5 Tips for Pouring the Perfect Concrete Driveway
Concrete driveways are a fantastic addition to any property, thanks to their clean, attractive appearance and excellent durability. If you’re going to pour your own concrete driveway, though, everything needs to be done to the letter to ensure the best possible results.
Here, Sussex Ready Mix Concrete will guide you through the steps of pouring your own concrete driveway.
If you need some concrete for your project, give our team a call on 0808 164 1723
As the saying goes; ‘failing to prepare is preparing to fail’, and this rings true for DIY projects like pouring your own concrete driveway. You need to make sure you have everything in order before you start, because if you realise halfway through that you’ve made a terrible error, it’s an enormous task to re-do or rectify your mistake.
Before drawing up any blueprints or arranging for delivery of materials, check with your local authority to see if you have permission to make alterations to your grounds.
If you’ve been granted permission to go ahead with your project, you need to assess the lay of the land your driveway will be situated on. Think about drainage risks and potential damage to your vehicle that is associated with building on a steep incline, for example.
How does your driveway join with the road? Make sure you can back out onto the road safely, if you need to. If your home is situated on a blind corner, it might be worth designing a driveway that allows you to turn round before leaving.
Once you’ve done all the due diligence, it’s time to work out the required quantities of your materials. You can work out the amount of concrete needed for a project by using Sussex Ready Mix’s concrete calculator.
2. Your concrete supplier
You need to be sure you’re choosing a reputable supplier when it comes to procuring your concrete. There’s a wealth of concrete suppliers around, but they’re not all of the same standards, and as they’re supplying your most important material, this is an important choice you need to make. Do your research: check online reviews, shop around for quotes and check prospective companies’ insurance coverage, then cross-reference these factors to determine which company is right for you.
Into practical preparation now. Assuming you have completed the above steps, it’s time to start quite literally laying the foundations for your new concrete drive. You need to start laying your forms, which are the wooden boards that will form the borders for your concrete pour. Lay these forms around the area you need for your driveway, and then secure them into place using a wooden stakes and string.
4. Concrete curing
Once the concrete is poured into place and once all the work is done, it’s time to let the concrete cure. The curing process of the concrete is crucial; it has to be respected in order for the driveway to work as it should and to last as long as it can.
Concrete will be partly cured after 48 hours, but it takes a week for it to reach around 70%, and approximately 28 days until it reaches full strength. You can help to speed up the curing process by covering the concrete with a plastic sheet – this keeps the moisture level steady by preventing moisture escaping and also preventing additional moisture getting in and disturbing the balance. You can also use heaters to speed up the curing, but take care not to overheat the concrete, as this can cause it to dry out too quickly.
Take a look at our article about how long it takes concrete to cure here.
5. Professional assistance
Although these are DIY tips, we must stress that you should ask for professional assistance if you need it. Whether you encounter a problem or you have doubts about your ability to complete a certain part of the pour, contact a reputable concrete company, like Sussex Ready Mix Concrete, to help you.
Above are just a few tips on how to make your concrete driveway construction as smooth and successful as possible. For the highest quality concrete for your new driveway, look no further than Sussex Ready Mix Concrete; we provide next day delivery of our superb concrete for customers across Sussex, and you only pay for what you use, so there’s no better value for money around. Get in touch with us today to find out more.