Cheryl's Guide to Concrete Contractors

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Two tips for those who plan to have a concrete driveway laid during the autumn

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If a concrete contractor will be laying your new concrete driveway during the autumn, you should keep the following tips in mind.

Prune the trees and rake the leaves in your garden before the contractor arrives

A day or so before the contractor's team arrive to lay the driveway, you should spend a few hours raking up the leaves and pruning back the trees in the area near the space where the driveway will be built. The reason for this is that the dead leaves that have fallen to the ground during this season and the ones that are barely attached to the branches of the trees in your garden may end up being blown onto the wet concrete during the installation process.

This will prolong the process for your contractor, as each time another dead leaf lands in the concrete, they will have to stop what they were doing, pluck the leaf out of the concrete and smooth out the imprint that it left behind. If there are a lot of dead leaves on the trees and on the lawn near the work area and it happens to a be a windy day, the contractor may have to do this a dozen or more times. This could lead them not being able to complete the work as quickly as they had intended to. As such, it is best to prune back any branches that are positioned close to the driveway and to rake the lawn near this area to remove as many dead leaves as possible.

Additionally, you may want to use a long-handed sweeping brush to shake the trees near the driveway to knock down any loose leaves so that you can then collect and remove them from the work area before the contractor gets to your home.

Buy a cheap portable carport or tunnel tent to protect the wet concrete

A lot of contractors prefer not to lay concrete driveways during the rainy autumn season. If raindrops land on a concrete driveway that is not fully set, the excess moisture can not only affect the length of time it takes for the concrete to dry out but can also reduce its structural stability in the long run.

If rain is predicted on the day that the driveway is due to be laid, your contractor will probably bring along a tent so that they can protect the freshly-poured concrete from any rainfall that occurs. However, when they are finished, they will take their tent with them. It may take another week for the concrete to fully set. During this time, any rain that lands on the structure could still negatively affect it.

As such, it is a good idea to buy either a portable carport or a tunnel tent and place this over the driveway for the duration of the drying period. This will ensure that the driveway does not end up being rained on before it hardens.