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Frequently Asked Questions About Concrete Driveways

So you’re doing some research about installing a new driveway, but don’t know what questions to ask your concrete driveway contractor. As the concrete driveway experts, you have come to the right place! We have gotten every question you can think of, from sprinkler head preparation to landscaping around your new driveway, so we put together this page of Frequently Asked Questions to help!

Will my concrete driveway be a different height than my yard?

The elevation of the concrete cannot be determined by the existing landscape elevations. Weaving together the existing landscape’s elevation and the new concrete’s elevation is extremely important to our installers. The most important thing is proper water flow on the newly installed concrete. In some cases, the homeowner may wish to raise or lower the existing landscape to accommodate the newly poured concrete. Adjustments to existing landscaping is at the discretion of the homeowner and not a service provided by Cornerstone Concrete, LLC.

What should I do about my in-ground sprinklers?

Any sprinkler heads that are adjacent to the driveway must be marked with paint, wood stakes or wire flags. If we are replacing your driveway “as is”, the sprinkler heads do not need to be pulled out. If we are extending your driveway and you wish to reuse the sprinkler heads/lines, please pull them out 1’ beyond the new driveway extension. Upon completion of your new driveway, it is the responsibility of the homeowner to arrange for the irrigation system to be installed.

When can I walk and drive on my new concrete driveway?

24 hours after the pour you are able to walk on the driveway. 10 days after the pour you can resume regular use of your driveway. 

When will you replant the grass seed? (Optional)

Dirt and seed will be placed 1-3 business days after the new concrete is cut. Watering is the responsibility of the owner.

Why is my concrete driveway two different colors?

Concrete takes approximately 28 days to reach its full, cured strength. It is normal for the concrete to look blotchy or spotted during this time. Finished concrete will be light gray in color. The concrete will weather and darken over time. There is no industry standard for concrete color.

Watering Concrete Curing: What is it? Why is it important? How do I do it?

The best and most environmentally friendly practice is to water cure your new concrete driveway. Water curing maintains a moist environment that keeps newly placed concrete from drying out. With proper curing, concrete becomes stronger, more impermeable, and more resistant to stress, abrasion, and freezing & thawing. Your concrete starts with enough water in it to fully hydrate, but environmental factors can dry out the concrete surface too quickly and the water must be replaced for the first 10 days. Lightly fog the surface (with the nozzle provided) without letting the water pool or run. If your concrete was poured in the morning hours, fog one time before going to bed that night. If your concrete was poured in the afternoon, fog first thing in the morning (refer to your door hanger for your fogging time). After the concrete is cut you can walk on the driveway and spray it directly. We recommend watering your driveway 2-3 times per day for the first 10 days. Failure to properly cure the driveway can lead to cracking, scaling, and/or a weak surface. 

Warnings?

Uneven watering along with anything left on the surface (plastic, burlap, the hose, etc.), could discolor or stain the concrete. 

How to prepare for a concrete driveway installation

Please make sure the following is complete prior to the crews arriving:

  • All vehicles removed from the garage
  • Landscaping that is within 2ft of the driveway should be moved or may result in damage
  • Standard concrete trucks are approx. 14ft in height. Any tree branches that line the driveway should be trimmed accordingly or will be at risk of damage
  • A hose should be hooked up and accessible
  • All vehicles parked on the street should maintain a 30ft distance from the driveway during installation
  • If you will not be on the premises during installation, please make arrangements to have your garage open or provide the office with your garage code
  • There is an inevitable splash/splatter of concrete when it is poured. Please remove items in the garage that could be subject to this “splash zone”
 
 

Ready for the Residential Concrete Driveway Experts to Come to You?

While we would love to pour concrete driveways all over the country, unfortunately, our trucks and crews can’t travel too far away. 

The Cornerstone Concrete business started in St. Paul, Minnesota, and has since expanded to Wisconsin. Check out our local service areas to see if we can bring our crews out to you.

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