Concrete Contractors Winston-Salem NC - concrete driveway installation

Ten Tips for Hiring a Concrete Contractor

Concrete Contractors Winston-Salem NC - concrete driveway installationWhen it comes to hiring a concrete contractor, foreknowledge is critical. Before you get anything started with any contractor, be sure to get as much pertinent information you can to avoid disappointments in the end.

Before you start dialing numbers of companies, prepare relevant questions to help you in your decision-making. Make sure the concrete contractor meets all your criteria because the success of your concrete driveway, patio, or walkway projects depends on how well they will perform.

Below are ten of the essential things to know before hiring a concrete contractor.

Know what you are looking for in a concrete contractor

Ask yourself what exactly do you look for in a concrete company. This will help you narrow down the list later on. Having a list of skills and competence that you want in a contractor will help you assess whether they fit your needs or not.

Look for options

Don’t settle for the first company you see on your search results. You will have hundreds of choices but choose only those that appear professional and reputable. Call your prospective contractor and get a feel of how they respond to you and how they handle your concern.

Make time to meet them

Qualified contractors may have tight schedules, which is why you need to be more flexible in terms of scheduled meetings. You want a contractor that will make time for you despite their busy schedules because this speaks a lot about their customer service.

Consider the drying time for your deadline

Before you decide on the date the contractor will begin the task, make sure to factor in the drying time. Even if they finish the job in one day, you still have to give the concrete at least one week before you allow foot or car traffic to it. Some contractors even suggest two weeks of drying time for maximum results. So, if you have plans on hosting an event or you need the concrete driveway immediately, you should add some weeks to the expected completion date.

Learn what permits are necessary

Don’t leave this information to the contractor alone. As much as possible, you should be aware of the permits and other requirements needed for a hassle-free completion of the project. It should raise a red flag if the contractor doesn’t know what permits should be obtained because it can mean they are not as experienced as they claim to be.

Don’t always go for the upsells

You should expect concrete contractors to upsell additional services. While stamping or staining your patio or driveway is a great way to give it some aesthetics— it can ruin your budget. Learn to say no and stick with the plan.

Get estimates

A reputable contractor will offer a free estimate of the project you intend to get. They should see the site with their own eyes before they can provide an accurate quote. Take advantage of this opportunity to ask about the technicalities of the job so that you know everything about the details of the concrete installation.

Ask for a written contract

Never agree to anything unless it is otherwise written in a contract. It will protect you from any issues, especially if anything goes wrong throughout the project. A trustworthy contractor will never hesitate to provide you with this important detail of the job.

Know what is included in the contract

You don’t want a vague, beating-around-the-bush type of contract, but a clear and direct one. You want to see specific details like how much the project will cost, what materials will be used, and how many men will do the job. It is also vital to see information about the timeline, especially if you want it done ASAP.

Ask questions to test the contractor’s knowledge

While you are talking to the contractor, take note of how well he answers your questions. Does he seem comfortable? Does he know what he’s talking about? If the answer is yes, then that is a good sign. If not, you should keep looking for a contractor. Ask them about the specifics of the job or make them explain the process to you in detail. If they don’t even know where to begin, how can they even finish the task on hand? By asking them these questions, you can assess their skills and knowledge of the job.

Frequently Asked Questions about Concrete

Are all concretes the same?

Not all concretes are created equal. There are a variety of mixtures involving cement, aggregates, and other chemical additives. The number of bags of Portland cement is the way to measure cement, so this means it has less mix than a 6-bag mix. It is crucial to get the right combination of the products to ensure its highest quality and strength.

How can concrete be delivered on-site if trucks and heavy equipment can’t access the area?

In this case, motorized buggies or wheelbarrows should be employed. These types of machinery don’t leave marks or cause any damage to the site, and they can fit most fences and gates. For added protection, we will use plywood in the driving areas.

Are you going to backfill when the project is done?

Absolutely. Once the project is done, we will use the dugout materials and other dirt to backfill the site. Rest assured that there will be no disruption to your existing landscape and other parts of your property.

Do you obtain permits, if necessary?

Yes. We will be very happy to assist you in acquiring the necessary permits to get the project started.

How do cement and concrete differ?

Most people use these terms interchangeably, but they are two completely different things. Cement is only an ingredient to make concrete. Concrete is the product of mixing cement, aggregates, and water. Aggregates can be sand, crushed stone, or gravel. It will be added with water, which will be the paste that will hold the ingredients together. The correct way to say it is a concrete sidewalk and not a cement sidewalk.

What is the standard thickness and strength of concrete?

If we’re talking about driveways, the standard thickness is 5 inches. For pool decks, patios, and walkways, we use 4 inches thickness. Concrete strength varies depending on its use. The standard strength is 4,500 psi with fiber and steel reinforcements.

Does concrete crack?

Unfortunately, yes. No matter how strong concrete is, it is still vulnerable to cracks, mainly due to natural factors such as weather and natural phenomenon. To avoid damages, it is essential to use high-quality products and the right application method. This will ensure that the concrete can last for many years without obtaining cracks.

Can concrete damages like cracks be repaired?

The good news is that they can be restored and repaired. We are knowledgeable in the right way to mend cracks and chips in concrete, and we can restore its quality like it is brand new.

Is concrete slippery?

If installed correctly, slipping issues will not be a problem. Some stamped concrete may be slippery in winter, but not if it will be done using the right method. We add non-slip formula to the sealer to minimize slipperiness in concrete.

Will the color fade?

No, if you use color hardeners to keep the color vibrant throughout the years. With proper maintenance, its color can last a lifetime.

How do I maintain concrete?

Concrete is easy to maintain. Aside from regular sweeping of dirt and dust, we suggest having it resealed every two years. This will not cost you much and will ensure the quality of your concrete is top-notch.

Laying concrete driveway during the cold winter months in Dayton, Ohio

How to Determine If You Should Repair or Replace Your Concrete Driveway This Winter

Laying concrete driveway during the cold winter months in Dayton, OhioA lot of people love the beautiful snowy white scenery the winter season brings. However, some danger can also happen during this time when the roads are covered with ice. Your concrete driveway is no exception. Although concrete driveways are highly durable, they can still suffer the damage caused by ice and snow. If your concrete driveway has fallen victim to the cold weather, you might be thinking whether it needs to be repaired or replaced. Before you decide on anything, consider the following signs to help you determine whether repairing or replacing your concrete driveway is the best solution to the problem.

Signs of Damage to Look Out For

Before you can say that your driveway is damaged, you first have to know what a damaged driveway looks like. What do you need to look for? One of the most apparent signs of a damaged driveway is cracks. It can be small or large that stretches across the surface of your driveway. If you have previously used chemicals to handle the ice son your driveway, they may have caused the cracks to deepen and expand. They can also deepen due to water coming from the melting ice and seeps into the cracks. When water turns to ice, it expands which can cause the crack to widen.

You should also look for signs of divots or sunken areas. This usually occurs when the subgrade wasn’t appropriately installed resulting in the concrete not having proper support and vulnerable to sinking.

Assess the Damage

Not all issues are the same. You should assess the damage first so that you can come up with the most appropriate approach to resolve the problem. In most cases, if the crack or divot is more than two inches deep, it is best to replace it. If the issue is not as worse, it can be resolved with resurfacing.

Another thing you should consider is the age of your driveway. It is natural for old driveways to be more prone to damage, regardless of the season. For newly built driveways that have cracks, it is more likely that they were not installed properly; that is why they are acquiring cracks this early. They should be assessed for immediate repair.

To Repair or to Replace?

It can be challenging to decide whether repairing or replacing a concrete driveway is the best solution to a damaged driveway. There can be visible signs that can lead you to the answer, but it is still better to leave it to the hands of experienced professionals who know what to do in the situation. Some problems may seem small at first, but there can be an underlying source that needs to be dealt with immediately before they get worse. Whether you decide to replace or repair it, having it assessed and done by a professional will benefit you not only for the winter season but all year round.

Call the concrete driveway contractor Dayton trusts to properly assess your situation for repair or replacement.