Most of the concrete’s strength comes from its thickness. But how thick would it have to be for a driveway project?
The driveway is under assault from so many different pressures: vehicles, weather, and plant growth are just a few. So while it’s often overlooked, concrete is an excellent material for driveway construction. Properly installed, concrete can easily resist all these pressures and more for decades!
Why Choose Concrete For Driveways?
Concrete is the ideal choice for driveways because it is versatile, durable, and doesn’t need a lot of maintenance. It can also be coloured, textured, and patterned any way a homeowner could want, including to match the exterior of a home. With concrete, no one has to settle for typical black asphalt or the grey look of an unfinished surface!
Not only can a concrete driveway make a dramatic difference to the look of a home and landscape, but it can also go decades without maintenance. It’s a much stronger material than asphalt and doesn’t have the give of gravel, making concrete a much more economical purchase in the long run. The integrity will come from how thick the concrete is, so how much of the material needs to be poured?
How Thick Should A Concrete Driveway Be?
Thickness is the most important part of determining the structural capacity of a driveway. Concrete driveways should be made up of slabs at least four inches thick, but the thicker the slabs, the stronger the driveway! Increasing the thickness to five inches will increase the load capacity of the driveway by almost 50 percent. Paying a little more money for additional concrete could be worth that extra durability.
The edges of the driveway should also be made thicker because these areas are more likely to be pressured by heavy loading. An extra inch or two of concrete along the sides provide needed structural support so that the whole driveway can stay structurally sound.
Other Ways Of Keeping A Concrete Driveway Strong
While the thickness of the concrete most important factor in the strength of your driveway, it will have additional support. The concrete is reinforced by ½-inch steel rebar that has been properly centred in the material. Control joints placed every ten feet or so keep the concrete from cracking, which can take a lot away from the look of your new driveway.
Of course, thick concrete won’t stand up if it hasn’t been given enough time to cure. Curing is how concrete develops the right strength and durability for which the mix was created. Not all mixes are the same, and to get the positive attributes from your specific mixture, the concrete needs the right moisture and temperature conditions as it hardens. If concrete is not left to cure after finishing, its resistance to the effects of weather will be reduced.