Step 5 Driveways and Pathways

Wondering what to do if you have a driveway to go across? When you have to lay cable across a driveway, there are a few different ways you can accomplish this. You can insert the wire in an existing expansion joint, or you can cut a slot with a circular saw that has a masonry blade. You may also choose to tunnel underneath the driveway.

Inserting the wire in an expansion crack is the most common, because it is easy and the wire is hidden. If you had to lay the wire on top of the driveway, that would be more visible. Tunneling under the driveway takes a long time, unless you have a gravel driveway.

Using an Expansion Joint

If you have an expansion joint in your driveway that is conveniently located, you are very lucky. All you need to do is lay the wire in that joint, and put caulking over it to keep the wire in place.

Begin by cleaning out the joint. You need to clean out the expansion joint with a screwdriver, to remove any debris. This leaves a nice deep trench for your boundary wire to be inserted into. This will also help the caulk adhere better to the driveway. Just use a screwdriver to clean out the crack, and then a pressure hose or a broom to clear away any remaining debris.

Next, lay the wire. Put the wire into the expansion joint. If needed, you can push the wire down with the screwdriver, so that the wire rests at the bottom of the crack.

Finish by caulking. Use a waterproof caulk to seal the wire into the crack. As a side note, be aware that the temperature has to be above freezing for most caulks to set. So if it is cold, you can either wait for a warmer day, or warm the cement with a torch.

Using a Circular Saw to Cut a Slot for the Wire

If you don’t have an expansion joint in the driveway, using a circular saw is the quickest and easiest way to lay the wire across a driveway. Keep in mind that it should take about an hour for a driveway, and about a half hour for a pathway. Those who install professionally usually use this method, as you have more control over where the wire is placed.

Necessary Tools:

  • A circular saw with a masonry cutting blade
  • Concrete caulking
  • Caulk gun

Decide on the Location for Your Cut and Mark It

Search for a seam that has already been made in the driveway or path. Cutting along this seam will give you a much neater and easier cut. If there is no seam conveniently found, mark out a line across the driveway with chalk. Following this line will help you to make a nice, neat cut.

Cut Along Your Line With a Circular Saw

Using a circular saw with a masonry blade will deliver a clean cut. You can find a cheap masonry blade for under $5. You will only need it for one small cut. If you have a tougher job, you can use a diamond tipped masonry blade which will cost you about $15. Now, make your cut with the saw. You only need to cut about ½ inch deep. When you are cutting, go slow, letting the blade do all of the work. If the cut you are making is long, be sure to take breaks so that your saw will not overheat. Be sure to always wear safety glasses when cutting, as debris will be thrown around. If you have lots of cuts to make, you may want to rent a concrete cutter from your local tool rental shop, which will cost you about $50 per day.

Lay the Wire In and Caulk Over It

Start by cleaning out the cut with a broom. Then, lay your wire into the groove that you have cut. Use a screwdriver to poke the wire to the bottom of the crack. Next, caulk over the wire with a concrete sealer. You can purchase cans of fast-drying concrete at your local home improvement retailer. You can expect it to cost about $3 per canister. Liquid Nails Concrete Repair or DAP Concrete sealer are good choices. Most caulks need a caulking gun to apply them. Those can be purchased for less than $5 at your same local store.

Go slow when you are caulking, so that the line is nice and neat. To make it look extra clean, you can use masking tape to cover the driveway on each side, and remove the tape after you have finished caulking.

Protecting the Ends of the Wire

The edge of the driveway tends to be the most common place for the dog fence wire to become broken is at the edges of the driveway where the grass meets the concrete. This is because a garden edger or weed-whacker may be used in that area. Here is what you can do to protect that segment of dog fence wire.

Bury the Wire Deeply. Where the wire crosses over into the lawn, make a deeper cut into the edge of the lawn. Doing this will allow you to bury the wire deeper and keep it from getting harmed.

Further Protect the Wire. You can insert the wire into a short length of PVC pipe. This will protect the wire from getting sliced by an edger. You can also use an old garden hose pipe, or even place a rock on top of the wire.

Simply Laying the Wire Over the Driveway

What if you just lay the wire across the driveway and leave it there? You can do this if you like, but the wire will wear out faster. You can expect to get about 1-3 years of wear before the section needs to be replaced. If you are leaving it lay across your driveway, you may choose to protect it a bit further by placing it in an old hose, or section of soft tubing. Another option would be to buy a rubber, traverse strip that fits over the wire. When the wire is laid over the driveway, remember that it can become a tripping hazard. To help remedy this, staple it tight to the ground on either side of the driveway.

Tunneling Under the Driveway

Tunneling under the driveway is more difficult, but it also looks neater. You are essentially creating a passage under the path of the driveway. This means you don’t have to put any cuts into your driveway. Tunneling under can also be helpful later if you decide to put in outdoor lighting or a sprinkler system. However, be aware that it is time consuming to tunnel under. You should expect to spend about 2 hours doing so, for an average driveway.

On a positive note, tunneling under is something that a professional installation company would be unlikely to do. As long as you are willing to put in the time, you can tunnel under without having to scar your driveway or pathway.

Tools Needed:

  • PVC Pipe with ¾ inch diameter
  • Hacksaw

Decide on the length of the tunnel that you need to cut out of PVC. Cut the end of the PVC at a 45 degree angle, to form a sharp point. Next, dig a hole on one side of your driveway that is about 1 foot long. Dig it a bit deeper than you want the tunnel to be.

Bore through the soil using the sharp end of the PVC pipe to create your tunnel. Do this by going only ½ of a foot at a time, then removing the PVC Pipe and emptying out the soil that collected inside of the pipe.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you need to make sure that your tunnel is not deeper than 3-4 inches from the driveway’s surface. If you put it any deeper than this, you risk running an inconsistent signal between the wire and the dog’s collar.