How to Ensure The Longevity of Your Concrete Driveway

Concrete driveways. We take them for granted, but a good concrete driveway adds so much value to your property. Of course, their primary function is to provide vehicle access and parking, but day-to-day, we use our driveways for all sorts of activities: washing our cars, an outdoor workshop space, even garage sales. Kids use them for riding bikes and trikes, or just bouncing a ball around.

A well-constructed and well-maintained concrete driveway is a valuable asset that should last thirty years or more if it’s well looked after. Some factors can shorten this lifespan, but most of them are easily avoided.

The most significant contributor to the durability and longevity of your concrete driveway is how well it is constructed. Concrete is a strong material, but this strength can be literally undermined by a poor foundation. Issues that can affect the quality of your driveway include:

  • Uneven slab thickness

  • Hollow cavities below the concrete

  • Not enough reinforcing material.

You may not notice any immediate problems, but over time, these issues will ultimately result in serious cracks or broken sections of concrete.

Concrete Placers are driveway specialists and our primary focus when assessing a driveway project is how to minimise potential issues and maximise durability. In some cases, this may require installing field drains to make sure rainwater runoff is not compromising the driveway’s foundation. Consistent water flows can erode the soil and base course beneath a driveway, but this can be easily resolved with proper drainage solutions. Steep banks can also subside over time, and the site may require retaining walls to protect the driveway.

Concrete driveways might look quite simple, but there are a lot of subtle design considerations to ensure a properly functioning surface. Some of these design elements include:

Slope. The driveway should direct water away from the house or other buildings.

Thickness. The concrete should be thick enough to support the intended traffic.

Texture. Steep driveways require a coarser surface texture for slip resistance.

Once the driveway is complete, we recommend treating it with a sealer for improved resistance to staining and water damage, not to mention curb appeal. A good sealer also reduces dirt build-up and algae growth.

What can you do as an owner to keep your driveway looking good? To avoid staining - remove surface dirt and spills as soon as possible with a stiff brush and hose. Organic material such as leaves have tannins which can stain your driveway if left to decompose. Regular cleaning with a water blaster will help prevent algae from building up on the surface.

If you’re looking for someone to do your concrete driveways in Christchurch, talk to the expert driveway contractors at Concrete Placers. We do paving and driveways all over Christchurch and surrounding areas.