These articles will lay out the general principles of how to lay imprinted concrete from start to finish. If you are an established fitter and looking to expand your knowledge, further blogs will be available focussing in more detail on each aspect of the process, sharing the tips and tricks that the experience we at Elite Crete have picked up over the years. However we advise that everyone read over this as it may still contain new information.
PHASE 1 – PREPARING YOUR BASE
The finished product is designed for driveways taking the loads one would normally expect to have on a residential driveway.
Preparation of the base is the same as for normal concrete, which is to remove vegetation, soil and loose material, and replace with a suitable hardcore – MOT type 1 or similar. Then compact with a roller or vibrating plate, leaving enough room or depth for 100mm of concrete and taking care that should you abut a house or property, the finished level of concrete complies with building regulations and is a minimum of 150mm below the damp proof course.
Prior to the arrival of the ready mix concrete, ensure that all levels and shutters are in place. Make sure that adequate falls are installed to ensure all water will run off to suitable areas and no pooling will occur.
In warm conditions drench the hardcore or lay visqueen over it, this will give you more time before the concrete becomes too hard to print.
A word of warning – normal concrete practice allows for visqueen to be laid prior to concrete being placed, however, this tends to hold water within the concrete, so when the imprinting stamps are applied the stamping action can cause water to rise to the surface and destroy the imprint quality.
When evaporation is slow on a cold winters day, do not lay visqueen under the concrete.
***More detailed information on concrete, and printing in both extremes of temperature will be discussed in further blogs.***