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Pattern Imprinted Concrete Mistake



Pattern Imprinted Concrete Mistake

There is a major mistake in the pattern imprinted concrete driveway below. But before we jump to that, let’s fill in some other details.

The printing pattern is called cobble. This type of pattern can either provide a ‘deep-joint’ cobble print or ‘standard cobble‘ (like in the picture.) The darkest colour of black charcoal has been used and the print leaves alternating sizes of cobble.

This driveway also shows how a recess cover (manhole) has been printed to match the surrounding cobble pattern. During the preparation stage the manhole may have been raised or lowered to ensure the finished level of printed concrete is flush with the top of the recess cover. Could it be any other way? On this point it is worth mentioning…..

Don’t be a tight wad with the quality of recess cover used on a Pattern Imprinted Concrete Driveway!

Not only will it have to take the weight of concrete infill, but it will probably have to take the weight of vehicles rolling backwards and forwards over it. The importance of using a good quality recess cover and mounting, as well as suitable construction, cannot be underestimated!

But that isn’t the Pattern Imprinted Concrete mistake.


Have you spotted the pattern imprinted concrete mistake yet?

pattern imprinted concrete mistake

Can you spot the pattern imprinted concrete mistake?

Above is an (almost) good pattern imprinted concrete cobble installation?

Look closely along the left hand edge. Does something remind you of having a few too many glasses of wine or beer? Something…..not quite straight?

Got it!

The driveway has a nice ‘brick soldier course’ print along the edge. Unfortunately, for this customer, you will note the poor workmanship as the edge is not straight.

Whilst it is understandable that the wall adjacent may be at an angle, a simple assessment of this during the preparation stage should have enabled the installers to use an edging tool to ensure a straight line. This has either been missed or simply ignored because it takes more effort to finish by hand.

It’s a pity because overall the job has a good and even print that is also, to the right depth. The fresh seal adds to the look and if it wasn’t for the lack of attention to the edge it could be viewed as a good installation.

What do you think?

Pattern Imprinted Concrete Mistake – FAQ’s


What is wrong with pattern imprinted concrete?

There are a couple of things that can go wrong with the installation of pattern imprinted concrete. Here are some explained:

  • Badly installed subbase
  • Not installed quickly enough
  • Not printed properly
  • Not enough colour
  • Blooming
  • Delamination
  • Driveway used too early


The subbase is super important to ensure a strong and even base for the concrete installed on top of it. Read more here.

Not installed quickly enough

The time it takes for concrete to harden depends on the temperature outside. The hotter the day, the quicker the concrete hardens. If the weather is particularly hot on the day of installation, it could be that the installer can’t screed and print quicker than it takes the concrete to harden. This in turn can create cracks in your driveway.

Good news! A professional installer will know this and will only install on days when no rain is predicted and the temperature will be right for installation.

Not printed properly

Mats are used to print the pattern into the concrete. Many patterns are possible, mimicking block paving stones and cobbles. It’s important that the mats are laid precise and are pressed down to the right depth.

Not enough colour

Enough colour powder and surface hardener needs to be applied evenly over the driveway , otherwise the grey concrete shows through your driveway.


Concrete has water as a component, and your driveway needs to cure before it is sealed. This is why most installers will leave at least 7 days between installation and sealing, so the water can work its way to the surface. If the driveway is sealed too early, white patches can occur (also known as blooming). Luckily this can be rectified by resealing, however, it’s best to avoid.


Delamination is another problem which can occur with the sealing of the driveway. Delamination is basically the sealing peeling of your driveway. This is normally the case when ‘cheap’ sealant is used. By using the rigth pattern imprinted driveaway sealant, this should not be a problem.


How do you fix pattern imprinted concrete?

Sometimes a utilities company needs access pipes underneath your driveway which will result in part of your driveway being cut away.

Many driveway installers will be able to fix your driveway by adding new concrete in the cut-out area.

They will make sure the area follows the lines of the driveway pattern and will use a mat to print the area to the same depth as the rest of your driveway.

Luckily, most colour powders are very consistent so the colour mix of the rest of your driveway can be achieved reasonably easy.

While there might be some colour difference at first, this will change once your driveway is resealed. The new concrete will need to cure for about a week before the whole driveway can be resealed.


Can you jet wash patterned concrete?

Yes! You can jet wash your patterned concrete, as long as you don’t blast it!  There are handy jet washer attachments you can use called rotary turbo nozzles. They will give your driveway a gentler wash and are particularly good when you clean your driveway more often.

Simply brushing leaves from your driveway regularly will help you keep your driveway in good condition and will make it easier to clean your driveway when jet washing it.

We have reviewed the best jet washers / pressure washers for your driveway. Read the article here.  


pattern imprinted concrete mistake - not on this driveway!

Absolutely NO mistake on this beautifully laid imprinted driveway by Farrelly Construction

Can you change colour of pattern imprinted concrete?

Yes, you can though we don’t recommend it. You will need to remove the sealant which is on your driveway at the moment with a stripping solution. Your driveway will then need to be recoloured with a colour stain and then resealed.

The colour on pattern imprinted concrete driveways are a powder which is added to the concrete before it dries to give a strong colouring which will last many years.

A colour stain is like paint so unless your driveway is completely ‘bold’ and shows grey concrete more than the colour, we recommend resealing your driveway to make it look like new again.

Can patterned concrete be repaired?

Yes, patterned concrete can be repaired, however you will need a professional installer to do so if you want to have good results.

Sometimes a utility company needs access to pipes underneath your driveway and will cut out an area to gain access.

This requires new concrete to be poured, which needs to be printed, coloured and sealed, all the while making sure it blends in with the rest of your driveway!

If your driveway is chipped and bits of concrete have crumbled off, then this can be restored before your driveway is resealed.

The new concrete will need to have time settle, typically a week, before it can be sealed.


How do you fix bad stamped concrete?

Pattern imprinted concrete driveway mistakes do happen. Sometimes the whole driveway is a mess.

Making sure the concrete is evenly levelled towards the drain is a skill. So is printing it evenly and colouring it evenly.

There are lots of mistakes which can be made. Therefore, it’s important to choose the right company to have your driveway installed.

We can’t emphasise this enough!

Experience is needed to complete a proper pattern imprinted driveway installation and it takes years to master it, if at all.

Make sure your installer has a lot of experience. This doesn’t mean that the company has to be established for years, as many installers work with other installers to learn the job, before starting on their own.

But you will need to be able to look at jobs undertaken by your chosen driveway company, preferably driveways which are some years old.

Because if your driveway is a pattern imprinted concrete driveway mistake in a big way, then you either have to live with it or have a new driveway installed!

What are the white patches on my pattern imprinted driveway?

When pattern imprinted driveways are sealed before the concrete has cured properly, white patches can appear on the driveway. This is known as blooming.

This happens because water from the concrete gets trapped underneath the layer of sealant. This can be avoided by leaving a longer period (at least a week) before your driveway is sealed.

To fix it, your driveway will need to be resealed.

How long does imprinted concrete last?

Pattern imprinted concrete can last decades, especially when the driveway has been looked after and resealed every 2 to 4 years. With heavy use, your imprinted concrete driveway will fade, making it a smooth surface. That’s really the time to start thinking about a new installation.

As these driveways can last such a long time, you really don’t want a pattern imprinted concrete driveway mistake to happen to you.

Make sure you use a credible driveway company to install your driveway. Have a look on our business directory to find a driveway company in your area. Click here


A Pattern Imprinted Concrete Mistake – Conclusion

It can happen to find a pattern imprinted concrete mistake on your driveway which can be costly to put right, if you can put it right at all. 

To avoid a costly pattern imprinted concrete mistake on your driveway, we suggest you do your due diligence and find a professional installer.

Don’t take anyone’s word for it, not even ours! Go and look at installations done by companies in your area to find the right installer for you!

We hope you have found this article on pattern imprinted concrete mistake helpful.

We have tried to answer many questions related to driveway mistakes, however, if you have a different question, please let us know in the comments below or contact one of the professional driveway installers on our directory.

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