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4 Ways to Customize a Concrete Driveway

Concrete is a highly durable material. With very little maintenance, your concrete driveway can last you for years. You might not realize, though, that concrete is also an adaptable material. You have so many ways to customize the look of concrete so that it complements the exterior of your home.
So, while you may be considering a concrete driveway because it's easy on the budget, decide on concrete because it can add curb appeal to your home.
Stamped and Stained Concrete
To give concrete a stamped texture, contractors imprint freshly-placed concrete with a pattern. They have many patterns to choose from, including interlocking cobblestone, fractured slate and interlocking Yorkstone. Indeed, the purpose of stamping concrete is to make the slab resemble another material.

Staining the concrete enhances this effect. Contractors apply either an acid-based chemical stain or a water-based acrylic. The chemical stains penetrate the surface of the concrete and leave an earthy tone. With water-based stains, you have a wider color palette available.

Stamping and staining concrete is a good option if you would love a natural stone or brick driveway but consider the cost (and maintenance) prohibitive.
Exposed Aggregate
Another method for giving a concrete driveway texture is with exposed aggregate. With this method, contractors either mix the aggregate with the concrete or seed it into the surface. If they do the former, they follow by removing the top layer of the concrete to expose the aggregate. Not only does this enhance the look, but it provides skid resistance.

According to the Concrete Network, the most important considerations for choosing an aggregate include color, hardness, shape, durability, size and method of exposure. Popular aggregates include natural stones, though it's possible to seed polished glass into the surface. For a driveway, ideal aggregates would likely be local natural stone or those that complement the color of your house.

Exposed aggregate can also be mixed with other customization techniques. It's an ideal option if you want a creative look to your driveway.
Engraved Borders
Mixing decorative techniques is, in fact, one of the big advantages of choosing a concrete driveway. Engraved borders are a beautiful method for customizing your driveway. Along the lines of stamping concrete, engraving is another method for adding texture. Contractors use tools and specialized equipment to etch designs into the concrete slab.

Contractors do the engraving after the concrete is already dry, so you could use it for beautifying an existing driveway. However, it's also a good method for creating a decorative border in a new driveway if the space is too small for the stamping technique.
Concrete Overlays
Another method for updating existing concrete is with overlays. In fact, there are different products for resurfacing concrete. One is a cement-based overlay, which is a thin coating of cement applied over the existing slab. The more modern, and popular, products now include polymer resins for increased durability and beauty.

Contractors can also use different methods for resurfacing the concrete. They can use microtoppings, which can range from spray products to trowel-grade materials. Contractors can achieve numerous color and texture options with microtopping. In the same vein, they can apply thicker overlays, which are stampable and stainable.

If you want an exposed aggregate look, you can achieve it with concrete resurfacing. With this method, contractors mix the aggregate with concrete and spread it over the existing slab. This method works better with smaller aggregates.

Concrete overlays are ideal if your existing driveway is in good repair, without any major structural issues. They're a good way to update a plain driveway or to cover up stains and small cracks with an existing one.

All of the methods above can be combined to create a unique driveway. Talk to the experts at Black Jack Asphalt and Concrete about how to best customize your driveway to enhance your house's façade.
Black Jack Asphalt and Concrete
Serving Saginaw, MI

Bay City/Saginaw: 989-791-4444
Birch Run/Frankenmuth: 989-776-1050
Flint: 810-471-3550
Fax: 989-770-2121

Business Hours: 
Open Seven Days a Week
Monday-Sunday, 7 a.m.-10 p.m.
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