What to Discuss With a Concrete Contractor Before Work Begins


A concrete contractor can usually make all the decisions needed about the type of concrete that will be used for your new patio or driveway, and ensure the job gets done right. However, this doesn't mean you shouldn't communicate with him or her about the work, the choices you have for concrete and its finish, and how to protect the concrete once it's poured. Note a few things to discuss with a concrete contractor before work even begins.

1. Ask about the strength of concrete

Did you know that concrete actually has different strengths when it's mixed? The strength of the mix depends on the ratio of the materials used to make concrete, and you may need a different strength for a driveway than for a patio. If your old driveway was constantly chipping or cracking, your previous contractor may not have used a strong enough concrete for the weight of cars or trucks. Ask about the PSI, or pounds per square inch, strength of concrete they're using, and be sure it's at 4000 PSI or greater so you know it will stand up under vehicle traffic, weather, etc.

2. Note if they were planning on reinforcing the concrete

Even if concrete is very strong, when it's poured over a long span or large area it may tend to get weak in the middle unless it's been reinforced. Adding rebar to the concrete as it's poured may add to the cost of the job, but it can be a good choice for driveways, and especially if they're very long and very wide. You might also consider reinforcing the concrete if the ground underneath tends to get soft and doesn't give it much support; the concrete may shift and buckle if it isn't reinforced with rebar or another material to keep it in place.

3. Ask if a sealer should be added and how often

Many homeowners make the mistake of using too much sealer on their concrete and too often, or not sealing the concrete after it's been poured at all. Sealer can keep the driveway protected from moisture buildup and other damage, but too much sealer can start to collect in certain areas and, in turn, hold moisture on the surface of the driveway. Always ask your contractor about sealing the driveway and note their recommendations for what type of sealer, how often it should be applied, how much should be used, and so on. This will ensure the concrete looks its best long after the contractor has done the job.

Contact a professional business, such as Ellcon, and ask these three questions.


30 October 2015

Repairing Reusing or Recycling Broken Concrete: A Concrete Blog

If you have broken concrete around your property, you need to be creative about how you deal with it. You can tear it out, you can fix it or you can reuse the concrete in another area. Hi, my name is Betty, and I am a firm advocate of reducing waste and reusing things. I take this attitude to every part of my life, including my concrete. I own a business and a home, and I have concrete around both of them. Over the years, I have hired contractors to do repairs and a number of other things. I have also done a lot of research. Want ideas? Check out my posts. Cheers!