If you are considering adding a concrete driveway, the concrete slabs alone may not be enough. Though concrete slabs are quite strong, over years they will withstand many heavy things such as cars and trucks, which can cause additional pressure that will cause cracking. Additionally, your concrete slabs will experience severe weather conditions that will cause damage over time. To help prevent this damage, when installing concrete slabs, consider adding crushed stones under your concrete slabs. Adding crushed stone under your concrete slabs helps protect your concrete from damage and increases your investment. 

Extending the Life on your Concrete Slab

As concrete slabs are typically used for driveways and sidewalks, they can experience some wear and tear over time. Vehicles will be constantly moving about your driveway and their heavy weight can cause cracks in your concrete slabs. Additionally, both sidewalks and driveways experience harsh weather conditions. The constant freezing and thawing of these concrete slabs cause cracks.

When someone invests in a new concrete driveway or sidewalk, they want to make sure it will last as long as it can get quite expensive. A trick that most may not realize is crushed stones under your concrete slabs actually help protect your concrete. Adding crushed stones under your concrete slabs is a great way to expand the lifespan of your concrete driveway and sidewalks.

concrete slab on crushed stone

 

 

 

 

3 Reasons a Layer of Crushed Stone is Important to the Life of your Concrete:

Some may be wondering, “how can crushed stone help the lifespan of concrete slabs”? Below are the three most important reasons why crushed stone is essential to add under your concrete slabs:

 Drainage

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 Concrete is a porous material. Basically, that means concrete absorbs water from the rain, snow, or other sources that it may come in contact with. This means that in different weather conditions all of the water running through your concrete can freeze and thaw. Additionally, there is nowhere for the water to drain after it is absorbed. This means that the water will just keep accumulating and cause the concrete to erode. A way to help prevent this erosion is by adding crushed stone under your slabs for drainage. This is a great way to help to deter water accumulation under the concrete slabs. The crushed stone prevents pooling from under the concrete as it effectively transports water out. Additionally, the stone simply adds a protective layer that keeps water out of contact with the concrete.

Leveling

 

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 Pouring concrete on an uneven surface causes the concrete to crack or erode over time. Putting a layer of crushed stone down before adding your concrete both provides a level surface to work on and a firm base for your concrete. These stones also prevent plants from growing in, which could cause unevenness when they rot, or roots from trying to break through the concrete.

Reducing Cracks 

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The most common way concrete cracks is when the ground moves under the concrete. When you are investing in a concrete driveway or sidewalk, it can be quite frustrating when a crack appears simply from the ground moving beneath it. Installing crushed stone under your concrete slabs is a great way to prevent these cracks. Stone adds stability to the soil, keeping it firm and less likely to need repairs.

What Types of Gravel to Put Under Concrete?

What type of gravel you will use under your concrete might depend on what exactly you are looking to do, such as driveways or sidewalks. Below are some of the most common types of gravel for under concrete slabs:

  • Crushed Stone
  • Washed Clean Stone
  • Pea Gravel
  • White Marble Chips
  • Quarry Process

How To Compact Gravel for Concrete:

When you install gravel under your concrete slabs, be sure to follow these instructions to ensure the gravel is installed correctly. Once the gravel is played in the ground, spray it with just enough water to settle the gravel dust. Then, you need to compact the gravel. To do this, use a hand tamper or a plate compactor. Push the gravel tight. Repeat this process until you have the desired amount of gravel. 

 Extend the Life of Your Concrete Slab Today!

If you are thinking about installing a concrete driveway or sidewalk, you should consider using some type of gravel under your concrete slabs to ensure you get the best results. Crushed stone will help increase the lifespan of your concrete. Hiring a concrete professional at Apex Concrete & Hauling will guarantee your concrete driveway or sidewalk is installed perfectly. 

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