Excavate the site.
Stage one is the removal of your existing surface, usually done with the use of a Mechanical digger or hand held hydraulic tools. Almost always this rubble is then collected immediately from the site as we work closely with Browns Site Management who offer grab wagon service to clear away and remove everything. We try to never use a skip unless absolutely necessary and get the right permits etc.
During the same day unless on installations over 250Mt2 the finer grading and leveling is done. This is a skill our company pride themselves on. Using the lands natural lay for drainage and ensuring the finished installation is ‘puddle free’ is essential. Installation of steps, drainage and additional edging if requested is done during this stage.
If required existing manholes must be set correctly and must always be easily accessible. We use specialist trays to help to disguise these unsightly covers and set them to be at the right level.
This is ‘usually’ done on a separate day from the excavation but in summer on smaller installations it can be done same day. Our ‘Prescription Ready Mix Concrete’ sets us apart from others. We work very closely with our main suppliers ‘Absolute Concrete’ to ensure this prescription is perfect for the size / weather and style of driveway. Darrens 19 years industry experience is vital for this stage. We NEVER use volumetric suppliers as there is much debate about the validity and reliability of this concrete.
Specialist tools and skills are now vital to work the wet concrete, to ensure the levels are right and the tamping tool helps to bring the ‘fat’ to the top to assist with the pigmentation distribution and absorbtion. A ‘Roller Bug’ tool is used first then the tamping to aid with the next stage.
The application of this is a time served critical skill to ensure good, even and sufficient pigmentation of the concrete to your chosen bespoke colour.
This process allows minor levelling adjustment and also aids the absorbtion of the pigment into the surface of the concrete to provide a better colour consistency and distribution. Floating the concrete is another skill that all our staff have to spend approx. 2-3 years training to accomplish.
Using a wide range (The largest range in the Northwest) of rubber moulded mats to be placed specifically to introduce the chosen pattern onto the primed and prepared concrete surface. Timing and skill are essential during this phase and again a combined skill level of 10-19 years experience of our staff allows us to be excellent at this process, and we have won awards for our skill and quality.
A release powder is used when printing to stop the moulds sticking to the surface, this acts as a contrast for colour definition and protection of the surface. This requires washing off once the initial curing has occurred. Depenedant on size and weather and exposure this is usually done 1-2 days after installation and when our staff attend they will need access to water for use with our jet washer to do this.
Cutting of Expansion Joints.
During the washing process we will also insert expansion cuts to the installation in accordance with the Concrete Society guidelines. Theseare placed at specified widths to reduce the risk of hairline fractures and to allow for the products natural expansion and contraction during the seasons (microscopic).
This process is a natural process of the product and requires a few days usually 3-7 from installation dependent upon size, exposure, prescribed mix and climate. The driveway cannot be parked on but can be used for foot traffic. It still needs to be protected from staining, so no oils, tyres, etc.
The final visit is to apply an Acrylic Sealant. We work closely with our supplier PICS UK Ltd whom are industry leaders nationally and internationally to ensure this product is the best available. This sealer not only protects the surface but enhances the colour and contrast of this bespoke installation. During this visit final finishing touches are done and once this has had 48 hours to fully set the driveway can be used as normal with the peace of mind. It is now fit for purpose and has the look of a stunning work of high craftsmanship.