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Properly built concrete patios are a thing of beauty, strong and very functional. With little to no maintenance it can last a lifetime. When considering a concrete patio, deck, sidewalk or porch, there are a few things that should not be overlooked.
1. It’s in the design
A proper design and layout is crucial. It is very important to design your patio in a way that make sense. Let your patio be a reflection of how you plan to use that outdoor space. It should complement its surroundings.
Patios that are close to the kitchen are nice since that is how most people come outside plus it’s ideal for entertaining. If you already have certain furniture or a grill that you know you want to put on the patio, knowing the layout will help you determine the size of the patio.
As far as shape, we do both curvy and geometric lines. Curvy lines on the patio tends to provide for visual interest than just a box.
The patio lines should flow nicely with the lines on the house. Your colors should all work together but you don’t want to try to invent something new. Here at Aquacrete, we will help you achieve both new colors and help match colors that you already have.
2. Say nope too much slope
Your patio should slope away from your house at the rate of 1/8″ per running foot.
Grading and drainage are an essential part of your design. A stamped patio may need a little more slope than a broom finished surface, but not much. You can get creative with your patio to help solve or prevent water problems. Concrete, unlike wood, is good at moving water quickly away from your structure.
For example, if you don’t want water in your basement, you can easily move water away from your house and out into the yard, and have a nice patio to enjoy all at the same time. Improperly designed patios can create problems that you never had in the first place.
3. Rebar galore
Reinforcement is another crucial part of well-built concrete patios, porches, decks, driveways or sidewalks. Steel reinforcement bars, also known as rebar are very important. A driveway will have heavy loads on it that can crack the concrete. Concrete is hard to crush, but it is easy to crack when spread out over a larger area. Rebar is designed to strengthen the concrete and enhance it’s shear strength. With rebar, concrete can be incredibly strong. Rebar is what makes concrete great for bridges and high rise buildings.
Wire mesh is generally and inferior substitute for rebar. Wire mesh can be strong, but generally people use cheap light gauge mesh that is not strong enough to do it’s job. Rebar needs to be lifted up off the ground to work properly. The rebar needs to be in the concrete, not in the dirt. This step is also effective against shrinkage cracks which is why the experts at Aquacrete use rebar.
4. What about the cracks?
Concrete shrinks when it cures, it expands when it is hot, and shrinks when it is cold. This can cause cracks in the concrete.
Preventative measures, such as saw cuts and control joints are used to help the concrete crack on a strait line. You try to get it to crack where YOU want, not where it wants. Control joints in concrete patios need to be properly designed and placed to help ensure that you don’t have a bunch of ugly cracks.