Tiny Backyard? Here’s How To Create An Entertainment Area

Hanging out with a group of friends and family beside the barbeque seems to be a quintessential aspect of Australian life. However, considering the increased difficulty in buying a home – let alone one with a large backyard – this ideal vision is not always possible for everyone to achieve. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have an entertainment area at all! Today, our experts in driveways in Point Cook have put together five top tips to make the most of the backyard space you’ve got.

 

Think about its main purpose

Defining the main function of your backyard can help give you a clear guide on the design elements you can use to enhance the space. For instance, if you are hoping to use your backyard mainly for dining, realising this fact will eliminate a lot of confusing possibilities and provide clarity on the kind of vision you hope to achieve. Instead of fussing over your garden (for example), knowing you’d like to concentrate on creating a dining area means you can invest in that first and work from there.

 

Seating is key

The most important part of any entertainment area is seating. After all, entertaining friends and family is about coming together in a shared space and enjoying the company. There are a few different ways you can get inventive with seating plans, even when you have limited space:

  • Make the low walls that support raised garden beds multifunctional by using them as seating
  • Create a seating nook in the corner of the garden, rather than in the middle
  • Choose seating that can be folded away or stacked when not in use
  • Add a freestanding pergola to add an extra sense of space.

 

Vertical landscaping

Adding greenery to your entertainment space can help it to feel well-considered, full, and welcoming. But perhaps you are forced to consider ditching the garden in place of the entertainment area. A small space means you have to choose, right?

Not necessarily. Designing a creative and unique garden doesn’t have to be costly – and it doesn’t have to take up your whole backyard, either. Vertical landscaping is the perfect solution for adding a touch of greenery to a small backyard. And if you train an espalier, you can essentially grow any tree or plant vertically, from fruit trees to ornamentals (such as camellias), so you aren’t just limited to vine plants.

 

Trick the eye into believing there’s more space

Deepening your garden space is easier than you think. It’s all about optical illusions! While using these tricks obviously doesn’t affect the actual amount of space available, they can help to create the aura of spaciousness that is often associated with an entertainment area.

In order to construct the illusion of more space, you could:

  • Use mirrors in your garden (especially a long mirror that is partially behind some foliage, as this can make your backyard look fuller and livelier)
  • Paint walls white for a summery, spacious look (the same rules apply to interior design, too).

 

Use pathways

Concrete pavers and stone pathways can help draw the eye to your main focal point. Pathways can also add dimension to the illusion of extra space in a backyard, since they encourage the eye to follow their individual shapes, rather than taking in the backyard as a whole.

Plus, pavers and pathways are functional! Whether you have a vegetable patch that needs to be regularly accessed and cared for, or a dining area in the middle of your backyard, a pathway is a stylish and practical landscaping choice for any garden.

 

Stylish pavers and concrete driveways in Point Cook

Prestige Concrete Services is your number one port of call for quality residential, commercial and public hardscaping (including concreting). Whether you are looking to remodel your small backyard, or you want to discover the best driveways in Point Cook, our industry experts will be able to guide you to a cost-effective and professional concrete solution.

With over 20 years of experience in the concreting industry, our specialist team has extensive experience in concreting high-traffic areas in the home and in public spaces. These areas include pool surrounds, driveways, entertainment areas and pathways.

To find out more about creating stylish and long-wearing driveways in Point Cook and Melbourne’s West, enquire online or chat directly to us on 0411 440 157.

All About Slate Impression Concrete Driveways

When you think about choosing a concrete driveway, you’re likely to think of exposed aggregate, stencil concrete or even coloured concrete. But have you considered slate concrete? Our Melbourne concrete contractors recommend slate concrete for those who want a luxurious, sleek driveway. In today’s blog, we’re telling you everything you need to know about slate concrete, from what it is, to five of its benefits.

 

What is slate impression concrete?

Slate impression concrete is a type of concrete that replicates the look of traditionally more expensive slate stone. It is perfect for driveways because it is so durable and hardwearing. This means it is suitable for constant traffic.

Slate impression concrete is typically two-toned or textured like a real stone, which is what makes the concrete look realistic. Because of its texture, slate impression concrete is more anti-slip than plain flat concrete. This is another reason why slate impression concrete is great for multiple areas of the house, such as:

  • The driveway
  • Paths
  • Pool surrounds
  • Patios
  • Courtyards

 

How is slate impression concrete created?

Stamping mixed concrete with a textured mat that replicates the pattern of slate is how slate impression concrete is created. This is why slate impression concrete may also be known as ‘stamped concrete’. The stamping is done while the concrete is still soft and moldable after being placed. This concrete setting stage is known as the ‘plastic state’.

Once the concrete has fully set, it will be pressure washed and sealed. The sealant is what is going to make your driveway last for years to come.

 

5 benefits of slate impression concrete

Our Melbourne concrete contractors recommend slate concrete for a number of reasons. The benefits of slate concrete include:

  • It’s durable. Concrete is extremely durable and when you choose the right Melbourne concrete contractors for the job, it tends to last around 25-30 years. Keeping your concrete sealed also helps greatly in preventing discolouration and fading.
  • It’s a low maintenance option. Slate concrete operates much like ordinary concrete, in the sense that it is extremely low maintenance. With concrete (unlike asphalt), you won’t have to worry about grass and weeds poking through. All you need to do is ensure the driveway is sealed. In terms of weekly maintenance, a quick sweep or power wash is all that’s needed for a well-maintained driveway.
  • There’s a large colour range. Many clients opt for darker colours of slate concrete, and this might give you the false impression that slate concrete is only available in these colours. In reality, there is actually a wide range of other colours you can select. Don’t rule out slate concrete if you do not want a dark concrete driveway. Instead, investigate your other colour options, from warm earthy tones to cooler hues.
  • It adds a touch of elegance to your home. Slate impression concrete is associated with grandeur and timelessness for a reason: it looks sleek, stylish and sophisticated. The textured concrete adds interest to the driveway without being flashy or over-the-top, which is perfect for those who love taking a minimalist design approach.
  • It’s a cost-effective driveway option. Do you want to achieve the classy, expensive driveway look without forking out more than you bargained for? Then slate impression concrete is for you! Since slate impressions look like real stone, you can easily achieve a luxurious façade on a budget.

 

Melbourne concrete contractors

The most important thing you need to know about concrete jobs is that you need to choose the right concrete contractor for the best results. Hiring a contractor with many years of industry experience (and a great portfolio) is the number one way to tell what kind of job you are going to get for your money.

Prestige Concrete Services have over 20 years of experience in the concreting industry. We offer quality hardscaping solutions (such as driveways, paths and pavement) for all kinds of clients – from residential to commercial and Government. We offer all kinds of concreting, including:

  • Slate impression concrete
  • Exposed aggregate
  • Coloured concrete
  • Stencil concrete
  • Slabs for extensions

Want to speak to experienced Melbourne concrete contractors? Talk to us today. Call us on 0411 440 157 or fill out the enquiry form to get a competitive quote on your concreting needs.

Our Simple Guide To Designing A Child-Safe Pool

Summer is finally on its way once again! For many, the warmer weather brings the urge to have a cooling dip in the backyard pool. Some homeowner builders or renovators might even be thinking of installing a brand-new pool in time for summer. If that sounds like you, before ‘jumping into’ the design process, you must ensure you know some pool safety guidelines. In this blog, we are going to run through six tips to design a child-safe pool in time for summer – from installing pool gates to finding the right concrete contractor.

 

Your legal responsibilities

In Victoria, there are actually a few laws in place to help regulate the safety of residential pools. For example, one key law is that a pool barrier, such as a pool fence, must surround any pool deeper than 30cm. A building permit is required before you can install a pool, spa, or barrier, and your pool will be subject to safety inspections.

Below are six things you can do to improve the safety of your household pool.

 

#1: Level out the surrounding garden beds

The finished ground level is defined as the ground level, or other permanent stable surface, upon which the pool barrier will sit. In order to have a finished ground level that complies with the fencing requirements (stated below), you need to have a leveled surface. This is because uneven surfaces are not the most consistent over time.

For example, if your fence has been installed on top of a raised garden bed, the growth of the garden bed over time can cover the bottom of the fence. Overall, this ‘reduces’ the height of the fence.

This is easily avoidable. Simply remove the surrounding garden beds and/or reduce the height of garden beds and ground levels so that the barrier is at least 1200mm above the ground on all sides of the fence.

 

#2: Cover fixed climbable objects

Fixed climbable objects are immobile fixtures close to the pool barriers or fences that children can use to climb over the gate, such as:

  • Taps
  • Power outlets
  • Branches or shrubs

To prevent children climbing on these objects, the items must be appropriately covered or trimmed. For example, cover a power outlet or tap with an angled plastic shield that cannot be climbed, and trim the shrubs.

 

#3: Install pool gates

In Victoria, pool gates, barriers or boundaries must be 1200mm or greater in height above the finished ground level, with the non-climbable zone (NCZ) measuring 900mm. The barriers and/or gates must also be self-latching and self-closing.

 

#4: Check any nearby windows

Any windows that might provide access to the gated pool area need to be checked as well to prevent children climbing through them. Again, there are a few changes you can make to your windows in order to make them child-friendly:

  • Fix safety screens in front of them so children are unable to climb through
  • Fix a permanent window chock, a rivet or screw to stop the window opening more than 1-metre wide.

 

#5: Remove movable climbable objects

Movable climbable objects are mobile objects that children can move and use to climb over pool fences, and into the pool area. Some examples of moveable climbable objects include:

  • Ladders or stepladders
  • Movable benches or other furniture
  • Pot plants
  • Buckets
  • Eskies
  • Pool pumps

There are two ways to prevent children from using these movable objects to access the pool:

  • Make the movable objects immobile. Secure furniture (especially furniture that is close to the pool gates) and ensure chairs or tables cannot easily be moved by a child.
  • Remove any other objects (such as empty pot plants and ladders) that can be used to climb over gates. Keep them in a shed or in an area that is at least a few metres away from the pool barrier.

 

#6: Invest in exposed aggregate

It’s no secret that pools can be slippery places – especially when your pool is surrounded with a low-grip landscaping material, such as wooden decking or flat concrete. Of course, this is a huge safety hazard for children. In the excitement of splashing and running, the last thing you want is a serious injury to occur due to a slippage.

Preventing slips is actually quite simple: just surround the pool area with exposed aggregate concrete. The textured stones that are mixed into the concrete create the anti-slip technology that will help keep the kids safe around the pool. It’s an added bonus that exposed aggregate is modern, trendy, and recommended by any concrete contractor for pool areas.

Before you invest in exposed aggregate, make sure you’ve found a good concrete contractor. At Prestige Concrete Services, we’ve mastered the art of concreting over our 20+ years of experience as a professional business. If you’d like to know more about exposed aggregate, speak to a concrete contractor at Prestige Concrete Services today.

6 Ways To Use Concrete In Your Home

 

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When it comes to designing your new home you want something that is not only aesthetically pleasing but comfortable, affordable and long-lasting. It can be a lot to juggle trying to find the balance between practical and stylish. Concrete is quickly becoming the standard for modern and stylish homes and with good reason. It’ s budget friendly, easy, and can be used for most parts of your home. Can’t quite picture using concrete in your living space? Don’t worry! In this blog, we are going through ways to use concrete in your home.

 

It’s more versatile than you think!

When you think of concrete the first thing that usually comes to mind is the big old flat grey footpath. Well, concrete can be much, much more than that. For starters, with the right splash of paint concrete can turn from mundane grey to a specimen of modern design. You can also get concrete in a variety of colours, washes and patterns. So if you wanted a rustic mood to your home you can go with a brassy finish. If you’re aiming for something more modern, or to bring for light into your house, you can deck your house with white concrete. With the right process, it can also be textured, from grainy to smooth. People have also managed to make scented concrete! Concrete is a versatile medium to work with when it comes to designing your home, don’t be afraid to use it.

 

Concrete benchtops and islands

 

The right concrete bench can work as a statement in your bathroom or kitchen. They are also a lot more durable than other materials and are heat resistant. You can go for a more minimalist look with a classic grey, white or washed bench top. If you are looking for something a little more lively you can get stained concrete that can resemble landscapes. The right contractor, you can also get your bench top embedded with interesting materials. You could design a mosaic made from glass, stones, shells, tile or found objects.

 

Furniture made from concrete

 

While this may not seem extremely comfortable, you’d be surprised just how stunning concrete furniture can be. Because concrete is easy to mould it can be made into pretty much anything. A few concrete stools may go nicely with your concrete bench top. A concrete coffee table could centre your living room. This kind of furniture definitely has to be used strategically because they are so heavy and eye-catching.

 

Concrete walls

The best thing about having concrete walls is that it’s great for trapping heat and keeping out the weather. If you live in a place with temperamental weather, getting concrete is great protection from harsh winds and hail. It also withstands fire and it practically soundproof, which is great if your new home is next to a busy road. Depending on what you want you can get concrete walls or just a concrete finish. The concrete finish is basically cast slabs or a special kind of concrete paint. It’s perfect for feature walls! A plainer concrete feature wall can both dramatic and minimalist — plus it will make art pop. If you’re a little bolder, you can make that feature wall a piece of art itself!

 

Concrete floors

 

Concrete floors are not only sleek and stylish they are incredibly low maintenance and budget friendly. When it’s sealed it is basically stain proof and can sustain a beating. Depending on how the concrete is mixed you can make an interesting pattern and colours. You can also make your floor one-of-a-kind with acid stains and stamps. If you’re worried about the floors being too cold during winter, you can opt for heated floors. You can to decide to install heated floors before you lay out your concrete floors.

 

Backyards and gardens

 

Concrete footpaths can add structure and depth to your garden, but that’s not all concrete can do you’re your garden. Have you considered going grass free? A courtyard with well-placed garden beds can take out the stress of mowing your lawn and give your outdoor area a modern feel. If you’re more a lawn kind of a person, don’t forget about concrete furniture! Also, concrete planters can give your garden a contemporary edge. Even better, use concrete to fill your walls with flowers or herbs.

 

Are you ready to transform your home into a concrete piece of art? Prestige Concrete Services has a range of residential services, including exposed aggregate, coloured concrete, stencil concrete and slate concrete. Get in touch by calling 0411 440 157 for more information or a quote today.

Comparing Asphalt And Concrete Driveways

It’s often up to personal preference when you weigh up asphalt and concrete. Some prefer the look of asphalt continuing on from the road, while others want their driveway to reflect the design of their home. Either way, it is important to know the pros and cons of both asphalt and concrete before you make your final decision.

 

Asphalt

If you’re looking into installing asphalt for your driveway, you might be enticed by its competitive price factor. However, it’s important to know the pros and cons of asphalt before diving into the decision.

The pros:

  • It’s dark. Asphalt doesn’t offer many choices in terms of colour and texture (although, depending on your contractor, you might be able to play with limited coating colours). However, this can also be a good thing. Asphalt is usually black or a similar dark shade, meaning stains from tires or oil will not show as easily as they do on concrete.
  • Faster installation process. It is the speedy installation process that makes asphalt so ideal for use on roads. In comparison to concrete, which takes around a week before it’s ready for use, the curing process for asphalt takes little to no time (usually a few hours).
  • Easy to repair. It’s a fact that asphalt cracks easier than concrete. However, in the case that this happens, repair work is easy and can be targeted to the problem area. In contrast, cracks on concrete will mean the entire slab needs replacing.

The cons:

  • Not as durable as concrete. The difference between concrete and asphalt is the adhesive. In concrete, the adhesive is cement, while tar is the adhesive for asphalt. While tar is less expensive than cement, it is softer and more susceptible to degradation than its counterpart. This is why asphalt is not as durable as concrete.
  • Struggles to perform in hot weather. The hot Australian sun creates a difficult environment for asphalt to perform as well as concrete does. During the scorching summer days we are so used to, asphalt can expand and soften due to the heat. It also heats up intensely in this weather. Instead, concrete keeps its shape in hot weather and even remains cool enough to walk on while barefoot.
  • More maintenance required. While asphalt might be less expensive to install, you’ll find yourself spending money on repair, resurfacing and sealants. You will also have to put more time and energy into ensuring that the edging is done so that grass and weeds do not grow on your driveway. This is all on top of the basic sweeping and power washes required to maintain any driveway.

 

Concrete

When opting for concrete, there are a number of pros that outweigh the cons, which makes it a popular choice for driveways. And while concrete may be more expensive to install in comparison to asphalt, you’ll find that you will be saving money in the long-run maintenance costs.

The pros:

  • Maintenance is a breeze. You’ll find it easy to maintain concrete because it is such a long-wearing, strong material for a driveway. All you need to do is sweep debris or power wash the driveway to keep it looking brand new.
  • You have lots of choice. Compared to asphalt, which is quite limited for choice, there are endless colour and texture combinations available for concrete driveways. You can opt for a sand-coloured exposed aggregate as easily as you can choose a black stencil concrete pattern.
  • It’s durable. Unlike asphalt, which can crack, concrete will not do so if experienced concrete contractors have installed it. Concrete tends to last around ten years longer than asphalt.

The cons:

  • Concrete can stain. Concrete is often installed in light colours to complete home facades. However, the light colour makes your driveway vulnerable to stains over time. To avoid this, simply sweep debris regularly and use a stain remover for the tougher stains.
  • It’s hard to repair. Unfortunately, if the concrete is poured incorrectly, there is a chance it can crack. Concrete driveways older than 20-30 years are also more susceptible to traffic damage. In the case your driveway needs to be repaired, you’ll need to replace the whole slab, which can be costly. Hence, it’s important to get in touch with experienced concrete contractors rather than newer businesses.

 

Looking for concrete contractors?

Prestige Concrete Services are experienced concrete contractors based in Werribee. With our 20+ years’ experience, you can be certain that our concrete jobs are completed perfectly. Our concrete contractors can help you achieve the perfect concrete driveway – just give us a call on 0411 440 157.

The Main Pros (And Cons) Of A Concrete Driveway

When renovating or building a home, the last area you want to go wrong is the driveway. It’s the first thing people see along with the façade of your home, and you need it to be reliable enough to support constant traffic. It’s not a cheap decision either, but the right choice could see your driveway lasting for years to come. Today, we’re investigating some pros and cons of a concrete driveway, which just might be the perfect option for you.

 

The Pros

Easy to maintain

Maintaining a concrete driveway in comparison to asphalt is easy. You will not find yourself needing to weed the concreted area and the most you’ll need to do on a fairly regular basis is sweep or power wash the concrete.

You can also speak to your concrete contractor and find out how often your concrete needs to be sealed. While concrete may initially be more expensive, in the long run you’ll find yourself saving both time and money due to its low maintenance.

 

Strong and long-wearing

When choosing a material for a driveway, you want to select something that is suitable for high traffic. That is, you want your driveway to be able to withstand cars constantly coming in and out, as well as people walking over it, without showing signs that it has frequently been used.

If you’re considering concrete, then you’re in luck: the durability of concrete is incomparable to other driveway materials. It is the longest-lasting, strongest choice for a driveway. A good concrete driveway installed by a trustable concrete contractor can last upwards of twenty to thirty years before showing any signs of wear and tear.

 

Lots of choices

When it comes to concrete, you will be spoiled for aesthetic choices. There are many types of concrete driveways, including coloured concrete, exposed aggregate and stencil concrete.

You’re also spoiled for colour choice. Often, the colour that works best is harmonious with the colour scheme of your home, adding a sleek touch to the façade of your home. But that also doesn’t mean you need to settle for a single colour. With stencil concrete, the pattern you choose can allow for multiple colours and shapes to keep things interesting. The options are truly endless with concrete driveways.

 

Weather-friendly

Concrete is extremely versatile for a number of weather situations. Choosing concrete in a light colour is best for areas that typically experience constant sun, as light-coloured concrete generally stays cool in hot weather.

Alternatively, any type of concrete is good for winter, as it’s easy to maintain despite the constant mud and rain. Just keep resealing your concrete according to the advice of your concrete contractor and it will be effective for any kind of weather (even snow)!

 

The Cons

Susceptible to stains

Often, concrete is coloured lightly and this can make your concrete driveway susceptible to gathering stains over time. Oil and tire marks can be difficult to remove at times. However, there are plenty of stain removers available on the market that are specifically for concrete driveways.

If left for a long time, dirt and debris can also stain your driveway. This is especially prevalent in autumn and winter, where leaves and mud can fall onto the concrete while wet. Once they dry, they are likely to leave stains. However, sweeping away debris before it dries can easily prevent these stains.

 

Difficult to repair

While concrete will not need repairing for a long time, in the case that it does need to be fixed, it’s not an easy (or cheap) process. In comparison to pavers, where a repair is as simple as replacing the broken piece, concrete driveways need to be entirely redone. The removal and replacement of the entire concrete slab can be costly, time-consuming and inconvenient.

 

Can crack

Unfortunately, choosing the wrong concrete contractor can mean that the concrete is more likely to crack. Pouring the concrete correctly is a skill that is mastered by expert concrete contractors. Contractors that are newer to the business are not likely to have perfected the skill.

To avoid cracks in your concrete driveway, it’s therefore important to choose a concrete contractor that has an established business and years of experience. Prestige Concrete Services has both. With over 20 years’ experience and with big-name clients such as VicRoads and Deakin University, you can be sure our jobs are reliable. Don’t hesitate to contact us today for your concreting job.

5 Benefits of Exposed Aggregate

Not sure what the big deal is about exposed aggregate? At Prestige Concrete we are experts on all things concrete and there is a reason more and more people are choosing to use exposed aggregate for their businesses and homes. It offers a stylish modern alternative for you pool sides, patios, walkways and driveways. It is also a practical and cost effective choice for your home or business. On this blog, we are going through the key benefits of exposed aggregate.

 

What is exposed aggregate?

 

First of all, let’s go over what exposed aggregate is. Exposed aggregate is simply concrete with the top layer removed to reveal a decorative surface made of small pebbles and stones. There are a verity of different styles of exposed aggregate with different colours, shades and rock size and shape. You can get granite, ornamental types you can get are quartz or even a mosaic of sparkling recycled glass crystals. If you want to start finding the right exposed aggregate for you, you can browse different types of exposed aggregate available in our gallery.

 

Safety

 

Exposed aggregate can give can make your driveway or footpath a little safer. If you get a rougher exposed aggregate you’ll reduce chances of slipping during rainy weather. Exposed aggregate can withstand heavy traffic, so you won’t have to worry about tripping over cracks. It is also resistant to skids because of its textured pebble surface that has a little bit of extra grip. It is ideal for pools as the sides are bound to get wet and with exposed aggregate slips and falls are less likely to happen. Also, if you have a sloped driveway then you should consider exposed aggregate to reduce the chance of accidents.

 

Long lasting

 

Because exposed aggregate is weather resistant and it is built to last so you won’t ever need to replace or repair it. Because it is skid resistant you won’t need to do any heavy duty cleaning. Also, it is able to withstand heavy traffic making it extremely durable. Of cause, this is if you maintain your exposed aggregate properly which is simple. To keep your exposed aggregate pristine, crack free and long lasting you only need to seal it every couple of years.

 

Low maintenance

 

Exposed aggregate doesn’t require a lot of maintenance, the main thing you need to do to keep it long lasting is to get it sealed every couple of years. Because exposed aggregate is textured it hides stains well and you won’t even notice that it’s there. Cleaning exposed aggregate is pain free and extremely simple. All you need to use is water. So you could just hose down your driveway every now and then. You won’t have to worry too much about cracking because the exposed aggregate is weather resistant.

 

Stylish

 

Exposed aggregate is a cost-effective way to add a bit of colour and elegance to your home or business. Why go with something plain and drab when you can have texture and colour? Exposed aggregate comes with a variation of gradients, pebble type and size, and a spectrum of colours for you to select. The more ornamental types you can get are quartz or even a mosaic of sparkling recycled glass crystals. You can even stencil patterns to give your footpath or driveway more taste or flair. It is also versatile. Whatever your colour palette or architecture style there is a kind of aggregate that will compliment it. You can browse different types of exposed aggregate available in our gallery.

 

Easy Construction

Exposed aggregate is easy to install and the process is non-invasive. With the right contractor getting exposed aggregate will be stress free and breezy. For concrete experts, exposed aggregate is quite simple to build and requires fewer materials. It is not recommend for beginner DIY builders to try and install exposed aggregate because there are several steps involved. Don’t worry, because it’s easier and quicker to install hiring a contractor is often cost effective.

 

If you are considering using exposed aggregate, Prestige Concrete has a range of concrete services for residential, commercial and for local government. We can help you find the right style for you. Get in touch by calling 0411 440 157 for more information or a quote today.

3 Ways To Protect Your Driveway In Autumn

With harsh winter conditions just around the corner, now is the perfect time to go over your driveway maintenance. Whether you have an exposed aggregate driveway, a stencil concrete alfresco or concrete footpaths, you should have an organised maintenance schedule that will save you time and money in the long run. And with the typical mix of wet and dry conditions in autumn, there are whole ranges of pointers to consider. Today, we’re specifically going over how to protect your driveway and concreted areas during the autumn months.

 

#1: Regularly sweep leaves

Let’s face it: autumn leaves falling on the footpath or on your driveway can make a beautiful picture. But what’s not so beautiful are the stains that leaves can, well, leave.

But why and how exactly do leaves stain concrete? Well, the pigments in leaves, pinecones and other seeds that fall from trees start to decay in autumn, when leaves fall from the trees sustaining them. When the pigments decay, they release tannins, which are dyes. These tannins then react to the alkaline that is found in concrete, settling into the microscopic pore-like holes that lie on the surface of the concrete. This is what causes a stain.

The easiest way to prevent leaves from staining your driveway is to sweep them away before staining occurs. But if you find that you didn’t have time to sweep before a rainy day, don’t fret. Sweeping leaves from a driveway that is still wet will minimise the chance of staining.

Sweeping might not be ideal for everyone. It can be time-consuming, and considering how quickly piles of leaves can accumulate, it needs to be done fairly often. If sweeping regularly sounds unachievable, consider your other option: using a leaf blower.

If you do choose to use a leaf blower, ensure you use it carefully. For example in some council areas, blowing leaves onto the street is a fineable offence as it can clog the gutter and contribute to pollution. Instead of taking a risk, be safe and blow the leaves into shrubs for mulch or onto the lawn, whereby a lawn mover will vacuum the leaves as it goes.

 

#2: Remove furniture

As winter approaches, you’ll want to consider removing any furniture and pot plants from your driveway, alfresco and concrete footpaths. Pot plants and furniture are known to leave stains, especially when they come into contact with water for prolonged periods of time.

You should also be removing and storing barbeques, grills and other metallic items (such as tools) that can rust. Metals prone to rusting and corrosion that you should be wary of include:

  • Iron, and alloys containing iron
  • Copper (although, copper can take up to 20 years to corrode to the point where it turns green)

While some products claim to be rustproof, you should still try to avoid leaving them outside in the rain. All it takes to stain your concrete is one bolt that hasn’t been rust proofed. Rust and corrosion stains are typically deep brown or green and can be stubborn to remove.

It may sound inconvenient to move your items, but you will probably find that you won’t be using them unless they are undercover anyway. Therefore, storing them in the garage or undercover during the wet season will also protect them from being damaged by harsh conditions.

 

#3: Reseal your concrete

Sealing your concrete is another good way to prevent damage to your coloured concrete or exposed aggregate driveway. Summer months and warm days can cause cracks and chips in your concrete pavement. These faults, while they might seem small, can actually affect your entire driveway by the time winter comes around.

Winter conditions, for example, can magnify the extent of these seemingly small problems. Thin layers of ice melting and rainwater can seep into the cracks, eventually causing the concrete to expand. This results in even more cracks, making the initially small problem a large and costly one to fix.

The obvious solution to this issue is to reseal your concrete before winter. You’ll want to invest in a sealant that is breathable (meaning that it allows moisture to escape). This will prevent the issue of water getting into cracks since it repels surface water while also allowing water underground to evaporate. An example of a breathable sealant is a siloxane/silane blend.

 

Prestige Concrete Services have over 20 years’ experience in providing a range of concrete services – from decorative paving for residential areas to a hard and long-wearing commercial driveway. With us, you can rest assured knowing that our work is of a high quality. If you want to inquire about our work, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 0411 440 157.

 

Step-By-Step: How Stencil Concrete Works

In our previous post we explored the advantages of stencil concrete for your home’s driveway. But how exactly does it work, and how do your choices come into play in the process? We answer some questions you might have about the process in this week’s blog.

 

Step 1: Applying the stencil pattern

The first step the team will follow is applying the pattern you’ve chosen to wet or existing concrete. This is usually a two-person job, as one person needs to hold the stencil roll, while the other holds the opposite end.

The stencil is then plastered to the surface using a stencil roller. The crew can only work a section at a time to ensure pattern continuity – similar to wallpaper – and smaller sections make this easier.

 

Step 2: Adding colour

Before the concrete is dry, the crew will then add colour hardener to the slab using a bull float. This will be the colour you agreed on beforehand.

 

Step 3: Imprinting texture

If you’ve chosen a textured stencil – such as one with a stone-like appearance – then the texture will be applied once the concrete is firm enough to withstand the weight of the roller but soft enough to be imprinted.

Before this happens, the surface will be treated with an antiquing release agent, which mimics the natural tones and shades of the given texture.

 

Step 4: Removing the stencil

Just as laying down the stencil is a two-person job, so too is removing it. One person stands on either end of the stencil and lifts it straight up. Once the stencil has been lifted, the pattern is revealed!

 

Step 5: The cleanup and seal

The cleanup typically occurs a day or two after the job has been completed. The crew will clean the release agent off with a high-pressure hose and saw cut the control joints. The last step in the process is sealing the work!

 

Stencil concrete for your home

At competitive prices without compromising quality, Prestige Concrete Services offer a range of residential concreting services. Now that you know how stencil concreting works, give one of our concrete contractors a call on 0411 440 157 to discuss your ideas today!

4 Reasons Why Stencil Concrete Is For You

If you’re looking for a way to lift the design of your home, you may not have considered redesigning your concreted areas – including your driveway, footpaths, patio, or around the pool. Today, we take a look at a few reasons why you might consider stencil concrete as an aesthetic yet practical option for design.

 

1) Cost-effective

Stencilled concrete is applied on top of existing concrete by resurfacing. Because of this, it is a much quicker and cheaper job compared to replacement, where the existing concrete would be removed.

Concrete stencils can also be made to imitate various textures and materials such as stones, rustic bricks and tiles (to name a few). This means that you can achieve the desired look for your outdoor space without breaking the bank.

 

2) Long-lasting

Because it sits above existing concrete, stencilled concrete tends to be hard-wearing and long-lasting. It is stronger than typical concrete and does not impact the quality of the underlying concrete.

Provided you maintain the stencil concrete by resealing, the concrete work will also be stain-proof. It is recommended that you reseal 3 months after the initial placement.

 

3) Slip-resistant

Safety is a point that can often be overlooked when discussing design. However, when you are thinking about driveways, footpaths, poolside areas, or simply any general outdoor area, it is essential to factor in safety.

Stencil concrete comes with the option of selecting various finishes. Choosing the correct one to suit your space will ensure that the concrete is slip-resistant, making the area safer. You need to speak to your experienced contractor in order to determine the right finish.

 

4) Looks great

You have a lot of choice when it comes to stencilled concrete. From the various patterns to the colours and textures available, the hardest choice you’ll be faced with is what looks best! Stencilled concrete can be made to look traditional, modern or more luxurious depending on your taste and the façade of your home.

 

At Prestige Concrete Services, we pride ourselves on the range of services we offer, including stencil concreting. With past clients over our 20 years’ experience including Deakin University and VicRoads, we ensure the job is done right and for the best price. Give one of our concrete contractors a call today on 0411 440 157 to discuss your options for stencilled concrete.