Best Base For Concrete Driveway

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 02-13-2009, 09:02 PM   #1
New Guy
 
paintguy's Avatar
 
Trade: builder/painter
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 22
Rewards Points: 10
Question

Best Base For Concrete Driveway


What the best base for concrete driveway (have clay soil sub-base) ? How thick you would go ? Now I have just the sand, no rebar and concrete is cracking on the approaches. Driveway is 3 years old . Live in Michigan.
Thanks.
paintguy is offline  

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ContractorTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

   
 

Old 02-14-2009, 12:04 AM   #2
Pro
 
cleveman's Avatar
 
Trade: custom home building
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Central Iowa
Posts: 2,669
Rewards Points: 2,276

Re: Best Base For Concrete Driveway


You should move away from Michigan. Look at your neighbors' drives. I bettcha they are all cracked up too.

I think the portland concrete association will tell you on residential to just pour on the ground, which is what you have already and you can see how well that is holding up now can't you?

You should have at least a 4" base of compacted gravel and it should be well drained. When you drive along the roads there, you might notice that the ground slopes away from the roadside most of the time. This is the drainage.

Don't worry about reinforcing the concrete when you pour it. If it cracks up, you can always go back with a router with a diamond bit and retrofit some re-bar and epoxy it in place. No need to be a pessimist.

Like they say at the electronics store, "be glad you got three years out of it. There was a woman here before you and hers gave up after a month".


cleveman is offline  
Old 02-14-2009, 08:12 AM   #3
Pro
 
concretemasonry's Avatar
 
Trade: Masonry consultant
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: MSP, Minnesota
Posts: 3,147
Rewards Points: 2,212

Re: Best Base For Concrete Driveway


Definitely use at least 4" of compacted base.

For your climate, when you pour the concrete, make sure you use 4000 psi minimum strength AND it is air entrained.. Also, make sure you saw control joints withing 24 hours (hopefully 8-10 hours after the pour. This is far more effective that sawing random. crooked cracks plus it looks better and is cheaper. We used a 3" slump and did not pour "soup". In Minnesota, 4500 psi air entrained concrete is common.

When I put in my driveway in northern Michigan, I used both wire mesh and fibers in the concrete. If I had to cut corners and use only one of them, i would forget about the fibers.

In northern Michigan, my driveway was put in almost 20 years ago and there is NOT A CRACK in it now. Only very few (10 or so) very small (1/4" max.) pop-outs from the Michigan aggregate that are almost impossible to eliminate at a realistic cost.
__________________
Dick

Engineer, designer and consultant recently active domestically and internationally on construction and design in about 40 countries.

Last edited by concretemasonry; 02-14-2009 at 08:34 AM. Reason: Addition
concretemasonry is offline  
Old 02-14-2009, 08:32 AM   #4
Pro
 
jaros bros.'s Avatar
 
Trade: Carpentry
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: The Woodlands, Texas
Posts: 184
Rewards Points: 150

Re: Best Base For Concrete Driveway


A soil engineer would be able to spec it out for you. Usually in a situation with expansive clay and poor conditions 4' of material is removed. Drain tile and frost free material is hauled in. I can't imagine not adding rebar to the concrete. 1/2" rebar two foot on center will do an amazing job. Course all this adds to the cost of the job which is why everyone tries cheats as much as they can, and sometimes you get lucky, and then sometimes you end up paying all that and more to have it done again the right way.
__________________
Josh Jaros www.jarosbros.com Remodeling in The Woodlands, Texas
jaros bros. is offline  
Old 02-14-2009, 08:40 AM   #5
Pro
 
jaros bros.'s Avatar
 
Trade: Carpentry
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: The Woodlands, Texas
Posts: 184
Rewards Points: 150

Re: Best Base For Concrete Driveway


I'm not really impressed with the fiberglass. From personal experience it is just for small cracks and cosmetic stuff. I have seen a lot of slabs with just fiberglass crack. Of course that could be because the prep work was bad too.
For the base crushed rock follow by a layer of filter fabric and then a layer of sand to place the concrete on.
__________________
Josh Jaros www.jarosbros.com Remodeling in The Woodlands, Texas
jaros bros. is offline  
Old 02-14-2009, 08:49 AM   #6
Pro
 
AutumnWood Inc.'s Avatar
 
Trade: Deck Builder
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Metro Detroit
Posts: 748
Rewards Points: 500

Re: Best Base For Concrete Driveway


To answer your question: Crushed limestone...
In my opinion, it is all in how you prep. If you know there is settling issues, I would take out more clay, and put maybe 8" of crushed limestone base in, and compact every 4" .. Use fiber mesh and wire when you pour, etc. My 2 cents
AutumnWood Inc. is offline  
Old 02-14-2009, 10:12 AM   #7
Pro
 
CaliDesigns's Avatar
 
Trade: Contractor, Stamped Concrete, Pool Design
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 141
Rewards Points: 75

Re: Best Base For Concrete Driveway


I use recycled concrete. It's not as porous as limestone.
CaliDesigns is offline  
Old 02-14-2009, 09:21 PM   #8
New Guy
 
paintguy's Avatar
 
Trade: builder/painter
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 22
Rewards Points: 10

Re: Best Base For Concrete Driveway


Quote:
Originally Posted by jaros bros. View Post
I'm not really impressed with the fiberglass. From personal experience it is just for small cracks and cosmetic stuff. I have seen a lot of slabs with just fiberglass crack. Of course that could be because the prep work was bad too.
For the base crushed rock follow by a layer of filter fabric and then a layer of sand to place the concrete on.

So the last layer of base would be sand ? Why not go with just a rock ? What about 'wash off ' problem with sand ? I think that's what happening now with the driveway.
Thanks
paintguy is offline  
Old 02-14-2009, 09:53 PM   #9
Pro
 
concretemasonry's Avatar
 
Trade: Masonry consultant
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: MSP, Minnesota
Posts: 3,147
Rewards Points: 2,212

Re: Best Base For Concrete Driveway


A layer of sand is not good. You will never see it on a highway or commercial building.

Sand can wash out, especially if it is fine, since it cannot be compacted and can be unstable.

You can't beat a good compacted base to the proper elevation to put concrete on. Some people are sloppy and use sand as a cheap and easy leveler, but it can draw the moisture out of the slab preventing proper curing of the concrete. Filter fabric does nothing but add to the cost.

__________________
Dick

Engineer, designer and consultant recently active domestically and internationally on construction and design in about 40 countries.
concretemasonry is offline  


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
base trim on island Kent Whitten Finish Carpentry 40 03-03-2012 12:14 AM
identification of base material 72chevy4x4 Excavation & Site Work 2 01-05-2009 08:15 PM
Pouring new driveway on top of old driveway Brock Concrete & Paving 8 12-01-2008 03:39 PM
bonding agent for stone driveway rocknhammer Specialty Trades Picture Post 5 09-28-2008 06:25 PM
paver driveway base material stampcrete Landscaping 10 07-30-2008 02:55 PM

Join Now... It's Fast and FREE!

I am a professional contractor
I am a DIY Homeowner
Drywall Talk is for
PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTORS ONLY!

At DrywallTalk.com we cater exlusivly to professional contractors who make their living as a contractor. Knowing that many homeowners and DIYers are looking for a community to call home, we've created www.DIYChatroom.com DIY Chatroom is full of helpful advices and perfect for DIY homeowners.

Redirecing in 10 seconds
No Thanks
terms of service

Already Have an Account?