If your old concrete driveway has a lot of cracks or if it's sunken in areas, it may be time to replace it. By tearing out the old concrete, the contractor can make repairs to the base so the new driveway has stable support that lasts for years. Here's an overview of what to expect with a concrete driveway replacement.
The Old Concrete Is Broken Up And Removed
Before the contractor can start digging on your property, the utility lines have to be marked, and the contractor has to obtain a permit from the city. Once these steps are taken care of, the contractor can bust up the old concrete and haul it away.
This might be done with machinery that can break the concrete into small sections and then scoop up the pieces and dump them in a truck. With the old concrete out of the way, work can begin on the base.
The Base Is Sloped And Compacted
Although a slope on a driveway might not be noticeable, driveways usually have slopes so water rolls off to the side and so water drains away from your house and your garage. The contractor might need to scoop out some dirt and then add gravel to make the base strong and to get the right slope. The final step is to compact the soil so the base won't shift under the weight of the concrete.
The New Concrete Is Poured
Before the concrete is poured on the base, the contractor puts forms along the side that give the driveway a defined edge. The concrete is then poured from a mixer truck and spread around the area.
Spreading and leveling the concrete is usually done as quickly as possible before the mix begins to get hard. The surface of the driveway might be roughed up so it isn't slick, or the contractor might stamp designs in the wet concrete before it gets too dry and hard.
The Driveway Has To Cure Several Days
You won't be able to use your new driveway for several days because the concrete has to cure. The contractor lets you know how soon you can park on the concrete depending on the weather conditions. You'll probably be able to park a car on the driveway much sooner than you can park an RV or heavy truck.
While much of the work of a concrete driveway replacement can be done in a day, you'll want to allow several days for the job and make other arrangements for parking your car until the contractor says the new concrete is safe to use.