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    CD Designs Blog

    Spring Maintenance

    Fully Resealed Driveway

    Fully Resealed Driveway

    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.

    Pattern Imprinted Concrete Driveway Maintenance Advice

    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.

    Blooming Maintenance

    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.

    A Driveway With Blooming

    A Driveway With Blooming

    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.

    Partway Through A Reseal

    Partway Through A Reseal

    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.

    Fully Resealed Driveway

    Fully Resealed Driveway

    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.

    Beware of oversealing your pattern imprinted concrete driveway

    Take care if you choose to do your own pattern imprinted concrete driveway reseal. When we use the term reseal, we do so with an air of caution. The term can be taken too literally when customers reseal their own pattern imprinted concrete. Disastrous consequences are seen all too often when the owner of a pattern imprinted product does not properly prepare the surface, or take into account the existing seal on the drive. We have witnessed the effects of seal being lavishly brushed on top of seal and re-applied on numerous occasions until the sealant is so thick and layered that areas begin to flake and pluck.

    Like any work, time and care must be taken to prepare the surface, firstly by breaking the existing sealant down and suspending it with a xylene based thinner, thus giving the opportunity to ‘bond’ and judge the amount of sealant present on the drive. When we have judged how much sealant is present, we are then able to decipher how much seal is required to be reapplied, using the same xylene based thinner to thin down the sealant depending on the need for it.

    Not only do disproportionately sealed drives pose the threat of flaking and plucking, often taking the surface of the colour hardener with it, but they can become hazardously slippery. This can also, when the driveway is sealed in the correct manner, open up a proverbial ‘can of worms’. When the xylene is applied, whether it is an attempt to work it into flaked areas or to try and breakdown existing sealant, it can cause the copious layers of seal to ‘curdle’ and rub off with ease, as seen in the accompanying video. So when sealing your pattern imprinted concrete make sure you do so in the correct way, otherwise you could be merely concealing a problem or creating a whole new one.

    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.

    Complete Driveway Designs Ltd

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

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