Concrete Driveway Basics
- Cost: Concrete is more expensive than gravel and asphalt driveways, but is less expensive than pavers or natural stone (like brick or cobblestone). On average, $5 to $10 per square foot, depending on site conditions and preparation. Extras that can be added on; various finishes, colored concrete, staining, sealing, pattern cutting, seams.
- Durability: 25-50 years or longer with proper care and installation.
- Maintenance: Sweeping and pressure washing when needed. Chemicals may be needed to remove stains, oil or tire marks. Sealing is usually required every few years.
- Additional options: Driveways may be stained different colors, personalized or poured into any pattern you desire. Do you want a fancy exposed concrete surface, a stamped concrete surface, or budget-friendly broom finished? Circles, squares, cut lines, seaming and tiles, planters, retaining walls, or any customization can be designed to compliment the design and functionality of your driveway.
Concrete Driveway Pros
- Requires little maintenance.
- Gives great longevity and has a longer life than other driveway options.
- Concrete is easily repaired.
- Looks amazing.
- Unlimited color options.
- Snow removal is easy on concrete.
- Anti slip additives can be added onto surfaces.
- Initial cost is more than other options, but your get more longevity out of your investment.
- Requires yearly maintenance, in most climates.
- As you consider concrete driveways costs, factor in the cost of sealing it every 1-3 years.
- To extend the life of concrete, you’ll want to keep it well-maintained. The first thing to do is to have it sealed after your concrete driveway is poured, usually within the first month or two after it is fully cured. Concrete sealer cost is not cheap but this final stage will vastly improve the durability of the driveway. Expect to pay $0.50 to $0.85 per square foot for one application or coating of sealer (which usually includes the cost of pressure washing the surface). Anti slip additives or repairing chips and cracks can increase this cost a little.
- Sealers will keep your concrete protected from moisture and protect any tiny cracks. Without a protective sealer, moisture will penetrate the cracks and freeze in very cold weather which may increase the size of any cracks or chips.
- You may want to seal your driveway annually if your driveway is exposed to lots of moisture or freeze and thaw conditions to maintain the protective barrier of sealer between the elements and your concrete surface.
- Not all driveway sealers are alike (even those in the same product category), and no driveway sealer will last forever. Depending on the type of products used and exposure conditions, a sealer should last anywhere from 1 to 3 years.
- If you have a sealer buildup on the surface from multiple sealer applications over the years, stripping the sealers may be required periodically. We would recommend stripping your concrete if your sealer is flaking in spots, holes are developing, you have a cloudy appearance throughout the sealer, there are dull spots, blistering or bubbles. The best way to assess any of these symptoms, is to call a concrete sealing professional in your area to come check out the situation in person. Stripping sealers is a messy process and can either be done chemically or mechanically.
- Be careful with concrete driveway salt, this may create a chemical reaction and eat away at your sealers and stains. Read the labels of any products you use, or reapply sealers every year if you are using driveway salt regularly.
- Concrete naturally shifts, moves and cracks with environmental changes and with age. Easily repaired, patched, or filled, these cracks are usually only cosmetic and not structural or unsafe (but every project is different). An experienced concrete contractor should easily be able to assess your project, give you options, show you samples and work with you to achieve the results you desire. A concrete professional can help talk you through all the options available to you depending on the state of the concrete and your budget.
When you hire Mode Concrete, you hire a professional contractor that always stays on budget and on schedule! From the moment you hire Mode Concrete, you'll notice why our clients give us amazing referrals and recommendations, every time. Contact us today for more information about our services.
- Concrete Driveways: Poring Over the Pros and Cons - Houzz http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/2459366/list/Concrete-Driveways--Poring-Over-the-Pros-and-Cons
- 2012 Concrete Driveway Cost Guide for Repair or Replacement - Driveway Guide http://www.drivewayguide.com/guides/cost-of-concrete-driveway-repairs-and-replacement/
- Pros and Cons of a Concrete Driveway - About.com http://garages.about.com/od/buildingagarage/a/Pros-And-Cons-Of-A-Concrete-Driveway.htm