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Driveway Maintenance: Proper Concrete Driveway Construction

We take for granted so many things in our life: air conditioning, car engines, microwaves, laptops…chocolate.

One thing we definitely take for granted, and we see it every day, is our driveway. Yes, our driveways serve us in so many ways. We park our cars on it, our kids play on it, we wash our cars on it and the value of our homes is enhanced by it. Our driveways are an integral part of our  home.

However, before you can do all the activities you do with your driveway, it first has to be constructed. Driveway construction is a precise and specialized service done by licensed driveway pavers. 

Proper driveway construction step-by-step process is the following:

  1. Plan your driveway: Not all driveways are created the same. You have many factors to consider: how many cars will you park on it, will you be able to turn it around on the street, will it match other homes in the neighborhood, how will your neighbors be affected by it, what needs to be removed on your property so the driveway can be installed, how steep will it be so there is no erosion and it will be safe to enter and exit your vehicle on it. (You may want to get a consultation from one or several driveway construction contractors before agreeing on a final plan.)
  2. Hire a driveway contractor: Once you have planned it, hire a licensed concrete driveway contractor. You may want to get several bids and referrals before making a final decision. Also, find out how long it will take to do the project and if your neighbors will experience and inconveniences. Once you have agreed to a contractor, get it written down on a contract. Make sure you have the financing secured and arrangements made for clearing the land (if needed) so that the concrete paving contractor can begin the project on time.
  3. Get a building permit: Now that you have the bids and the project is imminent, get a building permit from your local government authorities. Utility lines, wells and runoffs have to be considered and approved before starting. Once approved, you may have to display the permit during the driveway paving.
  4. Layout begins: Now, the concrete paving contractor can begin the real work! They will layout the entire section planned for your driveway by placing wooden or steel stakes where the driveway will egress the street and at the end or closing point near the home. Builder’s line is then tied on so it’s now easier to see how the new driveway will look.
  5. Dirt, rocks and vegetation are removed: Now that the layout is clear, the contractor then removes all of the debris within the lines. Dirt, rocks, vegetation and other debris is removed clearing the way for a smoother and flatter driveway.
  6. make sure  proper finishing techniques  are used, do not add water to the  surface of the concrete ever. Do not over water the  concrete in the ready mix truck
  7. Utilities are marked: Outdoor power, gas  lines, telephone/WiFi lines and water lines may be in the layout. Miss Utility  will mark them clearly and protect them from being impacted.
  8. Metal forms are best : These are walls that  are straight and on grade so that when concrete is placed, they won’t move or expand.
  9. Grading of soil: Driveways need to  be 6 inches thick. Thus, fill material is added  as need to obtain a consistent thickness
  10. Fill material is compacted: Your concrete driveway paving contractor then uses a plate compactor, using water to mold it, to compact the base materials
  11. Reinforcing steel or polypropylene fiber added into the concrete is installed: These bars are laid before the concrete is  placed .
  12. Concrete is placed: Then your contractor, using a concrete ready mix truck, places the  plastic concrete into the layout.
  13. Slab is completed: The construction team then uses brooms or other tools to make it as flat as possible.
  14. Concrete is cured: Your contractor then applies either a curing compound or a burlap sheeting so that it drys but not too quickly. Typically it takes around seven days to dry and be ready for use.

Your new driveway is a precise operation which requires a licensed concrete paving contractor. Once you have done it, you will have a driveway you can be proud of, use often and will add to the value of your home.

M Taylor Enterprise’s experienced concrete driveway construction team will visit your home in the Silver Spring, Maryland, Montgomery County, Maryland, Prince George’s County, Maryland and parts of Howard County MD. We can give you a consultation on it. We get the job done quickly and efficiently. Call us for concrete construction and repair at (301) 649-3406 or email us at matt@mtaylorenterprise.com.

How to Determine if Your Home Needs Structural Repair

Cracks here, broken lines there and stains all over the place.

If that describes your home, then you can place yourself in a lot of company. There are millions of homeowners who have these same issues. Some of them are serious, some are not and some have the potential to become quite serious.structural repair M Taylor Enterprises

But, even with all those cracks, breaks and stains, how do you know when your home needs structural repair? We all know that good home construction contractors can be expensive. You work hard for your money and you also want your home to be a solid and safe place to live.

So, here are some ways to determine when your home needs structural repair (and when it doesn’t):

  1. .Cracks: They are the  most common signs of a foundation under stress. Foundation are placed concrete, CMU  block, stone or brick, or terra cotta or clay tile block. These brittle materials  show foundation stress via cracks. The cracks can be horizontal, vertical, or steps  crack . Foundations can heave, settle , bow in or rotate out. Thes symptoms can be recognized and a proper   repair can be diagnosed by a quality foundation repair contractor or a registered Structural Engineer PE in your area.
  2. Poor or improper drainage: Rainwater has to go somewhere. It is either drained out and away from your home’s foundation or it is absorbed or drained into your home’s foundation.Homes with basements are  more susceptible to poor grading . If your gutters and downspouts are old or are wrongly placed, the rain water cannot drain away from your home’s foundation. Regrading to obtain slope from the home is needed, Downspouts extensions are a  good investment, Proper window wells and covers are essential Otherwise , the foundation begins to crack from the moisture especially in clay areas..
  3. Leaning foundation: As we have covered before in a previous blog, your home’s foundation is going to tell you when there are problems. The moisture in the ground shrinks or swells your foundation. That shifting causes foundation walls to lean causing cinder blocks to rest on an uneven surface. Windows  may not operate properly Cracks soon appear and water drains inside the foundation. When that happens, the home foundation becomes unstable.
  4. Sagging roof: If your roof is sagging or bows in the middle, your load-bearing walls may have shifted. These walls keep your home upright by carrying the weight of the home. Most likely the lower foundation or lower support has shifted.

Any of these red flags may indicate that you have serious home structure issues. If left alone, they may not only lower the value of your home but be a health threat to you or your family. Call a licensed home structural repair contractor immediately!

A crack here, broken line there and stains everywhere could be serious home foundation issues that need to be remedied. Better safe than sorry.

Our experienced home structural repair team at M Taylor Enterprise will visit your home or business in the Montgomery County, MD, Silver Spring , MD or Washington, D.C. area and diagnose the problems and give you an estimate. We get the job done quickly and efficiently. Call us at (301) 649-3406 or email us at matt@mtaylorenterprise.com.