Bartlett Concrete Specialist | Why Concrete Makes the Best Driveways

Concrete is the best material for driveways for a number of reasons. It is strong, cost effective, and can be customized to be decorative. At G-CAT Construction, we believe in using concrete instead of asphalt for our driveways due to concrete being a sturdy, more versatile material that can be made to compliment any home.

Reason #1: A Quality, Strong Material

When dried and cured, concrete is a rigid, non-flexible material that can handle heavier loads than asphalt. Heavy vehicles like trucks or RVs can cause ruts in asphalt over time, whereas with concrete the material will always stay solid.

The surface of a concrete driveway can provide many other benefits. Concrete absorbs far less UV radiation than asphalt. This keeps your driveway cool, allowing you to walk across it barefoot without risk of burning yourself.

Concrete driveways also are resistant to dissolution. If an oily or corrosive compound is spilled on them, it may leave a stain, but the driveway’s integrity will remain unaffected. Asphalt, on the other hand, tends to release oils when exposed to corrosive fluids. These oils can stick to shoes, leading to you potentially tracking sticky material into your home or vehicle.

Reason #2: Cost-effectiveness

Concrete is one of the most cost-effective building materials available. Financial considerations may tempt homeowners towards asphalt, which has a lower upfront cost. However, concrete driveways last longer than asphalt, and require less maintenance.

In addition, asphalt is subject to cracking and disintegration due to exposure to sunlight, water, and chemicals. From the day of installation, the binders that hold asphalt together begin to dry out, further worsening any existing damage. Fixing this requires periodic sealing that adds up and becomes expensive.

Concrete, on the other hand, stays strong, and requires much less maintenance. The only maintenance concrete needs is a coat of sealer every twelve months to protect it from the weather, and the occasional crack repair. It will last longer than asphalt, making your investment in it worth your while.

Reason #3: Customization

Asphalt driveways will always turn out black, which limits the ways they can be used to compliment a home. On the other hand, concrete has near endless customization possibilities. Using special pigments called color hardeners, concrete can be changed from its normal gray to any color needed.

Furthermore, stamped concrete offers homeowners even more options. Stamped concrete is the act of pressing a pattern into the wet slab after pouring but before it hardens. Combined with color, a solid concrete slab can be made to replicate brick, stone, wood, and more. Even with the extra design flairs, the concrete will stay strong, durable, and weather-resistant.

At G-CAT Construction, we prefer using concrete for driveways for all these reasons and more. It is a versatile material that we have years of experience using. If you’re thinking about redoing your driveway and want to see what concrete can do for you, contact us today to get started.

G-CAT Construction
Phone: (630) 736-1070
Url: http://g-catconstruction.com
cash, credit card
2500 W Higgins Road, Suite 365
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169

Bartlett Concrete Specialist | How to Utilize Stamped Concrete

Stamped concrete is concrete that is patterned, textured, and embossed after pouring in order to make it look like a different material. It is versatile and can be used as an alternative to stone, slate, and brick. Stamped concrete can also be colored to make it resemble an even greater variety of materials. At G-CAT Construction, we make extensive use of stamped concrete in a wide range of projects.

What Makes It “Stamped” Concrete?

The most common method of using concrete is mixing it and pouring it into molds, then waiting for it to dry and cure. Once the mold is removed, the concrete retains the shape. Concrete is considered “stamped” when color has been added to the mixture, and a pattern has been applied as it dries. There are three steps to this process:

  1. Adding the base color – Base colors are used to make the otherwise gray concrete reflect the natural material it will be emulating. A powder pigment called color hardener is added to the mix to change its hue. Color hardener can be applied while the concrete mixer is spinning or can be spread out over the surface after pouring.
  2. Adding an accent color – Secondary colors are used to give the stamped concrete texture. These are applied with another pigment called a color release. The color release is always applied to the concrete surface before stamping. When the pattern is applied, the pigments spread out, adding depth and texture.
  3. Applying the pattern – Patterns reflect the shape of the natural building material being emulated. They are placed on the surface of the concrete after the colors have been applied. Then they are pushed down and removed to leave the pattern in the surface as it dries and cures.

What Can Stamped Concrete Imitate?

There are few building materials that stamped concrete can’t imitate. It is most often used to replicate brick, stone, and tile. With the right combination of colors and patterns, stamped concrete can even be made to look like wood.

Why Use Stamped Concrete?

There are several benefits to using stamped concrete for your next project. It is incredibly versatile and able to compliment a wide variety of colors and materials in a home. This makes it an option for patios, walkways, pool decks, and more.

Stamped concrete can also last for decades. Since it’s a solid surface, there’s no need to pull weeds that might pop up between stones or keep gaps filled with sand. The installation is faster than setting stones or pavers, and it requires minimal maintenance. Finally, while you may pay more in the short term for stamped concrete than natural stone, you’ll save in the long-term on maintenance and repair costs.

Stamped concrete can be utilized for just about any project. Its ability to be customized allows it to be adjusted to suit your needs. At G-CAT Construction, we love stamped concrete for the many creative options it gives us. If you’d like to see how we can use it for your next project, contact us today.

G-CAT Construction
Phone: (630) 736-1070
Url: http://g-catconstruction.com
cash, credit card
2500 W Higgins Road, Suite 365
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169