Having a concrete driveway is an investment that you can use to future-proof your home. You can have concrete driveway contractors to do it for you. If you have the time, you can turn it into a project with your family members or friends. This article will give you five easy and safe steps to pour a concrete driveway that can last for years to come.
Before you embark on your DIY concrete driveway project, here are some things that you need to prepare.
- Know your land boundaries
- Check the underground facilities in your area.
- Draw a plan of your concrete driveway
- Prepare your tools and materials (concrete, gravel, wood, and sand for materials and gloves, wheelbarrow, shovels, groove cutters, and pails/buckets)
How to Pour a Concrete Driveway – the Five Easy Steps
Marking the Project Area with Wood
Installing a marking or form ensures that once you pour the concrete, it will not spill outside of your planned driveway. It ensures that it will only fill the desired area in a more secure manner, plus the concrete is poured out evenly.
Add sections within your laid-out form. This way, you can fill each section easily or work on one section at a time.
Before pouring your concrete, make sure that your driveway’s gravel base is wet. Spray it with water first. You can also throw in some sand to keep the base firmer. The gravel can only make the concrete thicker, but not firmer.
If you are working with family members, divide the tasks. Assign someone to pour the concrete, then assign others to push it to the corners with a shovel or a hoe.
If you have set dividers or sections, leave the newly poured concrete for 2-3 days to dry out before removing the dividers.
Leveling Your Concrete Driveway
Leveling your concrete driveway ensures that there will be no holes or bumps once it dries out. Level your concrete with a flat board. You can have a partner to move the flat board on a sawing motion along the surface of your concrete.
For finishing touches, a bull float or a darby will ensure that there will be elevated parts or hollows on your concrete driveway. To finish the job, move your darby in overlapping arcs, then follow it with overlapping straights.
Adding Curve Edges
For this part, you will need a mason’s trowel. Professional concrete driveway installation contractors believe that it is best to have curved edges because it minimizes the chance of cement chirping in the future. It also prevents tripping or having your toes stubbed (say you are drunk and walking in your concrete driveway).
To add curve edges, use the trowel to make a curved edge and follow it with an edger to compress it. Run the edger back and forth.
Do you know how thick should a concrete driveway be? The standard thickness for a car driveway is at least four inches. However, no matter how thick your concrete driveway is, it is still prone to cracking. To lengthen the life of your driveway, add control joints. A complete guide in making control joints can be found here.
Drying and Curing your Concrete Driveway
Concretes that dry easily are weak and can easily crumble. To prevent your DIY concrete driveway from collapsing sooner, make sure that it dries slowly. Keep your concrete wet in the first few days. Cover it with sacks or sands, then keep the surface moist. This process is called curing the concrete.
Professionals recommend curing of up to three weeks. This process can help lengthen the life of your concrete driveway, so don’t rush it. Once you are satisfied with the curing time, you can now enjoy your new concrete driveway.
Installing a concrete driveway can be an amazing project for your family. It can save you cash from hiring concrete driveway contractors, plus you can use it as a way to bond with family and friends. Having a concrete driveway doesn’t just make it easier for you to park your car. It can also increase your home’s value, it can add beauty to your home, and since you used concrete, you are helping the environment in reducing energy use.