Pouring the concrete for a home's driveway is not something that should be tackled by a homeowner, even if you can rent a concrete pump and are pretty handy with a shovel and other tools. The way a concrete surface is mixed and installed will affect its overall strength and durability; the time and money you will spend repairing a poor-quality concrete surface that wasn't installed properly can far exceed the cost of having a professional do this properly the first time. Note a few reasons why this job is best left to a concreter so you know the right choice for your home.
Not enough expansion joints
You may notice that concrete driveways and walkways are poured in sections, with small trenches left between these sections. These are called expansion joints, and they allow concrete to expand easily as it absorbs water and humidity without cracking and splitting. Without enough of these joints, one solid section of concrete would expand in various areas and then push against itself, causing it to crack far sooner than it should. A professional concreter will know how many of these expansion joints to add, considering the standard levels of humidity in your area, length of concrete slab, and other such factors.
Expansion joints in the wrong place
Just having expansion joints in the concrete itself is not sufficient to keep the material from cracking; a professional concreter will know where to put them according to the slope and layout of the land. If the joints are not properly placed around hills and small valleys in your property, they will do little to protect concrete as it expands and contracts over the years.
Concrete too thick or thin
Never assume that thicker concrete is better or more secure for your driveway, as concrete that is too thick can crack from its own weight alone. If the soil under the concrete is soft and doesn't provide enough support, this can also cause thick concrete to settle and shift in certain areas, and you'll see corners breaking away or splits down the middle of your drive.
On the other hand, concrete that is too thin will split from the weight of your vehicle, even if you drive a lightweight sedan or motorcycle. A professional concreter will inspect the property and ask about your vehicles before deciding on the best thickness for the concrete surface to avoid early cracking and other such damage.
For more information, contact local professionals like Liquid Rock Constructions Pty Ltd.