"Understanding Your Home" by Building Inspector Mark Visser
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Never use a silicone sealer on concrete driveways. Silicone prevents the concrete from breathing and it can make the surface very slippery.
There are special concrete sealers available. Read the labels and choose a product that contains siloxanes and acrylic resins that penetrate deep into porous materials.
The product label should also state how often the sealer should be applied and whether or not the surface should be dry before the sealer is applied.
Concrete sealers can be used on new as well as on older concrete surfaces. The sealer provides an oil, gas, road salt and other stains resistant barrier.
It also makes it easier to clean up after a spill. The concrete driveway should be cleaned before the sealer is applied.


Concrete Driveways

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Concrete driveways.

A single lane driveway is usually around 10' (3 m) wide and, where possible, with an apron of approximately 15 feet (4.5 m) wide. A wider and flared apron makes it easier for cars entering or leaving. The apron is the driveway section between the sidewalk and the street. A circular driveway has two aprons. For esthetic reasons the apron can be made of a different material than the main driveway. Adding drive way edging can also drastically change the overall appearance of your driveway.
Concrete is one of the most versatile driveway materials. It can be installed with different textures, colors and unlimited design opportunities.
New installations. Concrete driveways pavements are created by using a concrete mix of Portland Cement, gravel, and sand.
The sub-grade should be made wet before the concrete is poured to prevent the soil from taking too much water from the concrete mix. The material is applied in a freshly-mixed slurry, and worked mechanically to force some of the thinner cement slurry to the surface to produce a smoother, denser surface free from honeycombing.

Steel netting or rebar is used to reinforce the concrete but does not prevent cracks from developing. After the concrete has set for a day a concrete cutter is used to add grooves across the width of the driveway. The grooves are there to control crack development. The spacing of the grooves is usually around 10' (3 m) for a 4" (10cm) thick driveway. Driveways that are wider than 12' (3.5 m) , also require a joint down the center.
The concrete should be thicker than the standard 4" (10 cm) if heavier vehicles such as RV's will be parked on it.

Advantages. One advantage of cement concrete driveways is that they are typically stronger and more durable than other materials. They also can easily be surface grooved to provide a durable skid-resistant surface.
Disadvantages are that they typically have a higher initial cost and are perceived to be more difficult to repair.

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