Minnesota Concrete Driveways: The Top Reasons to Consider a Concrete Driveway

If you are currently considering having your home?s driveway replaced, you may be wondering what type of driveway is the best option. Particularly if you currently have a gravel or paver driveway, you may be wondering why concrete driveways are so popular, and what benefits they can provide you with over your current driveway. While each type of driveway provides certain benefits, and suits certain homeowners, there is a reason why concrete driveways are the most popular option, as they provide homeowners with numerous benefits. Here are a just a few of the top reasons to consider a Minnesota Concrete Driveway.

Durability

The durability of concrete is one of the main reasons why it is so commonly used for the construction of driveways. Concrete is an extremely strong building material that maintains its structural integrity for many years, and it is for this reason that so many bridges, highways, and buildings are made out of concrete. No matter how many vehicles you plan on placing on your driveway, or how heavy these vehicles are, you will not have to worry about your driveway needing to be replaced for at least 30 years. In fact, when poured properly, concrete driveways are unlikely to crack even under the harshest weather conditions, which makes concrete driveways much more durable, and reliable, than other types of driveways.

Easy Maintenance

Aside from being much more durable than other driveway options, concrete driveways are also extremely simple to maintain, and do not require the same painstaking maintenance that gravel and paver driveways require. Gravel driveways often requiring raking, and the replacement of loose gravel, and paver driveways often need treatments to prevent weeds from growing in between the paver pieces. Also, paver driveways periodically require individual pavers to be replaced. Concrete driveways, on the other hand, generally only require a simple sweeping to remove any dirt and debris. If your driveway becomes stained, you may want to consider pressure washing or hand scrubbing to return it to its original look.

Design Flexibility

Another reason so many homeowners choose concrete driveways for their homes is due to the variety of options that are available to individualize concrete driveways. No longer limited to the slate gray of traditional concrete driveways, there are many options available that allow homeowners to personalize their concrete driveway. Concrete driveways can now be dyed a variety of colors to match your unique personality, and can be polished or textured, which can help to further add to your home?s curb appeal, as well as its overall resale value.

Easy Snow Removal

For Minnesota residents, perhaps one of the best benefits of concrete driveways is how much easier they can be to remove snow from. With paver driveways, shoveling too hard can cause you to damage, scratch, or loosen a paver. Gravel driveways, however, are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to remove snow from, as you would displace much of the gravel in doing so. Contrarily, concrete driveways provide a smooth, durable surface for you to shovel snow off of, allowing you to quickly and easily get back on the road after the storm passes.

When choosing a new driveway, it may initially seem confusing when trying to decide what type of driveway to have installed. However, when one considers the options available, it quickly becomes apparent that concrete makes for far superior driveways. Between their longevity, durability, easy maintenance, and the way in which they can be personalized to suit your home and increase its curb appeal, there are countless reasons to choose a concrete driveway, only a few of which we have touched upon here. Contact us to find out about more of the benefits of having a concrete driveway, as well as to learn about getting an estimate for having your driveway replaced.

Benefits of Having a Concrete Driveway in Minnesota

One of the biggest investments you can make in a home is the type of driveway you have installed. More and more homeowners in the Twin Cities are discovering the benefits of a concrete driveway in Minnesota because of its remarkable durability, versatility and other features. For example, it?s easier to shovel snow from concrete that it is to remove it from gravel. If you?re in the market for a new driveway, here are some advantages of a concrete driveway, along with a few basic considerations.

Advantages of a Concrete Driveway

One of the main reasons Minnesota homeowners prefer concrete driveways is because they?re aesthetically attractive. It?s your driveway that gives guests either a positive or negative first impression. Unlike concrete driveways years ago, contemporary concrete driveways can easily be dyed to whatever color you choose, adding to the exterior beauty of your home. What?s more, texture can be added to concrete to provide even more design appeal.

Concrete driveways are exceptionally strong and durable due to their massive denseness, making them ideal for bearing large loads. Provided they?re poured properly, they rarely crack. Consider that a concrete driveway does a better job of withstanding harsh Minnesota winter weather, whereas an asphalt driveway is more prone to potholes. Because weather changes can lead to concrete expanding and contracting, concrete is installed in large square slabs so that it?s less likely to crack.

Longevity is another bonus of having a concrete driveway. Most concrete driveways are good for as long as 20 to 30 years or even longer. The age variation largely depends of factors, such as installation quality, sub-grade stability, a region?s overall climate, maintenance frequency and the drainage plan. Keep in mind that it?s critical to seal cracks as soon as they develop to stop further problems, such as crocodile cracking.

Concrete driveways are easy to maintain as most stains and blemishes are easy to remove by using a mild detergent and water. But scrubbing with a granular cleaner may be needed for getting rid of more stubborn stains. Removing tire marks or oil stains typically entails using chemicals. For a polished driveway, you?ll need to have a topical sealant applied regularly for protecting the finish. To restore the shine, buffing is usually required.

Installation Time Frame

Sub-grade preparation can involve a time frame ranging from a day or two to as long as two weeks. The length of time it takes depends on where you live and the amount of work that?s involved in the installation.

A highly trained and experienced concrete contractor can typically install a driveway in a period of two to three days once the sub-grade prep is completed. You?ll have to wait several days before you can drive on your newly installed concrete driveway because it needs to cure. In most cases, about seven to ten days is needed. On the other hand, additional time may involved for stamped, stained or patterned driveways.

Considerations and Warnings

Concrete brick pavers can be an ideal solution if you want a stone or brick look but are on a budget. You can find pavers in a wide selection of sizes, shapes, colors and designs that have the appearance of traditional stone or brick.

Newly installed concrete driveways shouldn?t be sealed until they?re at least three to four weeks old. To slow down the process of your driveway deteriorating, you?ll need to seal it every three to five years.

Because installing a concrete driveway can be difficult, it?s not a job for the average homeowner and should be done by a professional installer. Don?t wait until summer of fall to have your new concrete driveway installed. To learn more about what?s involved in installing a concrete driveway or concrete paving, call the professionals at Minnesota concrete.

Our small, locally owned company has a well-earned reputation for giving quality concrete paving services to the entire Twin Cities. Please contact us for a free estimate and find out about our variety of services.

Bothered by Your Minnesota Concrete Garage Floor? We Can Fix or Replace It

They say a man’s home is his castle, and you may feel that way as you drive up to your house. But for some homeowners, the fantasy ends when the garage door opens. Cracked, crumbling, Minnesota concrete garage floors can prevent you from having the ideal garage, but they can be fixed or replaced.

Years of use can take a toll on a garage floor. Pulling vehicles in and out, spilling things, and dropping others will eventually cause some wear. Then there’s settling of the structure and our good ‘ol Minnesota winters which can cause frost heaves that result in cracking and an uneven floor.

For those who are particular about their garage, it can really become a bother. It can prohibit you from working on vehicles or other projects. For some, it’s an important space to store things during the cold winter months. But every time you see it the condition bothers you. And you may notice it gets worse and starts to crumble even more as you drive over it.

Some families are in desperate need of more living space, and the garage could provide that for them, if only the garage floor were level, even, and perfect.

The first step to getting that beautiful garage floor is calling in the experts. If your issues are minor, we may be able to help. Filling cracks and resurfacing the existing concrete often gives a garage floor new life, and provides a much-needed improvement that satisfies some homeowners.

Other times, the floor is too far gone, and the damage is too pervasive to save the original floor. But that doesn’t mean you have to live with it. With our extensive experience, we are able to remove that old floor and pour a new one that will give you the garage you’ve always dreamed of.

How exactly does that happen? It’s not an easy project, but it’s one that’s well worth it. The first step is removing the existing floor. Be prepared for some noise, as we use equipment to break that old concrete up and haul it off your property.

Next, we remove the old sub-base and start over with new material. Many times, the shifting and cracking was due to an insufficient base, so this is an important step. You won’t ever see the high-quality materials underneath your garage floor, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. A proper base will ensure you don’t have issues with cracking and heaving again.

Next, new re-bar is installed in a two-foot grid, which is going to give the floor additional strength and durability. Finally, the concrete truck arrives and we pour the new material. We won’t skimp on concrete, and use the best mix for our Minnesota climate so your floor will be strong. Finally we do the final finishing work and you get your first look at your beautiful garage floor.

After drying, it’s important to seal the concrete for added durability. Garage floors are sure to have their share of spills, and water, oil, and other substances can damage your floor. Even the salt from the cars in the winter can cause some corrosion. A thorough sealing will ensure your floor stays looking its best.

If your garage floor is really a priority, then you can add a coating as the final step. Some do it as another level of protection, while others want to upgrade the look of the floor. With many colors to choose from for the base coating, which can be further enhanced by decorative quartz or paint chips, garage floor coatings give you a wide array of design options.

If you have a garage floor that has seen better days, you don’t need to just live with it. If you’re in the Minneapolis area, contact us for an evaluation and we can give you more information.

Signs You Should Call About Repairing Cracks in Concrete

Concrete is one of the strongest materials used in buildings, roads, sidewalks, and lots of other infrastructure. It is not invincible though and when the cracks start to appear, it can be detrimental if not repaired quickly and correctly.

What makes concrete crack?

There are a number of things that can cause cracks. Excess water is a very common factor in residential areas. When laying concrete, some companies will add too much water to make it easier and quicker to finish. Adding too much water causes the concrete to shrink too much and crack. On the flip side, adding too little water will cause the concrete to dry too fast and cause shrinking which leads to cracking. The last most common reason is the concrete is too weak. Concrete comes in a variety of strengths, when the wrong strength is used it will crack when pushed past its limit. Almost all concrete will crack at some point but it is always a smart idea to contact professionals (like us!) to take a look at them.

Call a professional if:

1. The crack is spreading.

A small crack that is ignored can spread quicker than most people think. A crack that seems like it is branching out indicates further damage than just a minor cosmetic problem. Even if the cracks are not connected, multiple cracks in the same area are all slowly causing their own damage. The trained professionals at Minnesota Concrete can find the cause of the cracks and repair them before they create a bigger, more dangerous problem.

2. The crack is crumbling or chipping off.

When concrete beings to chip or crumble, it is called “spalling”. These cracks are the types that are a result of adding too much water when the concrete was mixed. Unfortunately, this usually calls for a whole area resurface because just a crack repair would only be a short-term solution. It is especially important to get a professional team for this type of repair, they will know the proper way to resurface the area to prevent this type of cracking from happening again.

3. The crack is large and becoming a safety issue.

In general, any crack over a quarter of an inch wide is “large” and needs a professional to inspect it. Large cracks allow for mold, moisture, infestations, and a number of other elements that will cause even more problems. If a crack is on a floor area such as a patio or pool deck, they can becoming tripping hazards. A large crack is not safe to repair for someone who is not a professional.

4. The crack causes a leak.

This reason is an obvious one. If you notice a crack begin to leak, there is a chance the shrinking/expanding of the concrete has caused a leak in a water pipe. This is a common problem in basement areas and near pools. Cracks that leak are a result of someone ignoring or not realizing the crack that is crumbling. At this point you should contact us right away and probably give your local plumber a call also.

5. The concrete seems loose or unstable.

You should not feel concrete move when you drive over it. If there is a crack in an area like a garage or driveway and you can feel the concrete shift as you move over it, there is a problem. The concrete does not have enough support underneath. The strength of the cracked concrete might be too weak or the initial support laid underneath is becoming faulty. These cracks can cause major damage, the crack could give in when driving over it. Then you have both concrete and car repairs to pay for. It is best to have the crack investigated and the problem fixed, the sooner the better.

The professional teams here at Minnesota Concrete are ready to come to you as soon as you notice any of these problems. We know it is sometimes frustrating and confusing when you find cracks, our free estimates are a pressure-free way to get the help you need. Give us a call today to get started!