Keeping it Sealed!
We all know that possibly the biggest purchase we will make in our lifetime is our home, and it is therefore no surprise that its appearance and maintenance come at further costs. Having a driveway installed, whether it be tarmac, concrete or block paving, is also a costly purchase so why not maintain it to make that purchase worthwhile.
Driveway sealing has many benefits - mainly the saving of thousands of pounds having a driveway replaced. I remember talking to someone who was looking at having their driveway replaced as it was almost twenty years old and looked tired and worn. I asked them how much they had been quoted for a new driveway and when they told me the price, firstly I realised I was in the wrong business and secondly, I wondered how many people were actually having their driveways replaced without even looking at alternative options such as a deep clean, colour restoration or colour change, and sealed.
I offered to take a look to see if there was anything we could do to avoid a new driveway being laid and save them a lot of cash in the process. To cut a long story short, we rejuvenated the whole block paving driveway with a deep clean, re-sanding, colour tint and a full re-seal. The end results were spectacular. Now I am not saying the driveway looked brand new, it was almost twenty years old, but I will say it didn’t look anywhere near that age. The weeds and moss were gone, the heavily worn areas that had been caused by vehicle traffic had been colour matched with the remainder of the driveway and the colour had been restored into the blocks, but even more importantly they were now protected from the elements, stains and weed growth.
Driveway sealing has so many advantages, yet I still am only able to find one potential disadvantage - the standard of the cleaning company that will seal the driveway. I had some dear old lady explain to me whilst quoting for her imprinted concrete driveway to be cleaned and sealed that it was sealed the previous year by a “couple of men that were door to door knocking to see if people wanted their driveway cleaned and sealed”.... STOP!! REWIND!! Door to door knocking - our pet hate. As we mention in our other blogs, 9 times out of 10 these people are nothing more than cowboys and conmen. They almost definitely won’t have liability insurance; you won’t have their company details or anyway of getting in touch with them and you certainly won’t be left with a warm fuzzy feeling. She went on to explain to me that they had quoted her £450 to have the work carried out and that they will only accept cash, and if that didn't ring alarm bells how about the fact that by the time she had driven to the cashpoint and back they were already sealing the driveway! That’s right, washed and sealed on the same day and more specifically, in the same hour. In the summer we allow a minimum of 48 hours for an imprinted concrete to dry after a deep clean and up to 7 days for block paving before we even consider sealing.
The weather plays an important role in the sealing of driveways. Reseal in the wet and the sealant will turn white, reseal when the ground is too hot, and the sealant will bubble. The weather has to be perfect and quite often in the summer we will start sealing around 5am when the concrete is still cool to touch. Our sealing of driveways starts in the spring and finishes towards the end of Autumn depending on the weather. Waiting until the winter is not an option as it will be impossible for the blocks to dry out following a deep clean.
When it comes to choosing the sealant there are a few factors to think about:
1. Is the manufacturer reputable? Look at the reviews online from customers that have brought and used the product.
2. Choose the right sealant for your driveway, there is no such thing as “one sealer does all” - each material requires different sealers.
3. Choose a manufacturer that specialise in sealers. If they do other DIY products such as fence paint, house paint, decking varnish etc you can guarantee their sealers will not be up to the job and will not provide the longevity of a manufacturer that solely specialises in driveway sealers.
4. Ask how long the sealant will last before it needs to be done again.
We will only use Smartseal products - we have been trained by the company and are registered installers of theirs. When we quote a potential customer, we always sit with them and talk them through all of the options and explain the process of the whole job and the timeframe it will take to complete. Once finished we leave the customer with an aftercare sheet and more importantly, they have the peace of mind in knowing we are fully insured, fully trained, and contactable at all times.
Learn more about our driveway services on our website where you can also request a free quotation. www.grays-ecs.co.uk/driveways
If you have any questions regarding these services, you can also call or email us and we will be happy to help. www.grays-ecs.co.uk/contactus