CD Designs Blog
Although we had snow in the middle of March this year, it looks like winter has finally gone. Sometimes the weather can affect a driveway, but it is usually only superficial damage.
If your driveway looks like it needs a facelift, there are a few things that could have caused it. The most common is what we call blooming, which is where moisture has gotten into the sealant. Don’t worry, the concrete underneath is fine and this is easily fixable. The picture above is a resealed driveway which previously had blooming, and as you can see it looks great! We did a blog on this last year which you can see here.
Another common problem is where the sealant has worn away over time, making the driveway look old and shabby. Be aware that this means the concrete is not protected any more, and we would advise a full reseal in order to protect it from the elements. You can see examples of where maintenance is needed in this blog from last year.
Your driveway may just have become dull over winter, with the colour not as vibrant as it once was. This is probably just an example of weathering on the seal, and shows that the sealant has been doing its job. A reseal would bring back the full colour of the concrete underneath, and make the driveway look as good as new.
If you would like some advice about driveway maintenance, or you would like to book a reseal, please phone 01706 827180 or leave a message here.
22nd April 2013
Imagine if your pattern imprinted concrete driveway never needed maintenance, and any weathering, cracks and other damage would heal by itself. It sounds like the stuff of science fiction, but Dutch scientists are nearly ready to begin tests that could make it a reality.
Microbiologist Henk Jonkers and concrete technologist Eric Schlangen have been working at Delft Technical University in The Netherlands to engineer the new type of concrete. “In the lab we have been able to show healing of cracks with a width of 0.5mm. Now we are upscaling”, explained Dr Jonkers. They are currently trying to reduce the considerable cost of the process, but they believe that they can do this and be ready to begin testing in around 6 months, with a view to commercialising it in 2-3 years.
The process works by mixing bacterial spores and the nutrients they feed on into the concrete. When the spores come into contact with water, they begin to feed on the nutrients and produce limestone, which begins to fill the cracks through which the water got in.
Concrete is the most popular building material in the world, and if the lifespan of it can be significantly extended it should lead to reduced costs and better structures for everyone. If it can be incorporated into pattern imprinted concrete, then we should see significant savings on maintenance in the future.
8th January 2013
Merry Christmas from everyone at Complete Driveway Designs! We’re sure that lots of you were hoping for a white Christmas, but it seems that the weather reports were correct, and all we’re going to get is wet and windy. Should we get snow or ice in the future however, here is a quick guide for your pattern imprinted concrete.
Don’t worry about the effect of snow on your driveway, it is perfectly protected. However if you do decide that you want to remove the snow, you must be careful when doing so. Using something heavy and hard-edged like a metal shovel or wooden broom may scratch the sealant or the concrete. It is best to use a plastic shovel, whilst trying not to scrape too close to the concrete.
If your driveway becomes icy, you may consider trying to remove the ice. Don’t put salt on it, as the salt will make a mess of your driveway if there are any gaps in the sealant. You may also consider throwing some hot water over it to melt the ice, but in our experience the water just freezes again and you have the same problem. Anti-freeze can be used in watered-down, small amounts to defrost your driveway, and putting sand down can make it less slippery.
If you want any advice don’t hesitate to get in touch, and stay safe!
25th December 2012
Proper maintenance of your pattern imprinted concrete driveway is essential to how long it will last and how good it will look in the future. Here are some simple dos and don’ts when maintaining your driveway, and some tips for when something goes wrong.
Don’t put salt on your driveway. This will start to eat away at the seal and eventually the concrete. Wash any salt that may get on your driveway through road gritting off immediately.
Do wash off dirt and stains as soon as possible. Use soapy water for the simple stuff, and a de-greaser for oil stains. For more persistent stains a wire brush can be used.
Don’t put and kind of weed-killers or pesticides on your driveway. When using them around your garden, be careful not to let any run off onto your concrete. If any gets on simply wash it off with water as soon as possible.
Do reseal your driveway when needed. Take a look at our information on when resealing is necessary. Some customers expect their driveways to look as good as new without any maintenance, but with good housekeeping your driveway will look great for many years to come.
Don’t drag garden furniture or other heavy objects over your driveway. This will scratch the seal, but don’t worry the concrete underneath will still be fine. A reseal will be needed to get rid of the scratches.
For any maintenance problems don’t hesitate to get in touch with us, and we’ll do our best to help.
26th July 2012
A common effect of applying sealant to a pattern imprinted concrete driveway in the winter is something that in the industry, we call blooming. This can cause alarm to a customer who witnesses it, in fact it is one of the most common telephone calls we receive, with customers believing that their driveways our ruined beyond repair. It is understandable that seeing your investment in this state can be worrying, but it need not be. The solution is simple.
Blooming is caused by a ‘reaction’ of the sealant to moisture, causing the surface sealant (not the concrete) to turn cloudy and in some instances white. Although we take every caution to eradicate moisture from the concrete, it is often difficult, particularly in the winter months, to prevent concrete from retaining this moisture. However even with blooming present you should still be assured that the pattern imprinted concrete underneath is protected.
Once the climate reaches a suitable temperature, we will do what we call a reseal. This involves breaking down the existing sealant with thinners, thus eradicating the blooming, before resealing the driveway to the way it looked before.
These pictures are from a driveway we installed at a home in Farnworth in December, which due to the winter conditions developed some blooming. We recently resealed the concrete so it now looks as good as new.
12th July 2012