Stamped, Exposed Aggregate, Broom Finish and More
The driveway is a part of your house that can take a lot of punishment. Just consider it’s function for one – i.e. to have a heavy vehicle, or even vehicles, drive onto and park on top of it for hours or days at a time.
Add to this the fact that your driveway is always open to the elements – everything from baking sunshine through to ice, sleet and snow – and you can see why it makes sense to construct your drive from the best possible materials if you want a driveway that will stand the test of time.
What is it?
A concrete driveway is a versatile and durable addition to any household.
Depending on the installation method you go for (more on that below) there are a range of finishes available for your concrete driveway.
If you don’t require a fully styled finish, perhaps if you are laying a driveway within a commercial setting for example, then it is also perfectly viable to simply pour a driveway and leave it to cure naturally without any finishing touches.
Or as a good middle ground between full designed finishes and blank concrete you could also consider Exposed Aggregate Concrete, whereby the top layer of cement is treated and removed exposing the top layer of aggregate (the small stones and crushed rock in the concrete mix).
What are the Advantages?
Versatility and durability are the two key benefits of a concrete driveway.
Versatility – as mentioned above and outlined further below in the discussion about the types of concrete driveway available. Concrete as a building medium is exceptionally versatile, and allows for a wealth of design options to be employed.
Durability – concrete is also an exceptionally durable material, making it ideal for use in the construction of driveways. It is tough enough to stand up to constant driving and parking by heavy vehicles of all sorts. It can also stand up really well to every weather system on the planet, be that baking summer sunshine or freezing winter snow storms.
Maintenance is also minimal. The average driveway will need a yearly spray with a sealing chemical, which is a very easy procedure. Beyond that, just the occasional hose down with water and a scrub with a broom will suffice to keep your driveway looking it’s best for years to come.
What is Available?
Broadly speaking there are two types of concrete driveway for you to choose.
Concrete Block Paving (CBP) this technique for driveway installation first came about in the 1970’s and remains popular today, and with good reason. Whereas in the old days CBP only came with a few choices of style and color finish, today there are literally dozens of pre-stamped and pre-colored CBP designs for you to choose from. As this method makes use of precast concrete, installation can be a more straightforward but also more time consuming.
Pattern Imprinted Concrete (PIC) Unlike CBP, this method consists of a liquid concrete layer poured atop a suitable sub-base. The benefit of this system is that it provides a true blank canvas, with various colors and stamped designs added before the concrete dries. If you are looking for a truly bespoke design experience with your driveway then PIC could be the choice for you. However, whilst the installation is usually much faster than CBP it is also more complicated. It is therefore vital that you select the best possible contractor to handle the installation correctly. Your driveway is also likely to be out of action for longer with a PIC installtion, as it requires a good period of rest to cure (“dry”) effectively.
Whichever your choice, or if you’re unsure which is best for you, please feel free to contact us for a quote or even just a friendly chat to discuss your options.