If you’re planning to pour a concrete driveway, it’s important to do it correctly so you don’t end up with a bumpy or sunken surface. By knowing what to avoid, you can ensure that your new concrete driveway looks great and lasts for many years.
As much as possible, it’s always better to hire a professional for your concrete driveway installation project. However, if you really want to do it yourself, here are some of the most common mistakes people make when pouring concrete for a driveway.
Adding Too Much Water to the Concrete Mix
One of the most common mistakes made when working with concrete is adding too much water to the mix. While it may seem counterintuitive, adding too much water actually makes the concrete weaker and less durable.
When there is too much water in the mix, the cement paste cannot properly bond with the aggregate, resulting in a finished product that is prone to cracks and other damage. In addition, excess water causes the concrete to shrink as it dries, which can lead to uneven settling and further structural issues.
To avoid these problems, it is important to only add enough water to the mix to make it workable. By following this simple rule, you can ensure that your concrete is strong and long-lasting.
Not Adding Enough Water to the Concrete Mix
Another common mistake made when working with concrete is not adding enough water to the mix. Although it may seem counterintuitive, water is essential for the chemical reaction that gives concrete its strength.
Without enough water, the concrete will be dry and crumbly. In addition, air pockets can form, which weaken the overall structure. The amount of water needed will vary depending on the type of concrete being used, but as a general rule, the mix should be moist but not soupy.
If you’re unsure whether you’ve added enough water, err on the side of caution and add a bit more. It’s much easier to add more water than it is to try to fix a batch of concrete that’s too dry.
Pouring Concrete When It’s Too Hot Outside
Many people make the mistake of pouring concrete when it’s too hot outside. The problem with this is that the heat can causes the concrete to crack. Cracks in concrete can allow water to seep in and then freeze, which can cause even more cracking.
It’s best to pour concrete when the temperature is between 50- and 70-degrees Fahrenheit. If it’s too hot, wait until it cools down or pour the concrete in the shade. If you must pour concrete in the heat, add rock salt to the mix. This will help to keep the concrete cooler and prevent cracking.
Keep in mind that these are just a few of the most common mistakes people make when pouring concrete. There are tons of other mistakes not mentioned in this article.
The best way to avoid these mistakes is to simply hire a professional concrete contractor to install the concrete driveway for you.