checklist blog

Ensuring a Quality Driveway Installation

Whether you’re installing a concrete driveway for your new home, or ripping up your old one to upgrade to a shiny new exposed aggregate one, there are a number of items on the installation check list that you should make sure your contractor ticks off, to guarantee a quality, long lasting product.

You can choose a skilled concreter as far as finishing goes, who will make your concrete driveway surface look great, but the differences between a Quality Project, an Acceptable Job and OMG What Has Happened often comes down to the little things within the concrete layers.

Excavation & Subgrading

machine blog

Lets begin with the dig out of your site. As a general rule of thumb when excavating, if you’re digging out good fill, sand or rock, then it’s perfectly fine for that to be excavated and sub-graded ready for the new concrete. On the other hand, if your contractor is encountering clay seams throughout the area, then a bit of further work needs to be carried out.

It is a good idea to remove these clay seam areas and replace them with good, solid fill. What will typically happen, is when the concrete is placed over the clay seam, it will sink from the concrete’s weight, causing the concrete itself to move and at best find a point to crack along, at worst….fail and lift/drop in that section completely.

Steel Installation

steel blog

From here we start working on the steel and expansion material installations that form the backbone of your concrete driveway.

Firstly, N12 starter dowels should at least be drilled into all cold joint trip points where the new concrete is meeting old concrete in a walk through area. These dowels are drilled into the existing concrete, then will be in the middle of the new concrete while it is installed, this will create a strengthening point which will not allow the new concrete to either drop or lift above or below the existing concrete level.

Next, Abel Flex expansion foam should be installed at all cold joints where new concrete meets old concrete. This material allows the concrete to shrink during the curing stage without pulling away from the adjoining hard surface, as well as, if the concrete does move at some stage in the future, it has a cushioning barrier where the tension can’t get too high causing the concrete to lift above the joint.

Then we move onto the slab mesh installation. Slab mesh should be installed throughout the entire area approximately 50mm from the edge of your new concrete, then chaired to a minimum depth of 50% of your new concrete.

We push onto the final necessity which are re-entry bars. These are made typically from N12 deformed bar and placed at all internal corners of your new concrete, which are usually a high percentage point of failure for cracking.

Concrete Installation

concrete pour blog

During your concrete installation, assuming that you have hired a skilled person on the screed and trowel, there is only one thing that you need to keep an eye on, water content.

The water acts as a separator for the the materials within and reduces strength throughout the concrete as a whole, as well as separating the matrix on the surface which is to be finished. Apart from not wanting to weaken your concrete for obvious reasons, if the surface matrix (mixture of sand and cement on the surface), is watered down and separated, it can a lot of the time cause your concrete to start dusting up and eroding. If this happens with plain grey concrete, it’s not the end of the world, as a simple clean and seal will fix the problem, however, if it happens with your exposed aggregate concrete, you may find yourself having stones start to let go and not be held in properly, leaving a terrible looking result over a short period of time.

Finishing Up

finishing blog

Control joints need to be installed on all concrete driveways. These control joints act to weaken a certain high percentage cracking line, which allows the concrete to find that weakened point and (hopefully), crack within the control joint that has been installed. Control joints can be installed either during the pour by tooling them into the concrete, or saw cut into the concrete after the setting process (typically 2 days after pouring).

It is also advised that you seal your new concrete, then continue to maintain the sealer every 12 months after installation. Sealer acts as a vapor barrier, stopping water from penetrating into the surface matrix of the concrete. Whilst also making it easier to clean, it stops the concrete surface from eroding away.

I hope you found some of this information informative. Have a chat with your contractor during the quotation process to make sure all these areas are not only included in your pricing, but are 100% to be installed.

It’s always better to pay a little more for a quality installation, rather than saving some money upfront, only to end up paying double down the track when things start to fail.

Covacrete Resurfacing – Style Choices

Decorative Covacrete Resurfacing is the process of taking your existing old, worn out concrete area, then through the process of overlay resurfacing, creating something sleek and stylish that will have your friends and family envious with your new concrete.

Typically we start out the process with any repair work that is required, fixing small cracks and depressions with grinding and patching products, also, if required, removing sections of the previous concrete that cannot be repaired and replacing it with new concrete before starting the process.

Once this is completed, the surface areas receives an acid bath and high pressure clean, removing some of the remaining existing surface, whilst also getting rid of unwanted dirt, mold and greasy particles.

From there we begin our actual resurfacing process, which typically the products use do not change, only the application in which they are applied. We generally base coat your existing area to make sure everything is nice and smooth for our new product, then we tape whatever patterns are required, then we spray our main colouring and border colours, followed by decorative applications of swirls, patching and flecks, finally finishing off with 2 coats of high grade sealer.

Standard Finishing Style

Our standard finishing style consists of the basics.

After repair work and base coatings are completed, a basic taping pattern is laid down, usually in a diamond or tile shape and a border if required.

The entire surface is then sprayed with Covacrete in the colour of clients choosing, followed by off setting flecks. Then after removing the tape revealing our pattern, 2 coats of high grade sealer are applied.

Contemporary Finishing Style

Our Contemporary finishing style consists of a little more intricate design, with more of an old fashioned type feel to the end result.

After repair work and base coatings have been completed, we then proceed with our taped patterns in the design our clients choose. These may consist of center pieces like a compass, borders and inserts from sides into the main surface area, these borders may also be a mock tile design.

We then proceed to spray the borders and center pieces with different colours than what is to be sprayed over the main area. We then tape these areas off ready for the main coatings of Covacrete.

The main surface area is then sprayed in a different colour of the clients choosing, followed by off setting flecks to add some depth and character, finally finishing off with removing all the tape and 2 coats of high grade sealer.

Modern Finishing Style

Our Modern finishing style is a blend of sharply contrasted colours and patterns, really adding that WOW factor to your area.

As always, after completion of the preparation work and base coating, we then begin our taped designs on the surface of the concrete. Using triangular patterns with small and large areas, blending and contrasting against different aspects of the existing area as much as possible, maybe adding a border if required as well.

From here we typically give the surface a double coating of the main colour that has been chosen, followed by anywhere from 2-3 other colours that we use for patching full areas, patch sliding out of individual corners of our triangles, and of course swirling designs itemising each triangular area to be individual from the next. Sometimes, flecking is also completed depending on the final results if the area needs to have a little depth added, then of course finishing off by removing our taping and 2 coats of sealer.

This design is a focus on team work and understand between our clients and our selves to come up with something that is truly unique. Although a plan is laid out for the colouring and basic designs, in the end this process comes down to the individual installer’s artistic approach and what he/she see’s needs to be done to work properly throughout the area.

You are hiring the installers artistic approach and ability more so than just someone who you think can complete the work.

Summary

At the end of the day, whichever style suits your fancy, you’ll end up with something that not only looks superb, but really elevates the feel of your property..not to mention increasing it’s value.

Keep in mind what I’ve outlined here for the basic fundamentals of each style, although their names generalise for an end feel to your project, there is no reason why we can’t mix and match these styles to create a style that is truly unique.

Have a chat with us soon about your project, not only are we qualified, professional and experienced installers of Covacrete Resurfacing, we like to give ourselves a few notches on the belt for having the artistic foresight to make any area be a world class design.

New Website Launch

Welcome to our new website!

title blog

After some database errors on our previous CMS, the decision was made to switch our site over to a more efficient CMS with a whole new design and layout. Unfortunately, we had to lose some of our content along this journey, but with a little support from our friends on Facebook and everyone else who follows our progress, I’m sure it won’t be long again until we’re ranking back up where we need to be. In this blog I’ve listed out below each section of our new website for you to take a look at in more detail.

Our Services Page

services blog

We have detailed out our main concrete and resurfacing applications that we provide to our clients. Starting at the old nuts and bolts plain grey concrete, right through to our top of the range covacrete resurfacing and epoxy coating options.

Our Services

Company News Page

news blog

On our News page we update content frequently with projects completed and their details, along with industry and company blogs. Feel free to source our RSS linked at the top of the page to stay up to date with our activity and completed works.

News Articles

Our Galleries Pages

gallery blog

Our galleries pages consist of photo’s and videos of our completed projects. We update these pages after each project is completed. We also share most of these pictures and videos on our Social Media that you’ll find linked at the top of the page.

Galleries

Colour Charts Page

charts blog

Our colour charts page consists of links to our Coloured Concrete and Covacrete Resurfacing colour ranges, along with our aggregate options for exposed projects. All charts are clickable to enlarge to assist decision making.

Decorative Charts

Customer Relations and Contact Information Pages

For our customer relations section, you will find a testimonials page with feed back from our completed works given directly to Home Improvement Pages (our main advertiser). These testimonials are verified independently through HI Pages and whether they are good or bad, they go against our name.

On our Terms of Service page you will find a basic disclaimer for our clients to read, understand and agree to prior to us commencing work. Only basic information, but it’s good for both client and contractor to be on the same page with all the finer details.

Last but certainly not least, the most important section of our new website. Wander on over to our contact page where you can either click the phone number to get in contact with us, or fill out our form to shoot us an email. We always look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you for taking the time to read through our first blog for the new website, I hope you enjoy the site as much as I have in building it. If you notice anything that could be improved, or would just like to leave your comments, please feel free to do so below.

Concrete Driveway Resurfacing Robina

Project Description

Location: Robina, Queensland
Project Size: 220sqm

Starting off with an old, worn out exposed aggregate base, our client was wishing for our modern style of finishing of covacrete resurfacing. After spending a few days cleaning and repairing the surface, we then proceeded to double base coat the concrete with our modified covacrete, creating a smooth surface to work upon. Sharply angled taped lines were then placed throughout and a double main coating of Ash Grey was sprayed over the surface. For our swirl and patching decorations, we used Light Bluestone colouring to really emphasise the highlights, then finished off with a Bluegum fleck throughout just to add some depth.

Exposed Aggregate Driveway Paradise Point

Project Description

Location: Paradise Point, Queensland
Project Size: 140sqm

This one was back breaking. With the builder finished and handover taken place, we came in to commence work on this project. With small sides which required new concrete pathways, they had been left extremely low and in need of 20m.cubic of 20mm road base to be hand shoveled and barrowed up the sides. After this was complete, we formed in the intricate garden beds, allowed for our falls and began installation of the new concrete. Plain grey concrete was poured up the side paths and rear water tank slab, then we finished off with Dalmation 50% aggregate from Hytec for the driveway.

Exposed Aggregate Driveway Riverlinks

Project Description

Location: Riverlinks, Queensland
Project Size: 170sqm

A new house build saw it’s completion ending with a new driveway to be installed. A relatively flat site, not a lot of machine work was required, so we went about our business preparing the site for new concrete. Formwork and steel requirements installed, we placed the side pathway and carport during the first pour due to access issues with the trucks, then finished off the remainder in Dalmation 80% aggregate and a good acid cleaning.

Concrete Driveway Resurfacing Nerang

Project Description

Location: Nerang, Queensland
Project Size: 130sqm

After installing a new concrete carport section for our client, we got onto work on the existing driveway, preparing it for it’s new surface. Existing was a few layers of old paint which previous owners thought was a good idea. After a couple of days of floor grinding and hand grinding, we had the surface fully stripped back to bare concrete and ready for our covacrete coatings. We decided upon a contemporary design, with 100mm border and 2/3 inserts in a tile pattern Chocolate Brown colour, then we sprayed the main area with Latte with off setting flecks of cream.

Plain Concrete Driveway Molendinar

Project Description

Location: Molendinar, Queensland
Project Size: 375sqm

After years of entering their property on an old dirt track, our client finally decided it was time to upgrade to concrete. Not a great deal of machine work was required on this project, so after a quick scrape, the form work was put in place and all the steel cut so as to be able to place it during concrete pour as the truck exited each section. Reversing the trucks down over this 125m long driveway was a bit tricky, but we managed and with the steel being placed whilst moving down, we had the concrete finished off by trowel machine and a broom.

Covacrete Resurfacing Driveway Logan

Project Description

Location: Logan, Queensland
Project Size: 390sqm

Existing on this premises was an old driveway consisting of exposed aggregate section and plain grey concrete sections. We began this project with a full heavy acid clean and pressure wash, then continued on with the minimal repair work required. The existing exposed aggregate sections were double base coated with modified covacrete, then finally the remaining plain concrete was single base coated with standard covacrete. Our client was only after a basic effect for the final look, so without any patterning, we completed 2 coats of Salmon coloured covacrete, finishing it off with off setting flecks and two coats of high grade acrylic sealer.

Concrete and Resurfacing Ormeau

Project Description

Location: Ormeau, Queensland
Project Size: 305sqm

Required on this project was installation of a plain grey concrete driveway, plain concrete pathways, patio and shed base. We manage to poured the patio, paths and shed base on the first day, then returned to complete the main driveway on the second pour. Waiting two weeks before returning, we then commenced to acid clean and pressure wash our surface ready for covacrete re-coating. Our client decided on an 800mm diamond pattern with 120mm border taped on. We then proceeded to spray with a single colour Charcoal for the main colour, with off setting flecks in Light Bluestone and White.