I’m looking to have cement put onto our driveway and was wondering if the fine folks of HTMF had any suggestions/reviews of any companies that do this? 


Make sure you drive piles. The ground here is too soft. It’ll crack in no time if you don’t give it some support.

Adventure Paving does a great job!!

They did such a good job on my street that they paved over the manhole cover at the end of my driveway - making it a pain in the ass to find/fix the pipe that collapsed underneath it.  Oh, and the main water shutoff valve to my house was buried over a foot down in the driveway - making it a serious pain in the ass when the restoration guys came in to clean the basement - while the cleaners were ripping up the plywood to get to the cement under the subfloor they cut right through the main water pipe leading into the house. 

Now, who the hell puts the main water pipe leading into the house UNDER the basement subfloor with no markings to state that it’s there?  My best guess is that there might have been rock in the way, but that’s only a guess.  So at 4:30 on a Friday before Christmas I was elated that when I frantically called the city to come shut off the water - someone actually answered the phone!  City dude came out and couldn’t find the city shutoff valve…until they started digging with shovels in random places hoping to ‘find it’.

Anyways - holy off topic rant, Batman!  Needless to say - I don’t need any added adventure in my life by hiring Adventure Paving…plus, I want cement, not pavement.

You don’t want cement.  You probably mean to say “concrete” instead of cement, but that error aside, I would recommend using something more flexible such as pavement or doing gravel.  Concrete will crack very easily, and isn’t the best option for a driveway in the best of conditions, let alone somewhere where the ground is spongy, and when we’re on a fault line.  But whatever, cracks aren’t a huge deal really, you can just fill them in as they happen, but it’ll look ugly fast.

Does the ground really heave that much here?  We moved here from Mackenzie and it didn’t matter what kind of driveway you had, it heaved.  No, that’s a lie - it might not have heaved if you had a heated driveway.  Anyways - my understanding of it (and I may be wrong - I’m not trying to argue here hehe) was that if the right prep was done, there was little chance of getting large cracks.  Obviously, cracks do happen regardless - but I thought as long as the ground was dug up enough and prepared properly (whatever that may entail - adding different materials to stabilize the ground, maybe?) then it greatly reduced the probability of cracks and heaves.

Thank you for reminding me that my university degree is not in geography; yes, I meant concrete.

      “…a powder of alumina, silica, lime, iron oxide, and magnesium oxide burned together in a kiln and finely pulverized and used as an ingredient of mortar and concrete.”

      “…a hard strong building material made by mixing a cementing material (as portland cement) and a mineral aggregate (as sand and gravel) with sufficient water to cause the cement to set and bind the entire mass.”

The problem here isn’t so much with a driveway “heaving”, it’s with them sinking. I have a concrete driveway and one corner has been sinking every year. Sooner or later I’m going to have to do something about it and I’m seriously thinking about just having the whole thing removed and replaced with some sort of gravel option.

A good solid base (several inches thick of 3/4 crush, etc) and LOTS OF REBAR should give you many years of trouble free driveway. 

Our carport was redone about 15 years ago, and on the edge of the walkway, there is now a good gap of almost a foot between the concrete and the ground, it has sunk that much. 

The middle of our driveway however, has noticeably sunk, but the ground below it hasn’t created a gap yet… that we can see anyways… not like the walkway.  That has got to be because of the massive amounts of rock, and rebar that were set into it before the pour.  I remember I was helping out one morning and trying to do “football drills” running through the rebar, and came home after school to squares that my foot couldn’t fit into anymore.

My house originally had to be set on pilings because the ground was a good percentage of muskeg.  Because Rupert’s climate is pretty damn wet… bank on everything shifting quite a bit over time.

Yeah, we re-did our driveway two years ago.  Same deal it was sinking.  P. Rupert is built on muskeg.
Make sure your contactor knows what they’re doing.

How far down is something solid? I have never had the joy of dealing with muskeg, but have worked on several projects with less than stellar base conditions.

In poor conditions like what has been mentioned don’t skimp on the rebar, make sure the rebar is lifted off the ground while the slab is being poured, make sure you get a full 4" (100mm) of concrete MINIMUM.

Make certain the road crush gravel base has been well tamped. Wetting the gravel down a bit between tampings helps as well. I actually prefer recycled concrete to road crush as the lime will reactivate to some extent (when wetted) and provide a stronger base than road crush gravel. I don’t know if it is available in PR.

In your situation you may want to look into additional reenforcement in the form of fibers (often called pussy fur). It doesn’t look like much but can add substantial strength to a slab if mixed in correctly. The cost is fairly low as well. On the downside you will be able to tell the fibers are in the slab but the worst of the cosmetics can be burned off with a tiger torch (keep the torch moving!) a few days after the slab has set.

As for anyone who has a sagging slab, see if Concrete Jacking services are available. What it amounts to is shoring up the side of a slab and pumping concrete into the void which can actually lift the slab back to flat and level. If the hollow is in the middle of the driveway a circular hole can be cut in the slab and concrete pumped into the void also lifting the slab.

I hope that helps,

Wow - thanks RR - lots of good info there.  I’m not entirely sure how far down it is to something solid in our driveway.  In our basement at the front of the house there is a large rock - they seemed to have built the house around the rock.  But - as for the driveway, last Christmas we had some issues with the sewer pipe collapsing on itself - and when the driveway was dug up to repair it we did find out what was under there at least.  The sewer pipe is about 7 feet down, while the water pipe is only 4 feet down.  The material seemed to be all muskeg - nothing solid anyways.

I also wonder if concrete is such a ‘bad’ idea around this area, is pavement the be-all-end-all alternative?

You might want to drill a couple of small ‘test holes’ to see how far down the muskeg goes.

Another alternative is to dig down a bit (18" or so) and lay a fabric mat (it comes in rolls), then start building your base for the concrete on the mat using clay for the first foot or so with 6" of crush on top. Personally I would go with lifts of no more than 4" to be wetted and well tamped before applying the next lift.

There is are on and off ramps to (and from) Deerfoot Trail in Calgary getting heavy truck traffic since 1982 built on swamp using this method on a larger scale. After 27 years of service this interchange is still in good repair. It does work!