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Cleaning & resealing imprinted concrete is required every 3 to 5 years
Cleaning & resealing imprinted concrete is normally required every three to five years, otherwise it is relatively maintenance free. How often your pattern imprinted concrete driveway or patio area will need to be done will depend on the usage and exposure to bad weather.
Solvent based acrylic sealant
When the pattern imprinted concrete was initially installed, the imprinted concrete slab is coloured and hardened and then should have been sealed with a solvent based acrylic sealant. Water based acrylic sealants should not be used on pattern imprinted concrete, neither at the original installation stage nor as part of a refurbishment exercise. The resin rich solvent based acrylic sealant becomes a sacrificial layer to protect the concrete below and as it starts to wear thin the concrete will look dirty and dull. The concrete will look as though it is starting to lose its colour.
As long as the original work was of good quality, with the correctly prescribed type of concrete, colour surface hardener liberally applied and any excess antique release agent properly washed off, the process of cleaning & resealing imprinted concrete is a relatively simple one. If however the surface appears patchy due to too much antique release agent being left on prior to it being sealed, problems with the original installation may need to be remedied prior cleaning & resealing imprinted concrete.
Cleaning & resealing imprinted concrete – The process
- The surface of the pattern imprinted concrete driveway or patio should first of all be cleaned of all dirt, debris and algae with soapy water, a fungicide and a power wash, and thoroughly rinsed with clean water.
- Any oil spillages or stains can be removed with a degreasing agent prior to applying the new sealant with a spray or a brush, though the concrete surface must be completely dry before sealant is applied.
- Sealant fluid should not be allowed to pool in the imprinted joints and it is better to apply several thin coats rather than one thick one so that it can thoroughly bind to the original sealer.
- Just as at the time of the original installation, the shiny surface sealant can also cause it to be quite slippery and this can be a particular problem for sloping driveways and on steps but as the shine diminishes so does some of the slippery characteristics of the surface.
- In order to temporarily improve skid resistance in the first week or so after resealing, small particles of micro-polyethylene (a type of plastic) can be added to the sealant to provide additional grip.
Pattern imprinted concrete driveway, before and after resealing