[Posted on 03 Apr 2013 by Ashley Aguirre Teekell]
Concrete driveways aren’t what they used to be. Many homeowners are finding that their Concrete Driveway Houston does not need to be utilitarian, but it can now have curb appeal, and a look that stands out among most other driveways. The driveway might look just like cobblestones, brick, granite — it may even look like wood. It might be full of designs and patterns and be a variety of vibrant colors. Certain designs can even have a design that is distinct to the owner such as a coat of arms, or a family crest.
All of this is the result of improved technology when it comes to laying concrete, either indoors or outdoors. Indeed, even a plain, gray Concrete Driveway Houston can be refurbished. How is a concrete contractor able to make a concrete driveway look so appealing?
Resurfacing and Engraving
If a Houston homeowner has a plain concrete driveway, the contractor can augment it by covering it with a cement based overlay. After this, the overlay can be colored and patterned. The driveway might be engraved so that it looks like whatever the homeowner wishes. During engraving, the professional uses special equipment and tools to etch the concrete. Engraving is permanent and the process is often followed by the staining of the concrete, though a driveway can be engraved after it’s been stained. Depending on the size of the driveway, the weather and other conditions, the engraving can take a day or two or can last a week.
From then on, the driveway won’t need too much maintenance. The homeowner might want to seal an engraved driveway that’s been stained and keep salt, oil and grease away from it as much as possible. Patterns can be sawcut into old concrete and scored into concrete that’s freshly poured. Sawcut lines can be just about any sort of geometrical shape then decoratively stained.
Concrete can also be stamped. This helps the concrete to mimic brick, cobblestone flagstone, Yorkstone, ashlar stone, limestone and natural stone arranged in many different patterns. The concrete driveway can even be made to look like pinewood.
Stamped, patterned concrete is a bit more expensive, but it’s certainly more cost-effective than a driveway made of natural granite pavers or blocks. It’s also a job for a professional, as the stamped pattern must be placed correctly the first time and must be a permanent installment. If a color hardener is added to the stamped concrete, it can become tougher than regular concrete. After the stamped concrete is installed, the contractors will also seal it, which not only keeps out dirt, oil and grease that are common with most driveways but will make it easier to clean.
After the initial installation, the homeowners only task is to ensure that salts are kept away from the driveway and apply additional sealer if the color begins to dull. The concrete may also benefit from an application of floor polish or floor wax from time to time.