A beautiful driveway really sets the tone for a house: it looks cared for, finished, and adds that all-important ‘curb appeal’. Driveways come in all shapes and sizes and can be installed using many different materials. One of them, concrete, sometimes gets a bad rep: people think it’s boring or too industrial-looking for a residential home. However, concrete is an incredibly versatile, strong compound that lasts for a long time, is easy to maintain, and more cost-effective than other commonly-used driveway materials. It’s also ideal for the warmth of the Nashvillesummer, as its lighter color helps it to stay cool in the sun, and is more comfortable than asphalt for you to walk on.
Concrete driveways in Nashville can be things of beauty and interest, adding to the overall look of your home. And let’s not forget that a great driveway can deliver a return on investment of up to 75% when it comes to selling your house.
As concrete driveway contractors, we’re experts at installing great concrete driveways in Nashville and the surrounding areas. Part of the knowledge we’ve gleaned over the last decade is the type of information clients need to know to make a decision on what kind of driveway is best for their home. While no two homeowners are the same, we do get asked the same types of questions by people wanting to understand the benefits of a concrete driveway before making the commitment.
There are lots of good things about concrete driveways, and they can be grouped into three elements to consider: durability, versatility, and affordability. Let’s look at each in turn.
A concrete driveway, when installed properly with the proper base and reinforcement, will last for between 30-50 years. Concrete is strong so even if you have a lot of heavy vehicles on your driveway every day, the driveway is good to go. However, it’s a good idea to seal your driveway every two to three years. At Greenway of Nashville, we recommend that you undertake this maintenance in the fall to make sure it’s in tip-top condition.
Concrete is a truly versatile material. A concrete driveway doesn’t need to be gray, boring, and industrial looking. There is a lot of decorative concrete that comes in a wide variety of colors and textures, allowing you to personalize your driveway and make a real statement.
Concrete no longer has to look like concrete. It can have an integral color that runs throughout the concrete mix, where the color doesn’t fade over time and is even visible if the concrete gets chipped. Concrete can also be sandblasted into a stenciled pattern that can then be stained a color of your choice. Stamped concrete is where concrete is shaped and colored to replicate other materials such as brick, stone, slate, or wood.
Concrete can also be textured by sandblasting, but this slip-resistant surface is more commonly used for commercial walkways where there is frequent bad weather.
Concrete is a financially attractive option for driveways or large surfaces because it lasts such a long time and requires very little maintenance. While it costs more than asphalt or gravel, it is considerably less expensive than other driveway material options such as cobblestones, brick, or cement pavers.
At Greenway of Nashville, we offer a full range of services for your concrete driveway, including installation and repair.
While it’s possible to lay your own concrete driveway, installation is hard work and easy to get wrong. There is a fair amount of prep work to be done, removing any grass or vegetation and excavating the site, before topping your packed gravel base with a steel wire grid. Concrete hardens very quickly once it has been poured, meaning that the DIY homeowner will need lots of hands on deck to work quickly and spread the concrete. Once the concrete is poured, it needs finishing. This is skilled work, as it involves removing the finer pieces of grit and concrete from the mix to create the smooth surface: go too far and you will find that the concrete flakes but if you don’t finish the surface sufficiently, it could end up looking rough-hewn.
If you find long cracks in your concrete driveway, the surface looks like it’s sinking, or you have potholes, your driveway will need some repair. Sometimes these pieces can be removed and installed with these cracks being filled. Small holes or cracks less than one-quarter of an inch in diameter can be patched, but bear in mind that patches are rarely watertight so they are temporary or short-term fixes. For anything else, you may need to hire a concrete driveway contractor.
In order for your driveway to last as long as it should, you will need to maintain it, but it’s low grade work. Regular cleaning using a garden hose and a stiff brush will keep it free of debris and dirt.
Oil and solvent spills should be dealt with as promptly as possible. Cornstarch can be spread over the spill and works well to absorb excess moisture, but household detergents do the job, as well. Stubborn stains may need several applications before the stain is completely eradicated.
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We’ve been installing concrete driveways in Nashville for over ten years. It’s part of our ethos that we take time with customers to understand your requirements and then work closely together to build a plan that will execute on your wishes. Maybe you know what you are looking for but would like some expert input before finalizing your decision. Or perhaps you have a dozen different ideas but no real surety of what will look best in the outside space you have. Wherever you are on the decision-making spectrum, feel free to give us a call or complete our form. We will be happy to offer you the benefit of our experience.