I have heard that using rebar in concrete the best form of reinforcement, is that true?
Rebar is an excellent form of reinforcement, however, there are some problems that can arise from this type of reinforcement. Most standard concrete installations are poured 4” thick, rebar is ½” thick, when putting down the rebar mat, the two pieces of rebar will occupy a 1” space in the concrete when they are overlapped, leaving slightly more than 1¼” of concrete above and below the embedded rebar. Over time, the concrete above the rebar can become weak, and can develop cracks that run directly above the rebar. If a metal reinforcement must be used, we highly recommend wiremesh.
Your proposal says you use “Fibermesh Reinforced Concrete”, what is that?
This is a concrete additive that is mixed in with the cement at the ready mix plant. If you could look at a cross section of Fibermesh fibrous concrete, you would see millions of polypropylene Fibermesh fibers uniformly distributed in all directions throughout the concrete mix. These fibers provide top-to- bottom, side-to-side uniform reinforcement and are a cost-effective and superior alternative to rebar or wire mesh reinforcement.
As a standard practice, we pour all driveways and parking pads with 4000PSI Fibermesh reinforced concrete, which we feel is the absolute best form of reinforcement available today.
My driveway has cracks running all through the grooves that are in it, should I be concerned?
The grooves in your driveway are called “control joints”. These were tooled into the driveway when it was being finished. These hand tooled joints were specifically placed to allow the concrete to develop a controlled crack rather than a random one.
My driveway has a several cracks and also many oil stains, someone told me it could be “re-surfaced” with a thin layer of new concrete, is that true?
Yes, you can have it re-surfaced, but we never recommend this type of an application for any exterior concrete. The investment put into re-surfacing will only provide a cosmetic quick fix to make the concrete look new again, but for a very short period of time. Typically when the first winter freeze/thaw cycle hits, and once the water that has found its way between the layers of the old and new concrete, the new thin concrete layer of will crack and start to pop off, and will only continue to do so, in most cases leaving the concrete in worse shape than it was prior to the re-surfacing.
There are rusty spots all over my concrete, what causes that?
These spots are caused by granular lawn fertilizers that have been allowed to sit on top of the concrete for an extended period of time and have slowly dissolved, resulting in an iron stain. After fertilizing your lawn, you should always take a broom, blower or use a garden hose to remove any excess granules that remain on the top of the concrete. There is a product that is highly recommended for removing rust spots called Singerman Concrete Rust Remover.
My driveway has areas that have badly sunk over time, what has caused that?
When properly installing a driveway, good compaction is the key. We always use a plate tamper and/or jumping jack to compact the sub grade prior to pouring the concrete. We use Class 6 road base if it is necessary to bring in additional fill, then we compact it in lifts for maximum compaction.
My sidewalk has sections that have raised up, what has caused that?
Unfortunately, in Colorado our soils are largely made up of bentonite clay. This type of soil swells when it gets wet and shrinks as it dries, which results in two problems: heaving and sinking. As long as you have all water (downspouts, sprinkler heads, and hose bibs) directed away from your concrete surfaces, you should not experience any problems. Water is the number one culprit when concrete problems occur.
I have noticed you don’t provide “stamped” concrete, why is that?
In the early 1990’s the technique of stamped concrete was introduced in the US and quickly gained in popularity. However, in recent years as the stamped concrete has aged, we have seen many installations of this process that have failed. As initially beautiful as stamped concrete is, we feel there are some negative aspects to be considered with the installation of stamped concrete. The surface can be somewhat slick & uneven due to sealers and textures that have been applied. This can be problematic with patio furniture that tends to rock back and forth on the uneven surface. All control joints must be sawed in after the concrete has been finished, rather than hand tooled in at the time of finishing; many homeowners do not like the look of sawed joints. There are some cement contractors who put no joints in the concrete, or just not enough, which will always result in unwanted random cracking. The stamped surface texture also makes shoveling snow more difficult and it also can allow water to puddle in spots, which can result in the surface color flaking off. We have seen all these various problems in the stamped concrete installations that we have removed and replaced. Plus, there is also a significantly higher cost for stamped concrete, sometimes as much as two to three times higher than broom finished concrete, depending on the particular installation.
Therefore we will continue to provide affordable, quality, long lasting concrete installations that we can easily enhance with an array of colors, creative brooming techniques and jointing patterns; all which provide a more custom look.