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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.

    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

    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.

    Maintaining and Caring For Your Driveway

    When you’ve spent a hard-earned chuck of cash on a great looking pattern imprinted concrete driveway, you’ll want to make sure that it lasts as long as possible, so you can enjoy it for years or even decades to come. There are a few simple maintenance tips to follow for success: let’s have a look shall we?

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    Pattern Imprinted Concrete Driveway Reseal

    First, make sure it is sealed properly to start with, with a sealant suitable for the specific surface you’ve got. This is necessary to protect both the colour and the structural integrity. You should also ask your contractor about crack control joints before work starts – properly positioned and cut crack control joints will minimise cracking and other structural problems. These are especially important around weak points, for example when the driveway has to go around a drain or manhole.

    You also need to reseal your driveway at regular intervals – this should be about every 2 to 5 years, but what’s best for you will depend on a number of aspects of the installation. Talk to us to get exact advice on what you need! We even offer a complete resealing service, so you don’t have to worry about a thing. Amongst other things, regular sealing can stop unwanted plant growth – pattern imprinted concrete suffers from this a lot less than other types of ground coverage like paving, as there are no natural joints. There is still a chance however, as moss can grow into pores, and other plants can exploit weak points, which may lead to cracks. Reseal regularly to avoid such problems.

    Take care also to avoid prolonged exposure of your driveway to any corrosive substances that might cause damage. Substances that you’ll be likely to find near your driveway include oil, chemical de-icers and cleaners, and grit/salt. It’s better to use sand to provide traction in winter, and to wash away any such spills.

    Tree Roots And Driveways

    Trees bring a lot to a property, and having some nice mature trees in your front or back garden can even increase the resale property of your home. But as lovely as trees may be to look t, they can cause a few problems.

    Tree roots can cause issues with driveways, as they can cause ground movement leading to cracking. They can also make excavations difficult. So it’s important to take into account any potential issues with mature or maturing trees if you’re thinking of having a pattern imprinted concrete driveway installed.

    If you have any concerns about tree roots, talk to your contractor. If they’re on the ball, they’ll be able to pick up on any tree root issues (or any other issues) that you aren’t in a position to recognise. They should be able to advise you on any necessary steps to deal with tree roots.

    If you’ve got deciduous trees instead of evergreen, you’ll be well aware that, around this time of year, clearing up leaves can become a real chore. Cleaning dropped leaves off pattern imprinted concrete is considerably easier than raking them up on a lawn or a loose driveway like gravel or slate chippings.

    Complete Driveway Designs Ltd

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

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