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    Concrete Sealant Myths Debunked

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    The truth about concrete driveway sealant

    Concrete sealants are coatings applied to concrete driveways and patios to protect them from corrosion.  They consist of a solid resin that is dissolved in a liquid or solvent.  There are many different myths when it comes to sealants.  Here we highlight the top 3 and attempt to debunk them.

    Concrete Sealant Myth 1.  Solids content is ALL important.

    No it isn’t – It is the choice of resin, its strength, quality, and most importantly, the performance capabilities of the chosen sealant that matter.  Matching the sealant for a particular purpose is the most important thing to consider.

    Concrete Sealant Myth 2.  Quoted coverage rates show you how good a resin is.

    No it doesn’t – Many manufacturers are somewhat ‘optimistic’ with their coverage rates.  The product will only spread as far as the liquid will go.  Coverage will also vary depending on the porosity of the surface and also the application method.

    Concrete Sealant Myth 3.  Polyurethane is better than Acrylic

    No, they are just different – Each have their advantages and disadvantages and are suited for differing types of project.  Polyurethane is very hard wearing and has excellent chemical resistance.  However it will not re-emulsify, so if there are any problems during installation it cannot be removed or recoated without mechanically abrading the surface or stripping with nitric acid – both are expensive & time consuming.  Acrylics are less hard wearing and chemically resistant, but they will re-emulsify, meaning if a re-coat is needed it can just be applied over the top.  Each coat cross-bonds which means it forms one solid layer no matter how many coats are applied over the years.

    If your unsure about the choice of sealant or how to reseal your concrete driveway, get in touch with us, we’re always happy to help.

    Spring clean your driveway – tips and tricks for success

    As readers of our blog will know, we try to keep our customers informed with all the tips and techniques they need to make the most of their pattern imprinted concrete driveways.

    In an earlier blog article we looked at the importance of maintaining and caring for your driveway. Spring is a perfect time for giving it a good clean – and we looked at easy ways to do this in our spring clean blog.

    Homeowners will be pleased to find that it’s simple to maintain their concrete driveway, especially when compared to tarmac and block paving alternatives. Simply wash it down with some soapy water and it will look like new! If the surface is really grubby, try a power washer to clear spaces between tyre marks and weeds.

    If your driveway has been in place for a while, you may need to reseal it – ideally this should be done every 2-5 years. We offer a complete driveway resealing surface and this offers a number of protective benefits, including prevented unwanted plant growth, and avoiding cracks.

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    A pattern imprinted concrete driveway reseal in progress

    Look to maintain your drive regularly too by avoiding any prolonged exposure of damaging substances, including chemical cleaners and de-icers, salt, grit and oil. Ideally use sand when you need winter traction, and wash away spills as they occur.

    These simple steps will ensure that your pattern imprinted concrete driveway remains a source of pride for many years to come!

    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

    CD Designs are Master Craftsmen!

    CD Designs join the coveted Guild of Master Craftsmen

    CD Designs join the coveted Guild of Master Craftsmen

    Hey there concrete fans! This month the CD Designs office is in the throws of a big party. We’ve got the bubbly and streamers out to celebrate the fact that we’ve been accepted into the Guild of Master Craftsmen! This is a real badge of honour for us, as it recognises the quality of our work, and the dedication we have to perfecting our craft, moving the quality of pattern imprinted concrete forwards and upwards. The Guild is the UK’s leading trade association, and lists its members in a database of reputable tradespeople found at www.findacraftsman.com.

    For getting this prestigious award, we have a major group of people to give thanks to — our loyal customers. Getting there hasn’t been easy — each applicant to the Guild is taken through a thorough checking procedure, whereby the Guild council of management requests confidential references from satisfied customers, and asks them the question — “would you be happy to recommend the applicant to a relative or close friend.” The references are considered, while the Guild checks to make sure other criteria are met. Only then can membership be assured.

    So thank you, to all our customers! We owe it all to you.

    Resealing Your Pattern Imprinted Concrete Driveway: Essential Maintenance!

    So, you’ve got to the stage where you’ve got a finished pattern imprinted concrete driveway or patio installed. It looks great, and you can sit back and relax. For the moment anyway – you should bear in mind that the seal is not going to last forever. We recommend that resealing be done every three to five years, depending on the exact materials used for the original work. Our experts are more than happy to advise you on the exact timescale for your particular installation.

    In general, before you reseal your pattern imprinted concrete driveway you should make sure that your driveway is clean. It doesn’t have to be clean enough to eat your dinner off, but you should definitely give it a good clean if it is heavily soiled, or if it has stains on it such as oil.

    Next up, make sure that your installation is perfectly dry before you start resealing, and is likely to be dry for a day afterwards to give the sealant a chance to properly dry and solidify. The summer months are a better bet for successful DIY resealing jobs: just keep an eye on the weather reports when you are planning your work!

    In terms of what sealants to use, there are a wide variety on the market. The main choice is penetrating sealer versus surface sealer. The former penetrates below the concrete’s surface to form a hydrophobic barrier against water and ice, and doesn’t affect the surface texture, whereas the latter forms a gloss over the surface. Penetrating sealers probably last longer and are a good choice if you don’t want to affect the look of the concrete. Alternatively, you might be looking for the glossy look a surface sealer will create.

    Complete Driveway Designs Ltd

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

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