Pros and Cons of Installing a Concrete Driveway

If you are shopping around for a new driveway for your home or business, you will find that there are many different types of concrete. As you read this article you will learn about the pros and cons of each type. When choosing which type of concrete is right for you, there are a number of things to keep in mind.

Concrete drives have become very popular over the past several years. Many people have built their dream home on one of these concrete patios and driveways. Many people will choose to build their driveway with concrete because it allows them to customize their driveway to whatever style they want. This makes it possible to add your own design and personalization to your driveway. While both concrete and asphalt driveways offer a strong durable surface for walking on, the answer might lie in the specifics. While concrete is generally a better choice if you live where the ground is hotter, concrete is also a more attractive option.

Pros and Cons of Installing a Concrete Driveway
Pros and Cons of Installing a Concrete Driveway

Wide Array of Styles

The benefits of a concrete driveway include a wide array of styles that can fit in with any type of home decorating scheme. This versatility also allows people to use the concrete in a variety of applications such as patios, driveways, and pools. A concrete driveway is also considered a very good value. Since the price of this concrete is often less than what you would pay for an asphalt driveway, it makes a great investment.

Another advantage of a concrete driveway is that it is resistant to weathering. This means that your driveway will last longer if it has been properly maintained. However, the cost of maintenance can be rather high. This is why homeowners should always check with their local contractors before installing their driveway.

Concrete drives do not last forever because of the wear and tear that they endure from everyday use. However, a concrete driveway can last anywhere from twenty to forty years, depending upon the quality and durability of the material used. A good contractor will be able to assess your driveway’s maintenance needs and suggest the best solution.


Concrete as a building material can be made from various types of aggregates that include Portland cement, limestone, and quarry dust. This gives a smooth, shiny finish to your driveway. The disadvantage to using a driveway made from these aggregates is that they can crack and chip over time. Since concrete cracks due to the heat and humidity in the air, concrete can eventually chip off at the edges. Once this happens, you will need to replace the entire concrete layer on your drive.

It is important to use the right amount of aggregate when cleaning a concrete driveway. This is due to the fact that more aggregate can actually cause the driveway to crack further along the edges. It is important that you use the correct amount of aggregate to ensure that your driveway stays smooth. To get the best results you should use no more than four hundred pounds of aggregate at a time. You can add the aggregates to the ground using a backhoe or truck-mounted auger. After the concrete is ready to be used, it should be left to set in place overnight.

Easily repositioned

Although concrete drives can have their cons, there are still some advantages to having one installed on your property. One of the biggest benefits of a concrete driveway is that they can be easily repositioned to suit any environment. They can be moved if needed without any damage being done to your home or business. They are also affordable to use. As long as the materials you use are of good quality and durable, concrete is one driveway material that will always provide the benefits of added curb appeal.

Concrete is a favorite material for drives , also for good reason. Concrete slabs are extremely powerful and durable, and they need very little upkeep. The joint strength and durability make concrete a comparatively great value for large regions of paving. As a driveway coating, concrete is more costly than gravel and asphalt, however it’s much more affordable than a driveway made out of brick, cobblestone, or concrete pavers–and it generally outlasts all of them.

Concrete Driveway
Concrete Driveway

Concrete is a favored material for driveways, and for good reason. Concrete slabs are very strong and durable, and they need very little upkeep. The joint strength and durability make concrete a comparatively good value for large areas of paving. As a driveway surface, concrete is more expensive than gravel and asphalt, but it’s considerably more affordable than a driveway made out of brick, cobblestone, or concrete pavers–and it generally outlasts all of these.

Although plain concrete could be rather dull in appearance, concrete may also be colored and stamped to make a unique and appealing surface.

Concrete for a Building Material

Concrete is sometimes wrongly known as cement, but in reality, the term cement refers to only 1 component which makes concrete up. Concrete is a composite material composed of various varieties of stone aggregate that are held together using a mixture of water and lime-based binder–usually Portland cement. The cement itself is a pulverized powder produced from clay and limestone. The size of the aggregate in the concrete mixture may fluctuate, depending on the intended use of the concrete. For average structural construction used, concrete is formed with gravel-sized aggregates, but for finer work and smoother finished surfaces, finer sands may be used as the aggregate. The normal mix used in driveway slabs, sidewalks, and other paving surfaces typically uses a combination of aggregate ranging from gravel to sand-sized particles.

When first mixed, concrete is a pourable slurry that may be shaped to whatever form is required. It then slowly hardens as the concrete cures. The hardening process continues for many months–even decades –although a few days of curing make it challenging enough for many applications.

In many programs, concrete is reinforced by placing steel metal reinforcement wire or rebar inside the slab. Other ingredients can also be added during mixing, like agents that enhance strength or slow drying time.


Even though it is possible for a homeowner to pour a concrete drive themselves, it’s quite hard work. Time is a crucial element because when the concrete is poured, it begins to harden very quickly. For this reason, it’s usually left to professionals who will excavate, prepare forms, pour the concrete, and also complete the surface immediately. An expert crew can do the whole project in a few days, even though a homeowner chooses generally a week or even more for excavation and preparation independently, and yet another very long day for pouring and finishing. For the homeowner intrepid enough to pour his own cement, having a group of prepared and able-bodied helpers available is vital.

Installing a concrete driveway starts with eliminating grass and other plant and ensuring a secure soil foundation. Wood forms are subsequently installed around the outside of the planned driveway. A foundation of class-5 gravel at least 4 inches thick is inserted, graded, and compacted. Reinforcement material is added only above the packed gravel foundation, comprising a steel cable grid or metal rebar placed at a criss-cross pattern across the region.

The driveway has become ready for the concrete pour. This generally involves a team of many people working quickly to fill the forms with wet concrete as it is delivered from a ready-mix seller and then to immediately finish the surface. The concluding team should also ensure an adequate number of expansion joints–grooves formed across the moist surface at prescribed periods to allow the slab to shift and break in controlled places. Without growth grooves, a slab may fragment randomly beneath the effect of organic settling and shifting.

Finishing Process

A key part of this finishing process is floating the concrete. After the concrete is poured and smoothed, the finishing crew utilizes a variety of tools to work the surface of the concrete, drawing on the cement and finer particles into the surface through capillary action to create an attractive, smoother surface. The sum of floating determinedly how smooth the surface will be, and there’s a considerable craft involved with doing so because excess floating will weaken the surface and make it flake out, while too little will leave the slab with a demanding, industrial look. This is also the period when a skilled crew can impart decorative finishes and colors into the surface of the slab.

Among the most crucial parts of a concrete driveway installment starts after each of the above work is done–the curing. Concrete doesn’t dry out; rather, it destroys a slow chemical process that hardens and reinforces the substance. It’s very important that this curing process occurs under the best of conditions. This starts with the weather. Ideal curing weather is about 70 degrees with a coating that is kept damp but not wet. In cool weather, curing will take more. In hot weather, the surface ought to be dampened frequently with water to slow down the healing time.

Concrete Driveway Pros and Cons
Concrete Driveway Pros and Cons

Wait at least a week before driving the new driveway, and at the very least a month prior to parking heavy vehicles on the driveway. Wait a month or two before sealing the concrete.


A lot of men and women look at concrete driveways as being virtually maintenance-free, however, to best ensure long life, it does pay to keep the driveway sealed and clean. A good scrubbing with a hose and brush will usually manage the cleaning, whereas a concrete sealer will include a layer of protection. Sealer should be applied at least once a year. If you live in snow country, the best time to seal a driveway would be in the fall to ensure that the slab will stand up to road salts and harsh winter weather.

Longevity and Prices

Concrete driveways generally stay operational for 25 to 50 years, depending on how well constructed they were and how well they have been maintained. A basic concrete driveway installed within a gravel base by a professional crew will charge $4 to $10 per square foot. The national average is about $6 per square foot, making the cost of a 16 x 38 drive about $3900. These costs can nearly double, however, if you decide to go with a coloured or stamped end. Expect to pay slightly more if there’s demolition of a previous slab involved.


Concrete is a relatively affordable option when you consider longevity. You may have to get a driveway done just once during the time you own your home.

Concrete is an exceedingly durable surface. When nicely set up and well cared for, a concrete slab can last 50 years or more.

Concrete driveways are very strong. Well installed with the proper foundation and reinforcement, they will resist the heaviest vehicles you are very likely to push.


Concrete isn’t the most attractive construction material, although color-etching and stamping are potential. These cosmetic treatments, though, need more maintenance and typically do not survive as long as plain concrete.

Concrete does need annual maintenance, particularly sealing, to ensure the long life of the slab. Compounds and fluids leaking from vehicles may cause stains that are difficult to eliminate.

Concrete isn’t a very DIY-friendly material for big jobs. Pouring a concrete driveway entails very hard labour, so for many people, professional installation is the most suitable choice.