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This Concrete Driveway is Built to Last! - Pensacola, Florida

Howdy folks! I want to start this blog post by saying it has been a beautiful year, and thank you to all our customers for supporting foxcrete over the years!

This Project spotlight is for a customer by the name of Al Simmons. A close friend of ours recommended us to him to replace his driveway. I wish I could have got some before and after photos, however it just slipped my mind! His driveway pretty much required a off road vehicle to climb to the top! Needless to say! The old concrete driveway had to go!!

So what makes a driveway just fall apart?

In this case, it was a massive root system growing underneath and popping and settling the area!

After hours of manually saw cutting, and hacking away, we removed the two large main root systems proximal to the concrete driveway! This root was set over 18" in the ground. 

After the major expense for the homeowner to remove the existing slab and root system, he decided to take all precautions to insure this doesn't happen again for as long as possible!

The first step in insuring that this driveway holds together is proper compaction and a proper base! The first step was to bring in a rock base to place the concrete over. This Crushed Concrete Rock compacts extremely well!

Next step is to install a Steel Rebar Mat. Here we placed the 1/2" rebar sticks on 3' Centers running both ways with a perimeter border! The Major benefit of Rebar vs The Rolled Wire Folks have seen is one major detail! Aside from the obvious benefits to repel cracks, it also helps repel settling in the event the sub grade is compromised with water and softens. Once the dirt underneath the concrete softens, it allows the concrete to settle and lower in areas with it, resulting in cracking and low areas. 

Last but certainly not least is the actual concrete itself!We used a 4000 PSI Mix with Fiberglass Reinforcement. Many new construction driveways are built with a 2,500 PSI Mix. I could dive into a entire blog post alone teaching PSI and Concrete Strength! However, I will hold on that for now! The Major difference is the cement content in the concrete mix. With increased cement content, the slabs nature will be much stronger and more resilient to surface wear that exposes the aggregate or rocks in the concrete over the years!

An important detail that is often overlooked by customers when having concrete placed and finished is insuring the contractor uses a proper water-cement ratio. This often can be tested or at least give you an idea of the water-cement content with the use of a slump cone. There is different ad-mixtures that can be added to the concrete truck to increase the slump and workability of the concrete without disturbing the water-cement ratio. Insure, your contractor is well versed in these practices.
Another additional finishing technique that help maintain the integrity of the slab is finishing the concrete without surface water. Many Contractors find themselves spraying water on the slab, (Most Commonly in the Summer) to use as finishing aid and bring the concrete to a more plastic state. Sometimes this is needed in extreme temps. The down fall is it disturbs to water-cement ratio at the surface and will allow the surface to become soft, which, as a result exposes the rock.

The final steps to help insure a crackless driveway is proper Joint Placement. We hand tool these joints in the surface roughly 1" deep to "Pre-Crack" the Driveway. What this does is insure it cracks underneath the nice straight lines, verses random and irregular. This particular job we installed the joints on roughly 7' Centers!

This project turned out very clean and I for one am very proud of our crew! We worked well with the homeowner and got he job done in a timely manor with a job well done! We love to fortify our work to insure it is built to last! 

As with any project, the sting of a cheap ill planned project, last much longer than the sting of a well planned quality project.
Ever Forward, Always Ahead
-Blake Henning

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