To smooth everything down, you may want to run a large plank over the concrete you have poured. This also helps get rid of air bubbles. After this step, you may need to add some additional concrete.
5. Add a Cure and Seal Product
Finally, you need to add a product that does curing and sealing. The curing layer slows down the curing process, and although that delays how soon you can use your concrete driveway, it also leads to greater strength.
The sealing product seals the concrete to help protect it from water, UV rays and other threats of the great outdoors.