Concrete Contractors Brownmore Concrete Ltd based in Waihi, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand - Rex Podmore has been working with and in the concreting trade for over 25 years and leads an experienced concrete contracting team for driveways, industrial, paths, patios, residential, rural and community projects. Frequently asked questions we get about concreting. If your question is not answered here call me, Rex on 027 285 5489

How thick should driveway concrete be?

A minimum of 100 mm is recommended. The thickness of the concrete determines the driveway’s structural capacity. Increasing your driveway’s thickness from 100mm will increase the load carrying capacity of your driveway.


What types of finishes are available?

Soft broom giving grip underfoot commonly used of paths and driveways, steel trowel flat smooth finish mainly used on house floors, does not have much slip resistance, mag float finish where grip is needed giving a different finish than the broom, power float machine gives a harder finish, commonly for house slabs.


Why does some concrete look patchy?

As concrete is a natural product you can get variations in the colour.  Due to the curing process of it drying out it can look patchy or blotchy.


When can I walk and drive on my new concrete?

You will need to stay off the concrete until it has dried.  This time frame will vary depending on weather and temperatures, but around 24 - 48 hours to walk, and between 5-7 days to drive a car on a new driveway.  We use barrier tape and signs but unfortunately we cannot be responsible for pets, children, leaves and other debris once we leave the site.


Should my concrete have expansion cuts?

Expansion cuts are required in concrete to help prevent/minimise random cracking. They provide a weak point where the concrete can shrink and relieve pressure at the joint so that any cracking is then directed into the cut rather than in random places. Please note, expansion cuts still do not guarantee that concrete will not crack in random places.


Can you guarantee that our new driveway or patio will not crack?

Unfortunately it is impossible to give a 100% guarantee that your concrete will not crack.  Concrete is a natural product and all hardened concrete has a tendency to crack.  In saying that we do take all possible steps to minimise or prevent cracking.


Why does concrete crack?

As the concrete shrinks it dries out which in turns creates pressure in the concrete which can lead to cracks forming.


What can I do to help prevent cracking?

It is recommended that you don’t drive a car on concrete for 5 - 7 days after placing (depending on weather conditions) and other heavy machinery and trucks would be longer again.  In hotter months we suggest you wet your new concrete periodically to lessen the possibility of cracking due to heat. This should be just enough to dampen the concrete.


Does reinforcing mesh prevent cracking?

Mesh is required in vehicle crossings but it is not usually required in concrete driveways. There is evidence that mesh may assist in the prevention of cracking. Please note that although mesh can help prevent cracking it still does not 100% guarantee that the concrete will remain crack free. We can offer you a quote with or without mesh.

Can you match new coloured concrete with existing coloured concrete?

If you know exactly what strength concrete and type of pigment, either liquid or oxide was used we may be able to get close to matching but there may be several reasons why we may not be successful in matching colours.  Different colour systems and pigments may have been used in the original concrete, which may have faded or have been affected by weather or wear. New concrete does change colour as it dries over time so initially your old concrete may look lighter. 

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