A concrete driveway strip is a short section of concrete that can be poured along the edge of the driveway, usually at the transition from the grass to the cement.
The concrete driveway strip helps to reinforce the driveway’s foundation and prevents weeds from growing out of the ground and into your driveway or walkway.
These concrete strips are fairly easy to make, and they require just two ingredients: Portland cement and water. Here’s how to make concrete driveway strips.
Before you proceed with making concrete driveway strips, you have to gather up all of your materials. Some of these are pretty obvious but others aren’t as straightforward. Here’s a list of what you will need:
- A measurement tape
- An old and disused towel
- A cup of water
- A pan Water-based sealant (most types won’t stand up to UV
rays for very long)
- Sandstone chisels or masonry saw
- The PVC piping that will become your concrete driveway strips Fiberglass screening
- Two tarps or old bedsheets Cement cutter
- Sturdy gloves Face protection Gloves
- Water-resistant shoes, etc.
You’re also going to want a level because even an inch can be crucial and it could save you time down the road. Finally, if possible, get a helper. You might not think they’re necessary, but they can make things go much more smoothly if they help out with tasks like mixing cement while you measure out everything else.
Mixing and Molding
To make concrete driveway strips, you’ll need to mix and mold the material first. To do so, combine four parts sand and one-part cement in a mixing bowl and stir until smooth.
Next, add water until you reach a wet mixture that holds together when pressed in your hand. Once your mixture is consistent and ready, begin molding it into a strip that’s one-inch wide by three inches long. more strips can be made at once if you’re planning on doing something bigger than just a single driveway strip.
After you have finished mixing and molding all of your strips, let them sit for about an hour before using them. This will allow them to cure properly and make sure they are as strong as possible.
Pouring the concrete
This step is quick and relatively easy, but it’s still important. Pour the concrete into a large mold that’s been prepped in advance with some small holes so water can drain out easily.
If you have an extended driveway, start pouring on one end and work your way down. For short drives, you can pour directly from a wheelbarrow just be sure you have enough concrete mix to finish before it hardens. Use a trowel or flat edge (like a butter knife) to smooth over any rough spots.
Leave your concrete slab set for about 30 minutes before moving on. The longer you let it sit after pouring it will mean more curing time for better strength. At least two hours of curing time should do it.
After that, remove excess sand and gravel from around your new concrete drive. Then clean up your tools and get ready to move on.
Polishing the concrete
The concrete surface should be dry and smooth before polishing. Try to clean away all dirt, dust, oil, or grease with a damp sponge or cloth, using a mild liquid detergent if needed for stubborn soil spots.
You can also do it on somewhat damp concrete using an abrasive cleanser like TSP or Spic-n-Span in a circular motion. After rinsing off the residue with clean water, let the concrete air dry fully before applying the sealer/polish product.
When your concrete is finished, it’s time to apply the sealer/polish. If you want to use a power polisher, make sure it’s set to a low speed so your driveway doesn’t get burned.
For optimal results, use a 2×2 square cut piece of steel wool as your applicator pad and mix carefully with a paint stirring stick in your bucket with one cup of concrete polish per gallon of water. Allow 15 minutes for the mixture to sit, then stir again and rub softly until the entire area is evenly covered.
Curing the concrete
Curing concrete is an important step in making your new driveway strips, but it must be done correctly. If you do not properly cure your concrete, water can seep into it and freeze during the winter months, which could lead to cracks.
The solution is to Leave your concrete alone for a full 28 days before using it as a driveway or walkway. During that time, don’t drive on it and don’t apply another layer of paint or staining products onto it.
Keep all plant life away from it until it has cured completely too. This will ensure that your concrete lasts for years to come.
Filling in holes
Before you can even start making your strips, you’ll need to fill in holes and cracks on your driveway. To do so, use poodle mix, which is pre-mixed concrete. (A poodle mix is a mix that doesn’t require aggregate; it’s essentially just cement.)
It’s critical that you carefully follow these instructions, adding Water at a regular rate to ensure that the volume of the mixture remains constant while it combines with cement.
Pour your mixture into cracks or holes in your driveway once it’s been mixed. Allow two days for everything to dry before beginning work on the concrete driveway strips. If you’re stripping your driveway during the winter, make sure it’s totally dry before you start. This procedure should take about three days in total.
Maintaining your new driveways
It requires keeping your driveway looking good after its installation is critical. To ensure that you’re getting a high-quality, low-maintenance drive, follow these steps to keep it looking its best:
- Always sweep or blow off dust and debris before using any type of cleaner or sealer.
- Use warm water when washing with soap and water as hot water can crack concrete over time.
- Apply a penetrating sealer about once every two years on your new concrete driveway strips for optimal protection against dirt, oil, and acid rain damage.
Periodic maintenance will also help your drive last longer. Sealers often have different rates of penetration, so be sure to select one that matches your needs. Consider using a stronger sealer if you live in an area with a lot of sun exposure rather than a sealer if you live in an area with very little sun exposure.