"Understanding Your Home" by Building Inspector Mark Visser
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Crack control
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 made 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.

Driveway sealing tips
*Use a mild mixture of water and dish soap to scrub and rinse the surface.
* Do NOT apply sealer to a wet surface, so let the driveway completely dry.
*Apply sealer according to manufacturers instructions.
*A five gallon (19 liters) pail of sealer will cover around 1000 sq.ft. (93 sq.m).

Stamped Concrete Driveways

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Stamped concrete driveways.

A single lane driveway is usually around 10 feet (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 aesthetic 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.
Stamped concrete is concrete that is patterned and/or textured or embossed to resemble brick, slate, flagstone, stone, tile, and various other patterns and textures. Stamped concrete is commonly used for driveways and other areas around the house where a concrete finished surface is preferred. The ability of stamped concrete to resemble other building materials makes stamped concrete a less expensive alternative to using those other authentic materials such as stone, slate or brick.
There are three procedures used in stamped concrete which separate it from other concrete procedures; the addition of a base color, the addition of an accent color, and stamping a pattern into the concrete. These three procedures provide stamped concrete with a color and shape similar to the natural building material. It also is longer lasting than paved stone, and still resembles the look.
New installations. 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. Before the concrete is fully dry it is impressed or stamped with patterns and textures. Colour, if it has not been added to the concrete mix, will be added as well.
Maintenance. A well installed stamped concrete driveway should last a long time. Stamped concrete should be resealed every two to three years, depending on the region where you live. Without regular resealing the colour may fade.
The driveway shown to the right is now six years old and has been sealed three times by the homeowner.

Stamped concrete for a real authentic look

Stamped concrete driveway for a clean look

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