Richfield Concrete Minneapolis St Paul MN

Here are some of the key steps in creating a great concrete driveway

  • Planning & Scheduling – The actual time it will take to build your new driveway varies, depending on the individual project. In most cases, a concrete replacement driveway will take several days, and additional time for complete curing will keep you off your driveway for another two weeks or more. We’ll work with you to establish a schedule that suits you.
  • Removal of The Old Driveway – Demolition of the old driveway is the first step, after we evaluate the project and have contracted with the property owner to create a new driveway. Using wheel or tracked loaders, we demolish the old driveway and load the broken up asphalt or concrete into dump trucks for transportation to a recycling center. In some cases, we’ll start demolition with jackhammers, if needed.
  • Preparation of The Sub-Base – The sub-base, or foundation under any driveway is crucial to the longevity of any driveway. Made of aggregate materials, it must be thick enough to support the driveway and thoroughly compacted to provide a solid base that supports the pavement properly. Since concrete has great strength, the existing sub-base from the old driveway may be adequate. If so, we’ll carefully grade and compact it, as needed. If not, new aggregate will be placed and compacted, after removing contaminated or poor materials. Much depends on the soil conditions at the site. Grading and compacting of the sub-base also takes proper drainage of the new driveway into consideration.
  • Preparations for Paving – For concrete driveways, forms will be placed around the edges of the driveway, after determining drainage requirements and the finished grade to be established. Next, a grid reinforcing steel is installed, designed to provide tensile strength to the paving. Final measurements are taken to calculate the amount of concrete needed to complete the driveway.
  • Concrete Is Ordered – We order a special mix of concrete for delivery on the date arranged for paving. The concrete mix is designed for strength, and will include air-entrainment and other additives to further strengthen the mix. Our concrete suppliers work carefully with us to provide an ideal mix for use on your driveway. We also include micro-fiber reinforcement with every job, to add additional strength and reduce cracking during the cure period.
  • Concrete Pouring and Leveling – When the concrete trucks arrive, it’s time to get to work for our concrete crew. The concrete is placed in the forms, starting at the garage, and then moving out toward the street. Depending on your particular site, a number of methods may be used to place the concrete, sometimes including pumping the concrete mix. As the concrete is poured, our crews get busy leveling the pour, a process called “screeding.”
  • Concrete Finishing – Concrete begins to set very quickly, so the finishing job takes place quickly. Using a combination of power and hand tools, the previously screeded surface is further smoothed and made even. Careful troweling of driveway edges and troweled control joints is another step. If you’ve ordered an exposed aggregate finish, the final step is to carefully wash away a layer of the cement from the top. This exposes the carefully-selected aggregate to produce the characteristic pebbly surface. If you have chosen a broomed finish, workers will create that by artistically using brooms to roughen the surface of the concrete at exactly the right stage of the setting.
  • Curing – After the concrete is installed we apply a cure agent to the surface of the concrete. This slows the water loss over a 30-day period which leaved stronger, nicer-looking concrete. The concrete will take 7-10 days to cure before it can be used. While concrete sets firm fairly quickly, it remains weak until fully cured. Until it’s completely firm, however, it’s important to keep people and pets off the surface for several hours after the paving crew leaves. Any foot traffic before then can leave permanent marks. During the first few days after pouring. After the initial set, workers will remove the forms and clean up the area. Any cuts to be made for control joints will be done during the curing period.
  • Waiting Before Use – The actual time before you can drive or park on the driveway depends on temperature and other factors, but you’ll be on your driveway in just 7-10 days, in most cases. It’s important to allow the concrete to cure adequately before driving or parking on it. We’ll advise you of the wait time when the driveway is built. Typically, you’ll be able to drive on the concrete in as little as 7 days.

Richfield Concrete – Quality Driveway Construction Always

At Richfield Concrete, we know that every step in the construction process of your new or replacement driveway is crucial to the finished result. Your satisfaction and a long life for your new driveway are primary concerns for everyone at Richfield Concrete. Our crews never take any shortcuts and we never cut any corners when it comes to the quality of our concrete mix or the completeness of our work. We also keep you fully informed at every phase of the project and discuss any problems that arise as soon as they appear. We always welcome your question, and are happy to have you observe our work throughout construction. If a new or replacement concrete driveway is on your to-do list, call us right away or contact us online. One of our experienced driveway consultants will visit your site to consult with you on your project and to provide a free, no-obligation estimate.