Laying concrete in steep driveways needs a little extra planning to make sure that it is functional and adds value to your home with some “curb appeal”.
When we start the planning phase to lay concrete on a steep driveway, we focus specifically on two things: site preparation and the concrete finish.
Preparation of the site
Proper site preparation that has thought about all elements of a sloping driveway is crucial to a final result that is functional and appealing. A professional site preparation takes into account the length and degree of the slope which is essential to ensure that cars do not bottom out, scraping their delicate undersides on your concrete and costing you unnecessary expense in repairs.
We also consider other uses – people walking on the driveway, kids and adults with their bikes, trailers, how many vehicles will be using it, which all determine the slope and the concrete finish we decide to use.
We plan for proper drainage on steep sites. Water run-off must be contained on site and not allowed to run on to the road or neighbouring properties which is an expensive problem to fix on ce the concrete is laid.
As well as planning for the specific needs of a steep driveway, our 30+ years in laying concrete means that we know the importance of preparing a site so that your concrete lasts a lifetime. The difference between a good concrete job and a bad one is in the site preparation first, and the laying of the concrete second.
Choosing your concrete finish for a steep driveway
When our clients are considering concrete ideas for steep driveways, we recommend a course surface to provide skid and slip resistance in wet conditions, but it doesn’t need to be too course.
Surface texture to provide slip resistance can be achieved with a couple of different concrete finishes. For example:
Coloured or plain concrete
Coloured or plain concrete with a lightly broomed finish can provide enough resistance depending upon the slope, while still maintaining a modern sleek appearance.
The most common finish to give texture to coloured or plain concrete is called a Smudge finish (see photos below) which often gives enough texture for steep slopes.
Exposed Aggregate using a crushed stone aggregate rather than smooth river pebbles works very well on steep slopes although the surface may not be as comfortable to walk over in bare feet if that is a requirement. We might suggest a combination of smooth pebbles and course aggregate which provides the slip resistance and is still comfortable to walk on.
Depending upon the slope, our smoother stamped concrete finishes and steel troweled coloured concrete may be suitable in wet conditions but we would need to consider the degree of the slope before choosing these concrete paving styles.
Abrasion Resistance for steep driveways
Abrasion resistance is the ability of the concrete surface to resist wear and tear and is directly related to the strength of the concrete mix used and the quality of the finish.
Concrete companies will use varying levels of abrasion resistance in the concrete they lay and most often people do not understand the difference.
At Panorama Concrete Paving we install 25MPA concrete with all our concrete paving finishes even though the Australian Building Code and Australian standards only require 20MPA in a typical residential driveway. If heavier vehicles are going to be using the driveway, we can also arrange for 32MPA concrete to be installed.
Tackling concrete ideas for a steep driveway? Call Panorama Concrete on 8297 9611 and we will help you.
So call our friendly team today or drop into our showroom at 1 Maple Street, Forestville, Adelaide to get ideas and look at our samples on display.