Concrete driveways usually have a lifespan of around thirty years. But all these factors affect the lifespan of your driveways, which range from as little as fifteen years to as much as forty years depending on the factors mentioned above. But no matter how long they last, they can still be improved upon in a number of ways so you can prolong their usefulness, making them more durable and longer lasting.
A concrete driveway consists of two different elements, concrete and paving mix. The concrete acts as the hard core of the structure while the paving provides the softer feel and look of the material. These two elements require different treatments to keep them intact and functional for years. When building a concrete driveway, its first layer is the hard core comprised of aggregate, sand and water. This is followed by the second layer, which is the paving mix. When this layer starts to dry out, both the concrete and the paving need to reinforce.
Any cracks or potholes that exist in the concrete surface must be repaired immediately. Cracks widen the gap between the concrete surface and the gravel or grass, so repair is essential if you want to avoid the creation of potholes in your driveway. One way to repair small cracks is to fill them with concrete or asphalt mix. For larger cracks, asphalt paver is a good option as it creates a larger surface area than concrete. However, if your crack is too big, you can fill it with gravel and place some stones on top to fill the gap.
In addition to repairing cracks and potholes, concrete driveways require extra care to stay looking new for years to come. To avoid the appearance of algae, you can spray your concrete surfaces with a special anti algae liquid that prevents the growth of algae even when the sunlight is shaded. You can also prevent the growth of mold and mildew by regularly cleaning the surface with a vacuum. Another effective way to keep the surface clean and algae-free is to use a mild detergent and rinse the surface to remove stains and dirt. This regular cleaning will make it easy for you to spot any stains or dirt, which in turn will help you to keep them from growing.
It is important to keep in mind that concrete driveways are meant for parking vehicles. Thus, they should have proper drainage system so that water can flow easily and will not cause mud slides. Concrete surfaces have three basic types – the base concrete, which is the one you see on the sides and back of cars, the gravel base, which is installed on the sides and back of cars, and finally the seamless concrete, which are the most popular and used in homes. Base concrete contains a cement base that holds the gravel and the water, while the gravel base contains pores that allow liquid to percolate through it and flow out through proper drain channels. Smooth concrete has a smooth surface.
While plain concrete may be good enough if you are looking for low maintenance, you should look into the other options that homeowners have when choosing a driveway. Aside from the basic options like asphalt, which is a durable but expensive material, there are also other materials that can provide the same benefits at a lesser cost. These include wood chips for driveways and concrete for garages and exterior pathways. Wood chips, which are available in different shades and can even be shaped, are great as alternatives to the plain concrete. Homeowners can choose the size and depth of wood chips according to the size of their garden. They can also choose the colors and pattern for their driveway or garage door.