FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
We get questions from our clients all of the time. Throughout the years, we have been asked every question with respect to concrete. We decided to create a FAQ’s section to answer your questions quickly and efficiently. These are some of the questions that people ask us about concrete.
If your question does not appear on this list, feel free to reach out to us and ask away.
How thick should my concrete be poured?
It depends on the weight that will be applied. We recommend: Sidewalks – 4″, Driveways – 4″ to 5″ thick, Heavy Equipment – 6″ to 8″.
Does concrete crack?
Yes, every 11 feet at a depth of 4 inches, thicker slabs may crack at 15 feet. It is normal for concrete to have surface cracking. This is not “always” a sign of poor workmanship.
How long after the concrete is placed can it be walked on?
Allow 24 hours for the concrete to cure before walking on it. Be careful to avoid dragging or twisting your feet, bikes, skateboards, and toys across the concrete for the first week as they can still damage it.
How long does it take to tear out and re-pour my driveway?
Most standard-size residential jobs require two days to complete – one day to tear out and one day to pour new concrete.
How long before I can drive or park on my new driveway?
Wait at least seven days for your new concrete driveway to cure enough to support the weight of a car. Try to avoid driving or parking near the edges of your driveway because those areas will still be weaker. For heavy trucks and equipment, you’ll want to wait about a month for the concrete to fully cure.
Why do you place lines in the concrete?
These lines are called control joints and are used to try to control the cracks in a straight line. We place control joints every 10 feet or less.
What will be the slope on my concrete?
Standard slope on concrete surfaces can and will vary depending on the area and climate that you live in. The most common reference is the (IBC) International Building Code but it does not state a minimum or maximum slope for drainage. That is due to the multiple variables such as moisture exposure, freeze-thaw cycle , and surface texture. The Colorado standard is 1/4 inch of slope per foot for residential and commercial exterior slabs with a broom finish. This is a 2% slope that is safe but allows for drainage. Colorado has a very extreme freeze-thaw cycle that is detrimental to the surface of concrete over a short period of time. Freeze-thaw cycles will occur in early spring and fall. With moisture sitting on top of the concrete surface and slowly penetrating the surface and then freezing at night causes the surface to delaminate. This delaminating of the surface of concrete is called spalling. (ADA) Americans Disabilities Act uses 1/4 inch per foot of slope minimum up to a max of 1 inch per foot on broom finish surfaces.
Other concrete textures such as decorative concrete has a standard for slope also. The colored decorative market started in the south where climate is much different than Colorado. This technique of stamping concrete to emulate a natural stone structure has to have a way to drain more effectively in Colorado. Stone patterns that have deep grout lines such as random stone or cobble stone need at least a minimum of 1/4 inch slope per foot. Standard for A-Concrete, Inc. is 3/8 to 1/2 inch per foot slope. This has proven to be effective in preventing the spalling issue in Colorado. Other variables to consider when determining a slope is whether the slab is covered, direction it’s facing, (North Facing needs more slope), and how soon the snow removal is completed after a snow storm. We assume that the customer is going to be diligent with removing snow within 24 hours. Any slope that does not meet the recommended standard of A-Concrete Inc., a stamped letter from an Engineer is required and to be requested from the customer. This request for minimal slope needs to occur at the time of estimate, if not provided, no warranty can be given by A-Concrete, Inc.
Should I seal my control joints after the concrete is poured?
The joints can be sealed; by the home owner, with a caulking so water travels down the slope rather than under your concrete pad. Sika-flex is an easy self-leveling caulking that can be placed in the joints.
Can I use a de-icer that says it is safe for concrete?
There is no such thing as a safe de-icer. Use plain sand for traction! De-icers will cause flaking.
Can I park on the driveway during the winter months?
Yes, but magnesium chloride applied to the roads may drip off your car and cause damage to your concrete. When possible, rinse magnesium chloride off the driveway with clean water. Damage caused by magnesium chloride is not covered by our warranty.
Do I need to shovel snow off my concrete?
Yes; within 24 hours of snowfall, especially during the first year. Freeze and thaw cycles cause flaking of the surface on concrete.
How often do I need to clear seal my colored/stamped concrete?
Clear seal should be applied as needed. Heavy traffic areas or a winter of numerous shovelings warrant a coat of clear seal every spring.
How long should my concrete last?
Properly maintained and cared for concrete should last 20 plus years.
HAVE A QUESTION WE DIDNT ANSWER?
Feel free to reach out to us and ask us any questions about your current concrete or ideal concrete project. Our team has years of experience handling all things concrete and we are happy to help you get the answers you need. Click the button below to speak with one of our representatives.