If you're pouring a new concrete driveway at home, you want to think about how to actually reinforce the material so there is less cracking or chipping. While concrete itself is very durable, it can also become brittle in cold weather or crack if it's not poured evenly or when you drive something heavy over it. Consider three ways to reinforce your concrete drive so it lasts for years.
1. Installing wire mesh
This is a good choice for driveways as the wire mesh is usually sold in long pieces that can easily be cut and put in place before pouring the top layer of concrete. As the concrete forms around the mesh it then becomes a permanent part of the material, and the mesh design displaces any stress on the concrete itself. In turn it's less likely to chip or crack due to extremes in weather or if you were to drive something heavy over it. Talk to your contractor or the sales rep at a supply store about the strength of mesh you need for your particular job and be sure you have a good pair of wire cutters that will let you cut through the mesh after it's measured.
2. Adding fibers to the concrete
Adding fibers to concrete while it's being mixed make it much less brittle as the material becomes somewhat softer. The fibers also help to displace stress along the material. For heavy-duty jobs, steel fibers are often used but for residential driveways, more affordable synthetic fibers might be added. These are put into the concrete as it's mixed so there is no extra work involved in using fibers, although you need to ensure you're using the right amount so you don't compromise the overall strength of the concrete and make it too soft.
This reinforcing technique is often used in the tropics where ground is very soft and the concrete is at risk of shifting and then cracking. Underpinning refers to putting actual pins or bars into the ground to brace up the concrete and help keep it level. It can be used for repair work after concrete has chipped due to sinkholes or shifts, but by adding the underpinning before the concrete is poured, this can make it stronger against such shifts. Ask your contractor at places like Hanover Concrete Company if the ground is so soft that you may require underpinning and consider having this done before the driveway is installed.