CD Designs Blog
Installing a concrete driveway is a fairly major project, but if you’ve got a skilled contractor like CD Designs on the job it should be head-ache free and completed quickly. There’s a detailed description of the installation process on this page of our website, but let’s take a quick look at some of the tools commonly used for laying pattern imprinted concrete driveways.
Site excavation is the first stage of installation. This entails the removal of your old drive surface, and digging down to the necessary depth in order to lay the sub-base that the pattern imprinted concrete to sit on. This is done with old fashioned shovels, and, depending on the project, modern mini-diggers etc. The spoil we excavate is removed, and then we set boundaries for the fields of concrete and fill the excavation in with sub-base material.
Then the concrete is poured to fill the boundaries we’ve set. The concrete is smoothed and screeded, usually using trowels at first, then exotically named tools like bug rollers and bull floats. These processes and tools are designed to ensure that the concrete has an even surface, with no exposed aggregate. Colouration pigments and any other necessary admixtures are also applied to the concrete at this stage. The edges of the concrete fields can be finished using special Arris trowels; the main area of the concrete is finished by flat floating.
Then it’s time to imprint the concrete with your chosen pattern or patterns. Because by this stage the concrete will have begun to harden, a release agent is applied to make sure it doesn’t stick to the textured mats used for imprinting. These modular mats are what imprint the pattern onto the concrete. Hard mats are used for large areas of imprinting, with soft “floppy” mats used for edges and non-square areas. The mats are laid on the surface of the concrete and then tapped with a punnel to imprint the pattern onto the setting concrete.
After the concrete has had time to set, its surface is washed, more often than not with a power washer, and then sealed.
So there you have it: a combination of tools and tasks you’re probably familiar with, combined with some you’ve probably never heard of before. Welcome to the mysterious world of pattern imprinted concrete!
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22nd March 2010