Pattern Imprinted Concrete Driveway | FAQ

Pattern Imprinted Concrete Drive, Driveway, Paving and Patio Maintenance and Repair Specialists

Pathwise was one of the first to introduce pattern imprinted concrete technology to the UK nearly 20 years ago. Using our wealth of experience, Pathwise Driveways now specialises in the repair, maintenance and resealing of pattern imprinted concrete drives, driveways, paving and patios.

As an existing owner of one of these driveways or patios, you are already aware of the great benefits which are attractive to look at, weed free and easy to clean.

After a few years, you may start to look at your concrete imprinted surface and think it's looking a bit dull, there are some small hairline cracks appearing, an annoying stain, the edges have crumbled a little bit and you want it repaired and restored.

On this website you can find advice on how to cure the following problems: loss of colour, peeling/lifting sealer, surface whiteness, crack repair.

These are some frequently asked questions from our customers. If you would like to ask something more specific, please give us a call on 01633 530 144 or use our contact form.

The installation of all concrete products are subject to good weather.

Concrete Imprinted Driveway FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: Can the concrete be laid all year round?

A: The concrete can be laid all year round although the process will take longer in the winter when it is colder.

Q: Will the concrete fade or crack?

A: The colours do not fade but should they appear to look dull, resealing the concrete will brighten up the colours again. The specifications we use minimise cracking but if a crack does develop, it will almost always remain barely visible.

Q: Why are crack control joints required?

A: Crack control joints are recommended by British Standards and are cut in at regular intervals. They are cut to a depth of 25% of the slab. If a crack should occur, it would follow the direction of the weakened points so that the crack never becomes visible, and the crack control joint itself is filled with mastic.

Q: Is it a messy job?

A: The process can create dust particularly when windy but any dust will be washed away before we leave.

Q: Do Pathwise repair other peoples work?

A, Yes we repair concrete imprinted driveway which have been installed by other Companies

Q: What can Pathwise Driveway do about maintaining my driveway?

A, We can professionally clean, repair and reseal your pattern imprinted concrete driveway, paving or patio.

Q: How would you carry this out?

A, Using specialist chemicals, we breakdown the existing surface. We repair any cracks, chips or crumbling using matching colours and then apply a new sealant coating to protect the surface against colour fade and frost, giving it that "as new" look.

Q: How long does it last?

A, As with any new pattern imprinted concrete driveway or patio, this depends upon the amount of traffic and wear and tear. A regularly used drive may need to be resealed every 2-3 years, a patio that has infrequent use can last for 5 years before it needs a reseal.

Q: Where do you travel?

A, We cover the whole of the United Kingdom.

Q: How long will it take?

A, This depends upon how large an area is being restored. Typically, a patio can take a couple of hours.

Q: How long before I can drive/walk on the resealed surface?

A, Once the surface has been sealed and depending on the weather, it can be walked on within a couple of hours. A car can be driven on it after 2 days.

Q: Will the products you use affect my plants?

A, Certain compounds within the product are acidic. The purpose behind the product is to break down the sealant from the surface of the imprinted concrete. Every care is taken to ensure that break down is kept away from your flower beds.

Q: How long does a resealed drive last?

A, A regularly used drive may need to be resealed every 2-3 years, a patio that has infrequent use can last for 5 years before it needs a reseal.

Q: What services do I need to supply you?

A, We need an electrical supply and a water supply

Q: How much does it cost?

A, This depends upon the area and type of work required. All prices are calculated on square metres (m2). Extra items like manhole and Drive Channels to control water flow are charged at extra price

Q: What sort of things can you repair?

  • bleached by the sun
  • fading caused by the sun
  • Concrete which has lost colour
  • Concrete which has faded and gone dull
  • oil stains
  • frost cracks
  • crumbling edges

Crack Repair- Imprinted Concrete - Advice

Small fine hairline surface cracking can sometimes occur to imprinted concrete it happens just like most concrete surfaces, Most of these fine hairline cracks are just where the concrete has 'dried out' over time and will remain superficial.

Sometimes more obvious cracking can occurr due to the following examples of poor workmanship:

  • No expansion joints not being cut into the concrete slab
  • Expansion joints being either not positioned in the right places, or insufficient joints being cut or they have not been cut deep enough into the concrete to be effective to reduce cracking
  • Not enough concrete, or the wrong type of concrete being laid.
  • Insufficient sub base material has been used.
  • No Geotextile membrane has been used under the concrete

In many instances trying to repair fine hairline cracks will only highlight it and attempts at repair are not recommended.

If a repair is required Pathwise can supply a Crystal Seal Product which can supply fast drying, colour pigmented extra strength concrete crack repair compound which is (available in 15 colours).

For optimum results, mix the compound with imprinted concrete sealer to form a fast drying extra strong ‘paste’ that can simply be worked into the crack with an old credit card or something similar.

For fine hairline cracks, sweep crack repair compound dry into crack and seal over with imprinted concrete sealer

Loss of Colour Imprinted Concrete - Advice

Imprinted concrete is a very hard wearing product, if installed correctly, but unfortunately, the same as many other types of home improvements, the highest standards are not always adhered to by every company who install imprinted concrete.

Colour deterioration from imprinted concrete is generally caused by the following:

  • Surface not being regularly resealed
  • Not enough colour hardener being applied during installation
  • Long term wear from vehicles
  • Damage caused by rain during curing process
  • Wrong type of concrete originally used

All of the above can be solved by using the correct combination of imprinted concrete colour tints, imprinted concrete sealer and special thinners being applied.

Peeling Sealer- Imprinted Concrete - Advice

We sometimes get calls from people with imprint concrete where the sealer is 'flaky' or 'peeling' in places.

This is generally occurs for one of three reasons

  • The imprinted concrete sealer has been applied in high temperatures resulting in the sealer drying before it has 'keyed or 'bonded' to the surface
  • When the imprinted concrete driveway or patio was washed off not all the 'release agent' was removed, which when applied means the concrete sealer could again not properly bond to the surface
  • To much colour pigment has been added to the imprinted concrete sealer resulting in the sealer being unable to penetrate the concrete slab properly.

Often all the problems above would most visible on trafficked areas where the 'warm' car tyres will readily lift the sealer.

All of these sealer problems can be greatly reduced by 'breaking' and 'thinning' down the existing sealer with the correct amounts of sealer repair fluid being 'scrubbed' into the surface with a sealer broom.

(Amounts of sealer repair fluid required would be dependent on condition of existing surface, but average use would be approx. 3-4sq metres per litre)

Slippery Driveway- Imprinted Concrete - Advice

A common problem experienced by homeowners with an imprinted concrete driveway or patio is a slippery surface. This can often prove to be quite dangerous, and not always easily remedied using conventional methods.

Problems with slippery imprinted concrete driveways or patios generally fall into two categories

  1. A recently sealed surface, or when first laid, most companies will apply two coats of acrylic imprinted concrete sealer, this is correct, but may lead to the driveway being slippery for around 6 months. After this period as the 'resins naturally settle down' the problem will gradually subside, with no corrective materials needing to be applied.
  2. Too much sealer has been applied, on older driveways and patios, approx every 3-5 years a top up coat of sealer should be applied to keep the surface in optimum condition, sometimes if the sealer is applied more regularly, or to excess the result can be a slippery and dangerous surface.

NB: If something needs to be done short term to reduce the risk of someone hurting themselves by falling over, it is best to throw some sharp sand on the surface, rather than rock salt. This is because rock salt can result in the sealer becoming 'scratched' and damaged, allowing water ingress and surface deterioration.

How to solve the Problem: - Slip hazard on an imprinted concrete driveway or patio can be greatly reduced by using a combination of sealer repair fluid and anti-slip additive.

  1. Clean surface thoroughly with a pressure washer and allow to-dry.
  2. Take an appropriate amount of sealer repair fluid and add 1 to 2 tubs of anti-slip additive and stir thoroughly.
  3. In dry conditions, with an air temperature in excess of 55 degrees apply solution liberally, leave for 1 minute and then’ work' into the surface with a broom, until the existing sealer goes 'sticky'. This process will thin down and dilute the existing sealer and allow the anti-slip additive to integrate into the sealer resulting in a 'sand paper' type finish to the surface of the imprinted concrete.
  4. Allow to dry for 24 hours before vehicular use, can be walked on generally between 1-2 hours. Do not apply any further sealer; any difference in the surface finish should rectify itself with one month.

Surface Whiteness - Imprinted Concrete - Advice

A common complaint with imprinted concrete is a surface whiteness, salty, misty look, on 99% of occasions this has occurred for the following reasons.

  • The concrete slab was not fully dry when the imprinted concrete sealer was applied
  • The sealer became wet through rain or dampness before it had properly dried
  • Or occasionally the wrong type of sealer was applied

Our sealer repair fluid will solve this problem. Once applied and worked into the existing imprinted concrete sealer with a sealing broom the repair fluid will 'breakdown' the sealer, release the moisture remove the whiteness and reset.

A fresh coat of Crystal Seal imprinted concrete sealer will now give the imprinted concrete that just been laid look once more.

(Dependent on degree of whiteness the sealer repair fluid should applied at an approximate ratio of 3- 4 sq. metres per litre)

Steps to Re-Sealing - Imprinted Concrete – Advice

If your imprinted concrete is in good condition, then normally two coats of imprinted concrete sealer being applied with a sealing broom is all that will be required to leave the surface protected and looking as good as new.

The steps are easy to follow

  • Power Wash your imprinted concrete driveway or patio
  • Leave to dry and ensure good weather is forecast prior to treating with imprinted concrete sealer
  • Apply two coats of imprinted concrete sealer (adding of Crystal Seal Anti Slip Additive is recommended) leaving at least 2 hours between each coats.

By applying two coats of Crystal Seal 'Silk' imprinted concrete sealer it should be at least 3-5 years before any further sealing is required.

Imprinted Concrete Sealer

Imprinted Concrete is the hardest wearing and most durable surface available for driveways and patios in the UK today.

Laid properly the only maintenance required is a coat of imprinted concrete sealer every few years, but layed poorly or incorrectly, or not in the right weather conditions problems can and will occur.

Pathwise have over 15 years 'hands on' experience working with imprinted concrete sealer and imprinted concrete materials.

Whatever condition your surface is currently, with a little bit of work and attention to detail and the right investment in the right materials, there is no reason why it cannot be restored to look nearly look as good as when first laid.

Crystal Seal Imprinted Concrete Sealer

The application of Crystal Seal imprinted concrete sealer is widely regarded as the best way to protect domestic and commercial paving installations from deterioration.

Imprinted concrete sealer protects the paving from loss of colour, weeds, algae, staining, moss, grime and general wear. Crystal Seal range of imprinted concrete sealer is available in 5 litre and 25 litre drums

All Crystal Seal imprinted concrete sealer is a clear, UV light resistant stable material designed to penetrate the porous surface of imprinted concrete.

Crystal Seal imprinted concrete sealer will penetrate and seal the surface of the imprinted concrete enhance the colour and provide a barrier to contaminants and surface growth.

Special Properties

  • Reduces Surface Wear
  • Ultra-violet light and weather resistant
  • Inhibits the growth of moss and weeds
  • Increases lifespan
  • Enhances the colour of the imprinted concrete
  • Facilitates the easy removal of oil and other contaminants
  • Easily applied

Please contact us on 01633 530 144 for more information or use the enquiry form.

Contact Us

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