A smart choice in Vancouver
Driveways are a common feature of the suburban landscape and Vancouver is no exception. There are two main materials used for this purpose: asphalt and concrete. Each has its benefits. Asphalt is cheaper but has a shorter service life (10 years less than concrete). Concrete is more expensive but it requires less maintenance and has a more pleasing finish. The main drawback of concrete driveways is that they can crack in extreme weather. Fortunately, Vancouver’s temperate climate make concrete driveways a perfect choice.
Make Sure a Pro Prepares the Subgrade
The subgrade is the original ground where the driveway will be built. The subgrade needs to be grounded and compacted correctly. It is better to avoid soils that retain a lot of water, such as clays. It is better to have the soil analyzed by an engineer, than to have a cracked driveway down the road. The surface needs to be as flat and as regular as possible, otherwise, there is the possibility that the driveway slabs will not have the same thickness throughout. As a result, the loading capacity will vary, and that could lead to cracking.
Ask your contractor whether adding a sub-base could improve the durability of your project, or how the ground conditions can be improved prior to construction.
Invest Now and Put It out of Your Mind
When it comes to driveways, choosing high-performance cements is a very good idea. High quality materials will increase durability and service-life. Depending on the weather conditions, the subgrade, and the area of the project, your contractor will help you decide which is the better mix.
Depending on the slope and terrain characteristics, it is sometimes a good idea to add reinforcing steel to the structure.
The most important aspect of concrete driveway construction is the curing. This needs to be done by a professional. Some of the methods she or he will use are adding a membrane-forming compound that will keep the concrete from drying too quickly; covering the concrete with a curing blanket, or sprinkling it regularly. Another point to keep in mind is that the subgrade should be moist before pouring. A dry subgrade steals moisture away from the mix and defeats the purpose of curing.
As with any large concrete surface, control joints should be cut by your contractor. Decorative elements can be incorporated to the joints by skilled contractors, to give a seamless effect.
Your contractor can help you make the best choice. Get in touch, right here in Vancouver!