When placing the imprinting mats the first few mats are crucial, not only for the correct alignment but also in withstanding your weight without distortion.
From start to finish the imprinting stage should take no longer than 1 hour for 30 m2 i.e 3 m3 of concrete. In the summer the concrete laid can go from soft to a stage that’s too hard to print in this time, in the winter this can take 3 or 4 times longer.
Once you have begun, ensure that each mat has been printed thoroughly, using a metal stomper. As you lift each mat check for the depth of print and for imperfections. For hard to reach places a combination of a flexible mat, a small texture mat or texture roller and hand tools are used to fill in the gaps the rigid mat cannot print, the last thing you want is any bare patches in the print. When printing is complete double check that all hand tooling and touch ups have been done, as it cannot be done after the concrete has fully set.
In adverse weather conditions such as rain or frost, hessian or visqueen covers should be used to protect the surface after printing.
Printing should never be undertaken during periods of rain unless full protection can be erected.
*** A blog about what to do when a print has been affected by weather or other circumstances will be posted at a later date. ***