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Frequently asked questions

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Tarmac FAQ'S
Driveway Refurbishment FAQ's

Driveway Refurbishment FAQ's

1. Should I try the service even though I think my driveway is beyond saving?
2. I have a Pattern Imprinted Concrete Driveway, how often does it require resealing?
3. When is the best time to start the service?

4. Do I have to be at home when Constructive call?
5. I have few loose blocks and several broken ones. Does your company replace them?
6. Can we see examples of your work?
7. I have a few cracks in my concrete path; can you fill them before you clean and seal the area?
8. Why don’t you recommend cleaning with a pressure washer?
9. I have noticed from your plans that you offer a discount! Is this a genuine discount?
10. How long does the sealant last?
11. After the drive has been sealed, how easy is it to clean off new oil or dirty stains?
12. How long, after giving the order will it be before you can start work?
13. Why can’t you clean and then immediately seal the surface?
14. Is cleaning my driveway a messy job?
15. Is it ordinary sand that is installed between the blocks?
16. My block paving has been down for years and has never been sealed before. Is it alright to seal after so long?
17. Can the sealant be installed all-year round?
18. Is there an anti-slip surface available?
19. Would you come and just clean my driveway?

20. Do you require both water and electricity points?
21. Is it harmful to pets and plants?
22. What if I already have a Gardener?
23. Will the treatments address moss, lichen and algae?
24. I would like a quote for the services you offer, what do I do next?
25.My driveway is flaking and starting to get pop-marks, will the sealer help?

Should I try the service even though I think my driveway is beyond saving?
Definitely. Homeowners are constantly amazed to see what they thought was a driveway beyond saving, transformed into a beautiful paved area.

I have a Pattern Imprinted Concrete Driveway, how often does it require resealing?
Many Pattern Imprinted Contractors portray the image that this type of surface is maintenance free. They often do not tell their clients at the time of installation that their driveway, path or patio will require resealing between every 2- 4 years. This is generally down to substandard service and the fact that in a competitive market, they feel that they may lose the sale due to customers feeling it could be expensive. We strongly disagree with this method of selling! It offers bad service and surely if a driveway begins to lose colour in 3-4 years time the customer will not recommend that contractor to friends and family! We believe this is bad for business. Leading Manufacturers of Pattern Imprinted Concrete such as PICs U.K. strongly recommend a heavily trafficked area should be resealed every 2 -3 years or so. This will then help maintain both the colour appearance and the structural integrity of the concrete, without the correct sealant the concrete will lose colour and over time could even lead to a costly replacement driveway. Please visit our paving shield program for further details on this maintenance requirement.

When is the best time to start the service?
There is never a bad time to start creating a beautiful driveway. You can adopt the service at any time.

Do I have to be at home when Constructive call?
The majority of our customers on our maintenance plans are not at home when we call to treat their driveways. Since all our vehicles and operatives are self sufficient we can carry out the treatment as long as we have access to the driveway and an outside tap. If you wish to be in when we call to treat your driveway, we will do our best to accommodate your request.

I have few loose blocks and several broken ones. Does your company replace them?
Normally with broken blocks, we will replace them by uplifting a matching existing block from an inconspicuous area of the existing driveway, this will then be replaced with a new block. This helps keep a uniformed colour match throughout the driveway. Loose blocks can also be rebased.

Can we see examples of your work?
Yes. We have a number of selected driveways for you to view. Please ask for further details of the driveways within your locality.

I have a few cracks in my concrete path; can you fill them before you clean and seal the area?
Yes, we can refill them using an epoxy resin mix. However, often there is a problem where the repaired cracks can appear more visible. Our recommendation is to leave them, the path or paving is highly unlikely to move or crumble. We can discuss this further.

Why don’t you recommend cleaning with a pressure washer?
We DON’T use a pressure jet washer, because over time this may cause damage on block surfaces by distributing the bedding sand beneath the block, hence ultimately resulting in costly paving failure. Our cleaning machine acts on a rotary system which covers a larger surface so cleaning is not streaky and the work is done much quicker, at the same time protecting the block from damage.

I have noticed from your plans that you offer a discount! Is this a genuine discount?
All discounts we offer are genuine savings. Our approach is to obtain business in a selected area on a weekly basis. By grouping our installations we save money, and this way so do you. This discount may not always be offered and we are strict on the period of the acceptance time.

How long does the sealant last?
The life expectancy of the sealant varies for several reasons. Firstly, the quality of the sealant used and secondly, how much in the way of overhanging tree branches and foliage is adjacent to the surface. Dependent on these factors the sealant can last from 2-8 years and sometimes longer. The main factor is the frequency of use of the surface and which sealant you choose to have applied.

After the drive has been sealed, how easy is it to clean off new oil or dirty stains?
Normally after sealing, bad stains are much easier to clean with a normal garden pressure washer, however a stain removal solution can be used, any oil and grease should then be gone. The urethane finish treatment has the highest resistance to oil stains especially the two coat matt or wet look system.

What about grass and weed growth?
When Pattern Imprinted Concrete is laid correctly, weed growth should be eliminated. However on block paving, weeds often grow in the surface joints, this can be resolved by using a weed killer twice a year and keeping the surface area sealed.

How long, after giving the order will it be before you can start work?
We endeavor to start work within 14 days unless otherwise agreed. However this can vary according to the time of year and weather conditions.

Why can’t you clean and then immediately seal the surface?
After using the high pressured rotary cleaner, we need the surface to dry- this may take a day or two. This is because the sealants cannot be sprayed or brushed onto a damp surface as a milky film may occur under the sealant, this is known as ‘blooming’. A damp surface can lead to poor adhesion and discolouring.

Is cleaning my driveway a messy job?
If your driveway has not been cleaned for a long time, yes it is likelythat you will see a lot of dirt on the day the driveway is cleaned. We endeavor to ensure all traces mud and debris are removed the same day using a pressure washer. For larger debris we will remove this from thesite completely.

Is it ordinary sand that is installed between the blocks?
Some block surfaces have had ordinary building sand used as jointing sand. This is incorrect and a sign of poor installation. We always use kiln dried sharp sand for jointing. This type of sand binds together better and the urethane acts as a sand binder joining the sand grains together. Ask to view a sample of treated sand.

My block paving has been down for years and has never been sealed before. Is it alright to seal after so long?
There’s no problem, cleaning and sealing a drive of any age. The older the block the more porous the surface is, although more sealant is required. Good to old drives, in our experience. They come up so well after cleaning and sealing.

Can the sealant be installed all-year round?
Yes with dry and warm conditions, the job will take between 3 – 5 days and, during winter, when it can be wet and damp, between 5 – 10 days

Is there an anti-slip surface available?
The sealers we use are specially manufactured to minimise slipping, as they protect you against lichen and moss.We offer anti-skid solution which will give you the added protection. See details on Rhino –Grip.

Would you come and just clean my driveway?
Yes we will just clean a drive, path or patio. Enquire about our range of plans.

Do you require both water and electricity points?
Our equipment is powered by a diesel generated motor. We do require a cold water supply. If a garden tap is available, that will suit our purpose fine.

Is it harmful to pets and plants?
As we spray near garden areas, our installer uses a protection board which prevents the sealant from overspray and protects plants and garden area. We take extra precaution around ponds and water areas. During the initial drying period it is essential to keep children and pets away from the installation, we recommend (approx) 4 hours. Some of the sealants used will release fumes, but the smell will usually disappear within 6 hours or so.

What if I already have a Gardener?
Many of Constructives customers already have a gardener who can generally tidy up the exterior gardens. However we are not a gardening company! The work that Constructive carry out specialises in paving which requires expertise and experience within that area, we will not carry out any of the other workthat your gardener does. If required, we would be happy to discuss the work we intend to carry out with your gardener.

Will the treatments address moss, lichen and algae?
Our treatments and “driveway beneficials” are specifically geared to addressing moss, lichen and algae problems on driveways.

My driveway is flaking and starting to get pop-marks, will the sealer help?
While we always say that our sealers will NOT make good concrete out of bad concrete, our experience has shown that it can dramatically slow down the process. The effects of bad concrete, poor installation, salt damage and freeze-thaw cycling can ruin concrete. While you cannot change the past, our sealer can slow down and in some cases stop certain problems.

I would like a quote for the services you offer, what do I do next?
Call us on 01706 821812 and one of our office staff will be happy to arrange an appointment for you.

 

Tarmac Frequently Asked Questions.

1. I have certain worries about manholes, service piping to my home and drainage, for example, can you take care of these?

Yes, we can. Our surveyors and installers are highly trained and will take into account all aspects that have been discussed regarding the installation of your new driveway, patio or paths.

2. On your Combi Driveways you excavate and prepare the base the same as for a “block surface” are you “gilding the lily” and over specifying the base for a Tarmac surface?

Any quality driveway needs to have a good base as any house needs to be build on sound foundations. We pride ourselves on the quality of our base work which ensures that the surface material will have a maximum life span. It does not mean because our ranges of Tarmac Asphalts are not as expensive as other surface we have to put in an inferior base product. A Combi driveway is a high quality driveway at a real value for money price – try and see for yourself.

3. I want to widen my existing  driveway by using an area of my front lawn; can you Tarmac over this new area?

It is a good idea to widen narrow driveways and to consider making extra parking space. When utilizing former garden space we have to remove all surface materials and excavate to a suitable sub-soil depth. We then  lay a Geotextile membrane and cover the area with a minimum of 100-150 mm quality hardcore fill; which is well compacted. If required, edging kerbs are fitted,  the surface is covered with a Tarmac Base Coat which is rolled and compacted into position. A further Tarmac Asphalt is laid and rolled over the surface.

4. I have an old concrete drive which is tired, shabby looking, crumbling with a few cracks appearing. Can you Tarmac over this?

Most concrete drives  are suitable to have a Tarmac overlay. There are several factors which must be taken into account. The condition of the concrete i.e. no settlement cracks and the height of the finished concrete surface in relation to the house damp proof course. One of our surveyors will be able to tell you the suitability of this concrete base and the technique we would use in overlaying your existing concrete drive. Alternatively we use our Combi Tarmac System. Ask for details on this product.

5. My drive has lots of broken uneven flags on the surface. How do you go about Tarmacing this area?

We lift and remove all the flagged surface area and check the quality of the sub base. In many cases we install edging kerbs before overlaying the surface. Again we make sure that the final surface height does not contravene Building Regulations for damp proof course height. Our Overlay System is normally used on this type of installation.  

6. I have an existing Tarmac drive which was put down about 40 years ago. The edgings have come loose and the Tarmac is now chipping away. Can you patch up the failing areas and replace the edgings?

No problem in either replacing or relaying the edgings. Tarmac Asphalts can be “patched up”. We would recommend that your existing Tarmac surface be made good from a strengthening view point and then the surface will be covered with our Overlay System – A new appearance with years and years of future use. At an unbelievable price!

7. Do the extremes of weather have any effect on your Tarmac Surfaces?

Tarmac Asphalt Surfaces are good all round weather surfaces and extremely versatile to the extremes of British Climates.

7. Is Tarmac hard wearing and free from maintenance?

Our “New Generation” of Tarmac Asphalts have extremely hard wearing surfaces which require very little maintenance. We suggest that at least once a year you treat the surface with a weed killer to prevent any air borne seeds from taking growth. A wash down with a solution of soapy water once a year always refreshes any driveway surface. Our associated cleaning company offers a cleaning service which will keep your driveway in pristine condition.

8. Why has Tarmac recently not been as popular as a driveway surface as block and concrete?

Tarmac Asphalt is still a popular driveway surface. Modern day Tarmac surfaces are better than ever. The trouble nowadays is that there is not the quality of installers and contractors around to do small driveway areas. Tarmac Asphalt has never been used before in such quantities as it is during present day times and there is no end to its ever increasing use. It is by far the most used surface material with Motorway, roads, airports, footpaths, playgrounds, car parks, recreational spaces, driveways and the list can continue – you only have to look around you. Most of present day uses have been more commercial than domestic – yet the house builder is constructing more houses with Tarmac driveways than ever before.  Those house owners who would like asphalt surfaces have found difficulty in finding suitable contractors who deal in small driveway schemes. Gone are the days (thank goodness) when the “black- stuff” cowboy operators were knocking on doors offering cheap rubbish makeovers scams. Most of these operators have moved into more “lucrative markets” (i.e. fascias/gutters being just one of them). With companies with “integrity”; doing a quality job Tarmac surfaces are showing a large growth in demand from today’s householder and proving to be amongst the most cost effective way of replacing driveway surfaces.

9. If I choose to have a block border do I have a selection of colours?

We offer the full range of Marshalls/Tobermore block paving borders and edgings. The choice of colour and types are plentiful. Our designers plan with you the choice.

10. I like the idea of having a block border around the edges for a Tarmac Driveway. Will the block come loose?

The block are bedded on a strong sand and cement mortar mix. The Tarmac surface also grips then into position. After initial setting times it is extremely difficult for any loose movement to occur with the blocks.

11. What maintenance is there with Tarmac surfaces?

Wash down once/twice a year with a mild solution of weed killer and water, this will kill of airborne spores and weeds. Once every 7-10 years ask our cleaning and sealing company to professionally clean and treat your surface – it will come up like new.

12. I have a loose pebble shingle driveway which is a nuisance, can you Tarmac on top of the shingles?

We remove all the shingles, check the levels; if the under base is satisfactory we can use Overlay system or alternatively lay a new base with hardcore and then a base layer of asphalt with a final Overlay layer as our Combi range.

13. Tarmac used to be an inexpensive surface. I suppose nowadays it is comparable to block and concrete in price?

Depending which system of Tarmac we use an Overlay method would cost between 25 – 33 % the price of block or Concrete. A Combi System would cost around 50% of a Tegula block driveway.

14. Can Tarmac be put down at anytime of the year?

Tarmac can be laid anytime of the year and under most weather conditions. In hot weather it just takes a little longer to “go off”. Tarmac surfaces are by far the most quickest and cleanest surfaces to lay with very little inconvenience to the householder; they can be used within hours of laying.

15. Is it a messy job?

With a Tarmac Combi drive we have to excavate and prepare the base work, there is some mess and disruption at this stage. A base and preparation on a average Combi drive take ½ days depending on if edgings, drainage and borders are required. The base coat and overlay will be completed with no further mess or inconvenience within a day. Of course we leave your site in a clean, tidy condition with the removal of all site debris.

16. How long after do I have to wait before being able to use my drive?

We normally recommend to avoid putting vehicles on a newly laid drive for twenty four hours – depending on weather condition – if we are undergoing a very hot spell of weather it may be a little longer. Foot traffic can use the surface immediately. Our installation foreman will instruct on this at the time of installation.

17. Will the Tarmac lift and curl up?

No Tarmac surfaces should lift or curl, if they have been laid to the correct procedure and thickness. Bonding agents are used between different surfaces to ensure that no lifting occurs. Deal with an experienced reputable company and asphalt surfaces are amongst the most “trouble and problem free” driveways.

18. My house design is contemporary and ultra-modern; I have always associated Tarmac with pre-war semis. Will a Tarmac surface be complimentary to the style of property I own?

Tarmac will blend in with any type of property, period or modern. Shape the driveway correctly, select the correct colour and a combination of ancillary products. A well designed driveway should look clean and tidy allowing an “introduction” to the property. It should play a supporting role, giving enhancement to the property itself. Our design surveyor will always advise you correctly on the material colour and suitability of choice.

How much does a driveway cost?

It is impossible to tell anybody how much a driveway will cost, the price often depends on which contractor you use. There are a range of prices often banded around however to get an accurate price it is better to revive a full survey and quotation.

How to clean a driveway?

Constructive offer a thorough maintenance package for all driveway surfaces. If you want your driveway to last for years it is imperetive that you have a maintenance plan in place.

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