The pattern imprinted concrete installation wash off is an important part of the overall driveway installation process. After a driveway area has been excavated, stoned up and had drainage installed (if necessary) then with weather permitting the imprinted concrete laying stage will have been completed. On completion of the laying stage the surface will have a grey powder residue left. This is ‘release agent‘ and has the consistency of chalk. This is essential during the laying stage as it ‘tones down‘ colour (providing a mottled or two tone effect) but also importantly allows ‘printing mats‘ to be lifted from newly laid concrete. Without release powder colour will lift from a driveway – and nobody wants that!
After the laying stage is complete, the job will be ready for the wash off after a few days. This allows plenty of time for the surface to ‘set‘.
Pattern imprinted concrete installation – Washing Off and what to expect
It’s a dirty job. There’s no denying it. All release powder left over from the laying stage will need to be swept into small piles and disposed of properly (not dumped into public drainage). The powder is very fine and can seep through gaps in doorways and windows; so it’s good practice to seal these with masking tape before a wash off.
- Then a pressure washer can be used to remove 95-98% of remaining release powder. As this is removed the colour of the newly installed driveway will be visible.
- Any recess manhole covers and channel drainage covers will need to be cleaned.
- Access should be checked by lifting manhole covers to ensure they have not been sealed in by concrete during the laying stage of the installation.
Pattern Imprinted Concrete Installation Wash Off – How it’s done
After the surface has been swept and lightly pressure washed, it’s time to complete the wash off.
The outside of the house and any garage areas, fencing and walling need to be washed down first.
Then gullies around a house need to be cleaned out.
Driveway surface needs to then be washed off at 2 square metre stages.
It’s important that pressure is kept low and the right distance is kept from the tip of the pressure washer gun to the surface. Too close and colour may lift with bare concrete showing through! If the tip of the gun is held too far away too much powder may be left and this will cause problems at the sealing stage.
The wash off stage is simply a wash off but care and attention is needed! No gun ho blasting!
Pattern Imprinted Concrete Installation Wash Off – Wire brush and making good
Once the driveway has been completely washed off it may be necessary to in fill in areas along the front of a driveway with cold lay tarmacadam. Any residue of concrete will need to be removed with a wire brush from the pavement.
Sloppiness during the laying stage will mean splashes of concrete and colour may be left against a house, wall, fence or garage surface. Whilst it may be possible to cover surfaces with polythene sheeting; this can sometimes cause more problems, especially if windy. So most important is care and attention. This includes not tipping barrows to forcefully near walls during the laying stage and not throwing colour too hard near walls. If not, splash marks will be left. These can be made good at the laying stage by removing with water. If not, a steel brush will be needed at the wash off stage.