Frequently Asked Questions

PRICING & PAYMENT

What kind of payments does Avante accept?


We accept e-transfer, cheque, cash, or Mastercard or Visa (there is a 3% service if paying by credit card).




What is the payment schedule?


For residential jobs, 40% is collected upon the start of a project, 50% paid after concrete is poured and the final 10% upon completion of job. The payment schedule for commercial and industrial jobs varies by project. Our sales team will work with you on a mutually agreeable payment schedule.




How much will my driveway cost?


Although it may seem simple to provide a price per square foot, there are a lot of factors to consider when providing a quote. Questions like what is the size of the project, is there anything to be removed first, what kind of prep will be involved/required, what is the access like, how much hand work will be required, how many concrete pours will be needed, just to name a few. All projects are unique, and as such, must be priced indivdually.





MY CONCRETE PROJECT

How long will my project take?


Projects can vary greatly but can range from 4-5 days for a typical patio or small driveway, to 5-10 days or possibly more for projects that may be more involved or if booked during peak season.




How long before I can walk or drive on my new driveway?


Typically you may walk on standard broom finish concrete as early as 24-48 hours after the project is complete. For stamped or exposed concrete, you will want to wait until the surface has been pressure washed and sealed before foot traffic is okay. This process may add an extra day or so to the project. For vehicle traffic, you will want to wait 7 full days before driving or parking on your new concrete. For heavier equipment, anything weighhing more than a standard car, truck or SUV, it is best to keep off of your new concrete for up to 28 days. Remember concrete is still considered "green" during this time and takes approximately 28 days to fully cure.




Will my new concrete crack or chip?


Concrete will not bend or flex or move as freely as pavers, asphalt, or other decking or driveway materials, so yes some cracks will appear. However, we do have procedures in place to try and minimize cracking as much as possible. When poured, a portion of the volume of concrete is water. Water is an integral part of concrete and its chemical reaction and eventual curing. As the concrete cures and dries, water evaporates from the structure causing the volume of the concrete to shrink. Cracks can occur in brand new concrete in less than 24 hours due to this shrinking process. The next situation in which a crack may develop is through sheer settlement. Some degree of settlement is to be expected, even if not noticeable to the human eye. If the concrete even settles one millimeter, it will shift and relieve itself through the cracking process. Any type of crack can occur at any time during the concrete's lifetime. Chipping or flaking of a concrete surface over time, especially those exposed to vehicle traffic and entryways like sidewalks and porches are most susceptible. Re-seal your exposed aggregate concrete with a penetrating sealer to densify and protect your investment. These sealers help keep moisture out of the surface that causes more harm to a concrete surface. Chipping or flaking is not covered by any warranty.




What can I do to PREVENT Cracking or Chipping?


Your biggest defense against cracking is proper grade preperation and adding control joints or sawcuts. Grading and compaction is very important to ensure the ground beneath the concrete is firm and is less suseptable to future settlement. Adding control joints or sawcuts give the concrete areas of relief. Think of them as controlled or planned cracking that allows the concrete a little room to expand and contract. It also helps reduce the chance of random cracking, giving stress crack a place to hide. Unfortunately, there are no 100% guarenteed ways to keep your concrete from cracking. It is just a natural property of concrete. It is nearly impossible to create a crack or chip proof slab or project. Even engineered bridge decks and building foundations crack, chip, spall, and weather over time. This simply means the concrete has relieved itself of the pressures it is facing.




Should I add reinforcement (rebar or wire mesh) to my concrete?


The biggest misconsception of rebar or wire mesh is that it will help prevent your concrete from cracking. This however is not true. Think of reinforcement as more of a support, it is there to help contain cracks, not prevent them. In other words, should a large crack appear, rebar or wire mesh will help to hold the conrcrete together and deter it from seperating and shifting. The other main porpose for reinforcemnt is to support concrete items under large amounts of pressure, such as retaining walls, columns, and pads for very heavy equipment. Standard sidewalks, driveways or patios that see no more than standard car, truck, suv or foot traffic, typically do not require reinforcement.




Do you provide a warranty?


We guarentee our workmanship. Any defects due to poor formwork or placement practises will be corrected. Unfortunately, we cannot provide warranty on concrete from cracks or wear and tear. Once we have left your job, it is up to you to provide the proper care and upkeep on your new concrete.




How thick should my concrete be?


For driveways, sidewalks, garages and patios, 4" is standard practice and more than sufficient. If you would prefer to add rebar, we recommend at least 5". You want enough clearance above and below the rebar to prevent the concrete from being to thin and creating weak spots or areas more prone to cracking.




Will my new concrete match my old concrete?


We do our best to match any existing colours you may have but unfortunately there is no way to perfectly match new concrete with old. There will always be a noticeable difference once it has been placed. Even brand new concrete can look different to something that was placed a day earlier. Over time the new concrete will fade and blend in much better, but no color match guarantees can be made.





CONCRETE CARE

How can I take care of my new concrete?


Concrete is a very durable material however there is one particular way with which you can prolong its life and maintain it's beauty. We recommend you seal your exposed aggregate or stamped concrete every 2 years to protect it's surface from the damages of the environment. Depending on the job size, sealing can typically be completed in a day and the concrete can be used again within a couple hours of completion.




What should I do about the snow and ice?


The number one enemy of your concrete is not the snow or ice but instead the salts or chemicals used to remove snow and ice from driveways, sidewalks, and patios. We recommend you use sand as an alternative to de-icing products such as salt or de-icer. Although sand will not melt the snow or ice, it will increase friction and provide more traction making driving and walking surfaces less slippery. Sand can also be spread proactively before a snow fall or freeze to help deter snow and ice from forming.




Help! I have an oil stain!


There are few things that damage concrete as much as oil and there are a few ways to ensure that your vehicles do not harm your concrete investment. #1: Seal your exposed aggregate or stamped concrete. Sealing covers your concrete in a protective layer that mitigates the absorbtion of oil and grease. #2: Clean the affected spot as soon as you can. There are concrete soaps available that will help break down the oil and grease from oil spills to help remove any damaging or corrosive materials. However, concrete is a very porous product and although the damaging qualities of the oil can be removed by cleaners, unfortunatley removing the appearance of the stain itself is not so easy. In fact it's virtually impossible, once a skid mark or oil stain appears, to remove it. Stains could take months even years before they start to fade. Your best defense aside from sealing your concrete is being proactive and limiting activities preformed on your driveway such as oil changes, abrupt braking etc. Make sure you are maintaining and checking your vehicles regularily as suggested to help detect any leaks or drips that could harm the surface of your driveway or garage.