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Old 08-24-2008, 09:17 AM   #1
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Anyone here know anything about cement driveways

We have a cement driveway that has some cracks in it and quite a few quarter size pits where the cement has come out over time. I would love a smooth surface and to stain it. My concern is that if we put a top layer on the cement won't that just crumble in time? Has anyone else dealt with this and if so how did you remedy it?

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Old 08-24-2008, 09:43 AM   #2
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Yes, Sizzlin, we have. When we built our house we had a choice between cement and black top...we choose cement. By the next year, cracks and pitting appeared. We were told it is from settling, trapped air during mixing, large pieces of rock and unbroken cement, to name a few. Then there is the cold, snow, etc. If you are in Indiana you have the same type of weather. Don't try to place a layer over it as that will make it worse. The color will be different, since it is a thin layer it is easier to crack... A neighbor had that done and after a year or two it looked worse than it did before he had it "repaired". We ended up having our drive "roughened", which gave it a nice look and it stayed that way for the next 15 years we lived there.

There is this fairly new cement product out now where you can have it colored, it is guarenteed not to crack and it is dustless. Cannot remember the name of it at the moment but can find out for you. We had that poured in our garage and basement and it looks like granite, has a slight shine/sheen to it. Havent seen a crack or chip yet and its been years having it.
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Old 08-24-2008, 10:50 AM   #3
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Miss Sizz....There are some excellent products for filling cracks in driveways...there are some that aren't so good. I don't have any brand names for you. After filling the cracks your driveway can be sealed with products to help slow/stop moisture from penetrating the surface. This can be a do-it-yourself project or you can contract it to be done....As with all things of this nature, choose your contractor wisely. As Queen G. mentioned...Do not apply a layer of cement/concrete to your current surface...In a short time it too will crack, creating a bigger problem....
Bottom line...use a good crack sealant in the cracks...then have the whole driveway sealed. Another option...have a contractor come in with a back hoe, tear it out, and re-pour.
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Old 08-24-2008, 11:51 AM   #4
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We got a big crack in our carport floor after the earthquake, and Kim has turned it into the insurance company to see if our homeowners will cover it. He says it's all going to have to be dug out because on one side of the crack the concrete is about an inch higher.
I just had the area next to the carport landscaped this summer.
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Old 08-24-2008, 12:25 PM   #5
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concrete can be funny stuff. A lot depends on how the area was prepared for the concrete and how the actual pour was prepared and the mixture of concrete poured.

Preparation - There needs to be a good solid base to put the concrete on.It has to be dug down to solid ground. If it is poured on, say, topsoil, the natural decay of the topsoil will cause the soil to settle creating voids that will eventually cause cracks. After digging tosolid ground the area needs to be settled, or packed to make it hard. Then a good layer of crushes stone to provide drainage needs to be put down and then that has to be packed, so the stone does not settle and create voids.

Prepare the pour - There should be some kind of metal reinforcement laid inside the concrete. What you use will depend onhow much weight you will be putting onthe concrete. Just cars, pickup trucks heavier trucks? This all has to be taken into consideration. Fence wire is usually used in a hone driveway, if cost is not an object and you will be putting heavy vehicles on it, rebar would be a better choice.

The mixture of the concrete. There are all types of mixtures, additives and ratios. I am not up on all of them.The ratio is the amount of Portland cement to sand to stone. Foundations use a lot of stone for strength, sidewalks use more sand for a smooth finish and so forth in between. There are additives for hardness and the time that it takes to set the concrete. Also there are colorants that can be mixed n the pour to give a uniform color throughout the concrete.

The info above may be helpful, if you are going to dig up and start over. If that is not an option, in my opinion, Uncle Bob hit it on the head. Use a good crack filler and seal the driveway. If you choose to pour over top of the existing concrete, use a bonding agent to get good adhesion of the new and old concrete.

Finally, there are companies that do concrete stamping. They can pour a driveway and then follow along with rubber stamps to impart a pattern into the finished concrete. This can end up looking just like a paver stone driveway. Usually this process also involves coloring.

For my two cents, if you are up for rip and rebuild - go with pavers. It lasts a longtime and it can be fixed.

AC
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Old 08-26-2008, 08:32 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Constance View Post
We got a big crack in our carport floor after the earthquake, and Kim has turned it into the insurance company to see if our homeowners will cover it. He says it's all going to have to be dug out because on one side of the crack the concrete is about an inch higher.
I just had the area next to the carport landscaped this summer.
Ouch....thats what I'm dealing with in one area. Well from what I've read it looks like completely ripping it out will be the best solution.....not for my pocket though . Thanks for your input everyone you gave great advice.
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Old 08-26-2008, 10:25 AM   #7
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I know that the Asphalt part of our driveway hold up to the snowblower much better than teh cement part.
A crack in fall is still just a crack in the spring.
On the cement, a crack or chip in fall is a pit or gravel area in the spring!
We have a cement path from parking area to the house (I think was not done properly by the previous owner) that has turned to mostly gravel and needs to be totally replaced.
Ahhhh home ownership, ain't it great?
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Old 08-26-2008, 12:45 PM   #8
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If I had to start from scratch I'd go with pavers too.
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Old 08-26-2008, 06:32 PM   #9
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I have poured many cement driveways SizzlininIN and I agree with the others, don't top it. Interesting to see "Portland Cement" mentioned, they are our major supplier for cement powder as well. A standard mix ratio for their cement is 3-2-1. 3 sand, 2 stone, 1 cement powder.
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Old 08-26-2008, 06:43 PM   #10
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Has anyone else dealt with this and if so how did you remedy it?
Two of my cousins are in "the sand and gravel" business. My uncle started the company in the 1930's as a legitimate business.

In all of the years they have used cement, not one client has come back to complain.
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