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    CD Designs Blog

    Essential and Nonessential Maintenance

    It is a given that your pattern imprinted concrete will need to be maintained. To what extent comes down to two different notions. These are whether the concrete requires essential maintenance or non essential maintenance.

    It is essential that your pattern imprinted concrete is sealed after the initial installation. This is to ensure that the product is fully protected. Upon deciding whether your product needs to be resealed it is important to judge whether you believe the concrete is no longer protected or whether you require a reseal for aesthetic purposes.

    Essential Maintenance: This is to ensure that the driveway is protected form freeze thaw cycles and traffic. When the seal has worn or the surface has been scratched it can be visibly seen as seen below on the left. It is essential to reseal your pattern imprinted concrete when the seal has completely worn away and the concrete is exposed and no longer protected. No seal = No protection, its that simple.

    Non Essential Maintenance: This is a matter of the aesthetics or visual appearance of the drive. There can be certain misunderstandings when it comes to the appearance of the drive. ‘Loss of colour’ does not necessarily mean the concrete is not protected. We use the term ‘loss of colour’ loosely as it does not mean that the concrete has lost colour but could be something as simple as weathering on the surface of the seal. This is an indication that the seal is serving its purpose. As you can see in the picture above on the right, the driveway is not damaged and the seal has not worn away or been penetrated, the seal has simply weathered naturally and ‘frosted’ over, in this case a reseal although not essential, has brought through the colour of the concrete underneath. Non essential maintenance on pattern imprinted concrete is much like waxing your car, the integrity of the product does not depend on it but if you want it to look good it is something you should consider.

    Concrete Mix Design

    The right concrete mix ratio can solve problems or it can create them. What we rely on in a concrete mix is one that is easy to place, strong enough to meet the needs of the application, durable for the life of the Pattern Imprinted Concrete, and that will look good when we are done with our decorative efforts.

    The design mix is of the upmost importance especially when it comes to Pattern Imprinted Concrete. There must be a happy medium in terms of water and cement ratio and also the types and amount of aggregates used. For us a wetter concrete with smaller aggregates will be easier to place, but with this the concrete upon curing will be less durable. Where as an extremely ‘stiff mix’ with larger aggregates, which may be the most durable concrete in the world would be near impossible to place.

    This video was taken at the time of an excavation which shows how detrimental not having the right design mix can be. The supplier of this concrete evidently didn’t take design mix seriously, the concrete appears putty like and is easily destroyed. In reality, with correct mix, the hammer should bounce off the concrete. To view the video follow the link to our you tube channel below.

    http://youtu.be/5qGKNVU-UTU

    Weathering

    Weathering is the effect of pollution and natural forces, such as frost, rain and sunlight, on a structure. With concrete, the main weathering problem is unexpected variations in the visual appearance of pattern imprinted concrete. Dust in the atmosphere will be deposited on the facade. The flow of rainwater will tend to wash some areas preferentially, resulting in significant differences in colour between clean and dirty areas and even the traffic of foliage across concrete can cause small scratches to the surface which over time can be mistaken for loss or change of colour. When your pattern imprinted concrete shows this weathering it is more often than not a case of the sealant being effected by the elements and not the concrete, showing that the seal is serving its purpose by protecting the concrete below. In large these are cosmetic issues and do not effect the usability of your driveway or patio, however, it is possible to regain the vibrancy of colour by resealing your pattern imprinted concrete. The video link below shows how weathering can effect your pattern imprinted concrete and how it can be easily rectified.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwAGS7PUepA

    Concrete and the silent evolution

    Off the coast of Mexico, a unique museum has been realised, with the aid of concrete sculpture. The Museo Subacuatico de Arte (MUSA) is an underwater sculpture park created by artist Jason deCaires Taylor, with the specialist materials helping to propagate coral growth. Based in the waters surrounding Cancun, The Silent Evolution is comprised of over 400 permanent life sized sculptures to form a complex reef structure for marine life to colonise and inhabit.

    Using concrete for his sculptures, Taylor explains, “By creating an artificial reef of sculptures, the ultimate aim of the project is to form a platform to promote the regeneration of marine life and to use sculpture as a means of conveying hope and environmental awareness”.

    One of the 400 Sculptures in 'The Silent Revolution'

    10 Tips For Hiring a PIC Contractor

    At Complete Driveway Designs we understand that it can sometimes be daunting when inviting prospective contractors to your home and often it is hard to know what to look for. Here we have prepared a guide of 10 tips for hiring a Pattern Imprinted Concrete contractor.

    Complete Driveway Designs Ltd

    The Yard, Stubbins Lane, Ramsbottom, BL0 0PT
    E:info@northwest-driveways.co.uk
    T: 01706 827180

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