How we Pour an Exposed Aggregate Driveway: A Step-By-Step Guide

Exposed aggregate driveways are our most requested and popular concrete driveway products — and rightly so. Their durability is next to none, and their slip-resistant properties make them perfect for all weather types (which is a blessing in Melbourne given our at times sporadic weather). Some of our clients appreciate hearing about and understanding the process of pouring an exposed aggregate driveway, so we thought we’d take you through the steps we take when tackling a standard job.

1.     Surveying the land

To begin with, we must assess the area the driveway is being poured on; there are two vital questions that must be asked before commencing:

Are there any utilities such as piping or cabling below the land?

If there is any type of utility located beneath where the driveway is planned, then permission must be gained from the local council to ensure there is no disruption to the utilities (this is obviously all dependant on the depth of the utility, which will also affect the feasibility of the project.

Is there a pre-existing driveway that needs to first be excavated before moving forward?

Whilst ground will need to be broken regardless (in most cases) to pour a new driveway — which, depending on size can require the use of specialised equipment such as an excavator — the excavation of an older driveway will mean extra time (typically an extra day depending on the size).

Once the preliminary surveying is complete and the logistics are ironed out, the area is marked with stakes and string so the physical work can commence.

2.     Excavation

As we mentioned, most instances will require some degree of excavation for a new driveway to be poured; this will likely involve the use of a small excavator and is the first step of action when laying down a new concrete driveway. If an older driveway is being excavated, then the old concrete may be used in the creation of the new driveway.

3.     Laying down the wooden formwork

After the area has been excavated, pieces of wood are laid around the area’s border so that when the concrete is poured, it does not seep over the marked zone. The wooden pieces must be sturdily secure to ensure no deviation in the driveway’s overall shape.

4.     Placing the steel reinforcement framework

The next step to the framework will come in the form of steel in either a rebar or mesh wire finish and will strengthen the concrete. Both options have their pros and cons; most residential driveways will suffice from mesh wire support, however, the costlier and much stronger rebar option is great for higher-traffic driveways or ones that will support heavier vehicles.

Our specialists will take you through the best option for your driveway as each scenario is unique. It’s worth mentioning that whilst steel reinforcement strengthens concrete driveways and will mitigate cracks from occurring, cracks will still occur regardless; there is nothing that can stop that.

5.     Mixing the concrete

Exposed aggregate driveways are crafted by mixing the aggregates with the concrete to produce a single, pourable mix. Depending on the layout of the yard and accessibility, the concrete can be poured directly from the concrete mixer onto the area, or, into a wheelbarrow which can then be taken to the right area for application.

Once poured, the concrete is spread as evenly as possible across the area whilst it’s still moist. Since it cannot be stepped on after application, our experts will use knee pads and other tools to continue to smooth out the surface, ensuring an even finish across the board.

6.     Exposing the aggregates

Once it has dried (we like to wait 24 hours to ensure maximum firmness whilst still staying efficient), the aggregates can be exposed — this is done by using a high-pressure hose to remove the surface layer of the concrete, revealing the various stones and other aggregates.

7.     Cutting control joints

Approximately 18 hours after the aggregates have been exposed, control joints will need to be cut into the concrete (the number will vary depending on the size of your driveway) to control randomised cracking. The cuts only need to be approximately a quarter of the depth of the concrete.

8.     Sealing the exposed aggregate driveway

Sealing is a crucial part of pouring a new driveway and will ensure that it’s protected against the elements, stains and spills. This will need to be done 24 hours after the cuts are made and is the final step in pouring your driveway. Some sealants will take longer to set than others, but you should ideally wait at least a minimum of 48 hours before driving or parking on it — our experts will advise you when the time comes.

Are you looking for a new exposed aggregate driveway in Melbourne?

A Better Driveway can provide you with a durable and quality exposed aggregate driveway — choose from an endless range of aggregate designs and enjoy the benefits and style of a sleek, modern driveway.

Call us now on (03) 9308 6112 or fill out our contact form so we can get back to you as soon as possible.