Concrete is an ideal material for driveways because it’s strong, long-lasting, and provides homeowners with more design options than other options. It can even enhance your home’s landscaping and property value. But have you ever wondered how much weight a driveway can hold?
How Much Weight Can A Concrete Driveway Hold?
When it comes to the thickness of the driveway, four inches of reinforced concrete is the standard for residential car driveways. It’s not just the thickness, though – the pounds per square inch (PSI) of the concrete also determines the strength of your driveway. Driveway projects use standard concrete that has a PSI of around 2,500.
The higher the PSI, the more durable the concrete. Regular construction jobs use concrete with a PSI of 3,000, with foundation and floor slabs going up to 3,500 PSI. While you might think that the more durable the concrete, the better it is, it’s also true that the higher the PSI, the more expensive the concrete. Though your driveway has a lot of weight regularly applied to it, the weight distributes evenly enough so that 2,500 PSI can handle it.
The day-to-day uses of the driveway are what is considered when planning a driveway. Four inches is the general rule for residential areas, and it can hold several regular-sized cars without the homeowner having to worry about cracking. It’s also often reinforced to increase the tensile and compressive strengths. However, we can lay the concrete down more thickly if you have heavier vehicles coming in and out all the time!
What Determines Concrete Driveway Thickness?
Though four inches is the regular thickness, certain factors can make pouring it thicker a smart decision. One major factor is the strength of the soil under the concrete. If the ground is not prepared properly, the soil can shift if it can’t. A good concrete contractor will prep the ground with the right amount of fill material and compact it so that you won’t need to worry about cracks from shifting.
The thickness can vary based on your usage. A residential driveway usually has nothing more on it than everyday passenger vehicles. It should be thicker if you have trailers, RVs, delivery trucks, garbage trucks, or any other large commercial vehicles on it regularly. A household with many heavy vehicles coming in and out should have a driveway that is at least five inches. Though it’s just an added inch of material, this thickness increases the load-bearing capacity of the concrete by 50%.
When we plan and lay down concrete, other factors taken into account include the drainage and the past driveway material. The contractor will use these circumstances to make sure you have a structurally sound driveway, and this means the thickness can be increased to suit your needs!