If you’re thinking about different types of driveways for your new home and planning a new installation ready for next year, you may be wondering about installing a concrete driveway in bad weather.
After all, with the winter months arriving and the colder weather setting in, the chances are that whenever you book a new driveway installation for, your installers will be battling the elements, dealing with wind, rain, sleet and even snow.
Driveway installers are made of strong stuff and can withstand all types of weather – but can pattern imprinted concrete?
Should you wait for good weather conditions to install a new pattern imprinted concrete driveway, or…
Should you install a new concrete driveway in bad weather?
For us, as pattern imprinted concrete experts, the answer is pretty simple:
You could install a concrete driveway in bad weather, but you really shouldn’t.
There’s a reason we take a break from driveway installations during December. There’s a reason why we carefully plan all our fittings around the weather conditions. And there’s a reason why we tell all our customers that their driveway installation dates may get pushed back due to bad weather.
Because pattern imprinted concrete and wet, cold weather do not mix.
Why bad weather is bad news for pattern imprinted concrete
Every type – or grade – of concrete is made by combining different ingredients – different elements – in a chemical mixture. It’s a chemical reaction. A science.
And when you’re making chemical reactions, you have to control what goes into them.
That’s why every type of concrete is affected by external elements, like the temperature of the air and the moisture content in the atmosphere.
If it’s cold, concrete molecules will form in different ways. And if it’s wet – or there’s a lot of moisture in the air (even if it’s not raining) – the concrete mixture may not be as strong as it needs to be.
For solid foundations of concrete, this might not be an issue. Bad weather can be compensated for.
But pattern imprinted concrete requires a precise mix of specific concrete, and bad weather conditions can make it entirely unsuitable.
Don’t trust a driveway company who says they can pour and print concrete in bad weather
The long and short of it is that bad weather makes for bad concrete driveway installations.
Once installed, printed concrete driveways are one of the most durable, most long lasting, strongest types of driveways available…. But they need to be installed correctly.
They must be poured and printed during decent weather.
And that’s exactly why we have to avoid and push back installations during bad weather.
Bad weather means:
- Concrete won’t set correctly, particularly when it’s too cold
- Driveways may crack and fracture
- Prints might not stick or set effectively
- And the sealing process – that protects your concrete drive – will fail.
Whenever any moisture interacts with the sealing process, your driveway will bloom – with white spots and marks appearing across it.
So if a driveway installer claims they can effectively install pattern imprinted concrete in any weather, avoid them at all costs.
That’s not to say we can’t work during bad weather
Now we know what the British weather is like. We’re realistic. We know there’s no way to wait for perfect weather every time.
We can arrange all installations around the weather, and there’s lot of tasks we can do during bad weather – including groundwork, excavations and laying sub bases.
And in some cases, we may even choose to seal driveways in less-than-ideal conditions knowing it may bloom, because we want to get the drive protected against the elements.
In those circumstances, we always tell you what to expect and explain how we’ll return to re-seal a driveway in warmer, dryer conditions.
If you want to get a price for new driveway in one of the areas we cover and talk through the entire installation process…