January 31, 2017 at 4:56 pm | Author: ray_westcoastmodernscape | Posted in Concrete, Driveways, & Paving Stones
In Vancouver, concrete driveways may have a multitude of considerations including weather. Immediately, because of the mention of Vancouver, people may jump to conclusion and think that with the rain, special attention may be required for their concrete driveway; however it is actually the opposite that needs to be considered. Concrete takes on a ‘plastic state’. During the transformation from this plastic state while hydrating to its better known solid form, shrinkage occurs. Occasionally, small cracks (known as shrinkage cracks) may occur, particularly if the weather is hot or windy!
Have you ever wondered why months or years down the road, your concrete driveway develops cracks? There are a number of reasons (particularly weather in Vancouver); however the number one reason is shrinkage. Although concrete may have a significantly high compressive strength, its tensile strength is actually significantly lower. This represents why you may see the use of steel or rebar in the construction of your project. Steel is extremely strong in tension. Over time however, all concrete begins to shrink because of its extremely low coefficient of thermal expansion. During this shrinkage, tension cracks can develop.
Depending on the time of year, particularly in Vancouver, concrete driveways must be protected from freezing weather after being poured. Another consideration is the curing conditions which it will endure to prevent the development of cracks while also providing the serviceability of the driveway. West Coast Modernscape Landscaping takes in these and many other considerations before the job is started.
Beyond all of the technical considerations are the style, layout and general overall look and feel of your driveway and landscaping. This is a decision that will impact the look and feel of your home for a very long time. Simply pouring a flat long slab in our minds is not creativity. We love being creative in design and layout and hence an area that we excel at, especially after being in the landscaping business for over 30 years!
Are you curious to know more about the properties of concrete? Check out this informational piece over at WikiPedia. Interested in seeing some of our concrete work? Check it out here.
We look forward to working with you and planning your project!