Before you have a new concrete driveway and walkways poured, you want to ensure you've gone over every detail with your concrete contractors. While the contractor can often determine the amount of concrete that should be poured and how the ground should be prepared beforehand, it's good to communicate with him or her about problems you've had and about how to care for your driveway and walkways once they're poured. Note a few questions to ask your concrete contractor before work begins.
1. Ask why you've had particular problems with your driveway
While a contractor will inspect your property and the soil completely before he or she pours new concrete, note if you've had particular problems with the driveway such as pitting or chipping. Also note if you've had problems just in one area, such as breakage and cracking in a certain corner. It may be that moisture has been allowed to build up under the driveway or the ground is not properly sloped in an area. By calling attention to these problems, your contractor can be alerted to special considerations that the surface may need.
2. Ask if you should add sealer, what type, and how often
Sealers aren't always needed for concrete but they can help to extend its life. It's good to know what type of sealer is needed for your driveway, such as a salt sealer to keep salt from eroding the concrete in areas where salt is poured during wintertime, or a high gloss sealer that may be needed over painted or stained concrete. Other sealers may be needed for tropical areas with lots of sun exposure and humidity. Your concrete contractor can tell you the best type of sealer and how often it should be applied in order to protect your driveway.
3. Note if an aggregate can or should be added
An aggregate is a mixture that is added to concrete to give it texture and a better appearance. You might ask if an aggregate is recommended for your driveway and walkways, as this can mean better traction when the pavement is wet and slick. An aggregate is good for driving but also for when kids use the driveway for playing, as they're less likely to slip and fall on a surface with some traction. Your contractor can advise you on the choices you have for an aggregate and if it's recommended for your home.