Exposed Aggregate Driveway
An Exposed Aggregate, also known as “pea gravel” is not that different from a standard concrete driveway in its inception.
The layout of the driveway is still done the same as with a standard driveway, the forming of the driveway is still done the same and the preparation of the soil is still done the same.
The first difference comes when we order the concrete from the plant. You can choose any sized additional aggregate to be added to the concrete mix that is in the concrete truck itself, but we think that a 3/8th inch round-rock aggregate looks best in the finished product.
The concrete is poured as in a standard pour and we finish it as though we are finishing a standard driveway, with the exception that we do not do a “broom-finish” or any other type of commonly used finish on the surface.
We then spray a curing inhibitor on the surface of the driveway that actually prevents the top portion of the concrete from becoming hard, or curing. We next cover the concrete with plastic to aid in trapping the moisture from the concrete and preventing excessive evaporation from occurring. In New Mexico, especially at this time of the year, this is very important due to the winds that we experience each spring, as the wind will essentially pull the moisture from the top of the concrete and cause it to harden very quickly. If some areas of the driveway were to harden faster than other areas, this would result in a “splotchy” finish in the surface of the driveway, which we absolutely not want.
After about forty-five minutes, we remove the plastic from the driveway and simply use a garden hose with a pressure sprayer on it to remove the surface of the poured and finished concrete. Through using the hose to spray the surface of the concrete, we remove approximately the top 1/8th of an inch of the surface of the driveway and thus, expose the aggregate that is within the concrete.
The result is a very beautiful finish on the driveway that is every bit as durable as a standard driveway, yet serves to add significant “curb appeal” to the home and is an enhancement over what would otherwise be just an “ordinary” looking driveway.
What a welcoming feature to add to your beautiful new home!