CD Designs Blog
With a decade of experience in the field of concrete driveway design and installation, CD Designs have a long list of satisfied customers across the north-west. And these customers can vouch for the professional approach which we apply to each project.
Pattern imprinted concrete driveways as a product offer a massive amount of flexibility in terms of potential applications and final appearance; this is the reason comprehensive and professional concrete driveway design and installation services are desirable. In order to ensure that customers are always satisfied with the finished product, CD Designs are committed to keeping the design and installation process transparent.
This approach has paid off. By combining knowledge and experience with an open and friendly attitude (and a lot of hard work), customers are satisfied enough with their finished projects to provide testimonials like this one.
The case studies gallery displays the level of work consistently achieved by CD Designs around the north-west. Take a look at the various completed projects. It should quickly become obvious that a lot of pride is taken in the finished product itself, and in the happiness that a well priced and well crafted piece of work can bring to customers.
The gallery also shows the differing scales of project that we are more than happy to take on and complete. From the complexity of the Heaton Park contract (all work finished within a tight 3-week turnaround) to the relative simplicity of Greenmount, the gallery displays the scope of what CD Designs can accomplish.
If anything in there takes your fancy, or perhaps sparks off some ideas of your own, don’t hesitate to get in touch; perhaps your finished project could be the next addition to our online hall of fame…
30th December 2009
There are a number of different options available to those who are looking to solve their driveway problems by investing in a long term addition to their property. Usually, however, this choice – which can be a difficult one – boils down to choosing between two of the most common hard-surfacing materials: tarmacadam (or “bitmac / tarmac”) and concrete.
Along with the obvious difference in composition between the two materials, there are a number of other distinguishing features which should be taken into account when choosing between the two options.
For domestic applications like driveway design, both concrete and tarmac require certain additions before setting, in order to increase their workability. For tarmac, this is known as “cutback”; it’s the addition of a solvent. This solvent stops the tarmac setting in order to increase the amount of time it can be worked and shaped. This solvent has to evaporate out of the tarmac before the setting process can be completed. Although this does allow greater flexibility in working the unset tarmac, it can backfire, meaning that the surface of the tarmac will stay soft and sticky for weeks of even months after it should’ve set. Concrete is not affected by its admixtures in this way.
There are a number of other issues affecting tarmac which a concrete driveway will not suffer from. Soft, badly set tarmac, can, for example, be scuffed by the wheels of cars with power-steering turning “on the spot”. This can make it unsuitable for driveways in which some tight reversing and turning is necessary.
Tarmac, even well installed and properly set, is much more susceptible to chemical solvents than concrete. A spillage of vehicular oil on tarmac will eat through the surfacing and spread through the surrounding tarmac. There’s no way to salvage tarmac which has been exposed to such solvents; any affected patches must be cut out of the driveway and patched up with new tarmac.
Although tarmac driveways may have a lower initial price than concrete driveways, you should remember that the difference in price is indicative of a difference in quality. To use an old but accurate cliché, you get what you pay for.
28th December 2009
Due to concrete’s porous nature, it will absorb traces of whatever substances come into contact with it. Though most of these will be completely inert, there are some chemical substances which will actively damage concrete. Also, concrete can be damaged by water saturation, especially in autumn and winter months when rainfall is likely to be at its heaviest.
In order to protect the surface of your concrete, it needs to be sealed; this should be completed once the concrete has been poured and leveled, and has cured. There are a number of different types of seal available, matching the requirements of the surface-type. Sealant for driveway concrete, for example, will protect your concrete against spilt oil, chemicals picked up from the road by the tires of your car, and precipitation.
Sealant should be reapplied every 1 or 2 years, depending on the amount of usage and traffic that your concrete driveway is subject to. This is especially true of concrete which has been pattern imprinted, colour stained, or dyed, as failing to reseal your driveway can cause permanent damage to the appearance of the surface design and the quality of the colouring.
Resealing is a relatively simple process. First, you must ensure that your driveway has been thoroughly cleaned. Then the appropriate sealant solution (combined with a non-slip admixture) is applied to the surface. Finally, the sealant must be allowed to dry, usually for 24 hours, although some types of sealant may take longer.
By correctly caring for your driveway you can maintain its appearance as well as its integrity. A regular reseal is a relatively simple but entirely necessary step in order to ensure that your concrete surface remains as appealing as it was when you first had it installed.
25th December 2009
Although concrete is remarkably durable, it does require a minimal amount of care. After your concrete has been installed, and any cosmetic procedures – staining or pattern imprinting for example – have been completed, it must cure and then be sealed. This sealing will usually be completed by the contractors; make sure that it happens.
Concrete can sometimes be susceptible to damage caused by absorbing liquids and/or chemical products. Salt and calcium chloride are two of the main chemical contributors to cosmetic damage. It’s impossible to avoid your driveway coming into contact with these two substances, but by properly cleaning (using a low-pressure stream of water) and caring for your driveway, the situation is entirely controllable. You must take care to reseal your concrete every 1 or 2 years; by doing this you safeguard against potential surface wear and tear.
There are a two other things to look out for:
During winter, you should be careful not to allow snow or ice to build up on your driveway.
You should make sure that you don’t apply or spill any de-icers which contain ammonium sulfate or ammonium nitrate onto the surface of your concrete, as they will damage it. Some garden fertilizers also contain these chemicals, and so should be kept off your concrete, as should fertilizers containing urea. Although ideally your driveway should be kept free of any de-icing compounds at all during the first winter after it has been put down, during subsequent winters non-damaging de-icers can be safely applied.
23rd December 2009
Concrete is increasingly being used as not only a simple, cost effective way of resolving most external and internal surfacing needs, but as an attractive and interesting material in its own right. By combining any one of a wide collection of possible colours with any one of a wide collection of imprintable patterns, it’s possible to create a staggeringly large amount of different effects.
If you desire a simple, neutral look, concrete with one subtle colourant could well be the answer you’re looking for. Or you could have an expanse of plain single-colour concrete with an elegantly imprinted border. If you’re after something a little bit more traditional, most commonly used types of stone flooring can be easily replicated using pattern imprinting.
This opens up the possibility of mixing patterns, giving the impression of, for example, a herringbone brick driveway with a cobbled path leading to your front door, or a “random stone” patio with a slate barbeque area. All, of course, finished in colours which compliment each other.
If this isn’t what you’re after, concrete can also be banded; a simpler design in which regular fields of one type of imprinted or textured concrete are separated by dividing strips of another imprint or texture. This provides simple contrast, accentuating the impact and quality of both the fields and bands.
There are other ways of using concrete decoratively. It can be polished to a highly reflective finish giving a sleek and sophisticated look to rival that of marble, at a significantly lower price. Or, by choosing to expose the coarse aggregate which makes up much of the body of the concrete, you can achieve a distinctive and modern effect.
21st December 2009