First impressions count so when viewing the approach to your home or office, check on the condition and look of the concrete or textured aggregate surface. If the overall look is tired and dated, or if there are potholes and uneven surfacing due to damage from vehicles or the weather, it is time to call in one of Melbourne’s professional concrete driveway contractors. There are several good contractors in the Kew, Brighton and Surrey Hills area who will install excellent and durable concrete driveways and patio finishes, but it is important to know how to choose the right professional.
Equally important is knowing which kind of concrete paving materials are available and if they are going to be right for the design of your property. In Part 1 of this article, we are going to be looking at the different types of concrete paving available. Part 2 will review the selection criteria required when choosing a concrete driveway contractor, including the pros and cons of not selecting a professional to do the job.
Different types of concrete driveways
Concrete is very often the first choice for a driveway because of its durability, its value for money and the fact that it can be produced in a range of finishes and different colours. A textured finish is carried out by the concrete finisher and can often be divided into the following:
✔ Float and Trowel Finishes
✔ Stamped Concrete
✔ Stencilling Concrete
✔ Broom Finishes
✔ Rock Salt Finishes
Float and trowel finishes are patterns that are made on the concrete prior to its setting hard, and different textures are created depending on the tool used to make the pattern. Steel trowels give a smooth or medium finish but wood floats will offer up a coarser texture depending on the preference of the client. Stamped concrete refers to concrete that has been designed to look like bricks, tiles, slates or flagstones. For an alternative to decorative stamping, stencilling concrete may also be an option, or for a simple non-slip surface, finishing off with a coarse bristled broom will give you a textured finish. Finally, water softener crystals can be embedded into fresh concrete, a roller then presses the crystals into the concrete, and once set the surface is washed so the crystals dissolve, leaving behind small holes.
Staining concrete surfaces is a technique that is fairly new in the world of installing concrete driveways but there are two main types of stains, namely surface colourisers and acid-etch stains. Chemical or acid-etch staining delivers chemicals to the upper surface of the concrete causing a colour reaction with the lime content of the concrete. Surface colourisers deliver a stain pigment that is deposited in the pores of the concrete.
Now that we have reviewed the different types of concrete driveway materials available, we are going to be turning our attention in Part 2 of this article to choosing the right contractor to install it. Stay tuned for this article which you can check out in 2 weeks time.
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