Concrete is strong, and is a tried-and-true paving surface.
In Southern climates, concrete driveways practically last forever. Another good reason to use concrete for a driveway surface is to get more options with colors and patterns. Unfortunately, its innate strength is also its greatest weakness when considering its use in Northern climates. As it is strong and dense, concrete sacrifices pliability; meaning that it cannot endure temperature changes as well as asphalt. Furthermore it is extremely susceptible to the use of salt and magnesium chloride de-icers which chemically alter the concrete with prolonged use leading to cracks and breaks. Concrete is the second most expensive surface material to use for a driveway.
Simply choosing not to use these ice-melts is not a viable solution to this problem as it is used commonly by snow removal and road treatment crews. A vehicle driving on roads treated with these materials with accumulate it and will transfer it to a concrete driveway when parked, leading to an inevitable corrosion. When choosing to use concrete it is important to consider using it in an environment that is warm the majority of the year and is not susceptible to snow events in the winter.
Sub-grade installation time is dependent on the size of the project but it will take anywhere from 2-14 days, depending on the environment. The actual installation of the concrete is a labor intensive process which will increase the overall cost and after it is installed it still needs time to cure properly which will take a further 7-14 days in addition to the sub-grade preparation. With proper maintenance and a well done installation a concrete driveway has a life expectancy of 20-30 years, depending on the climate.
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