Just like traditional concrete, stamped and other decorative concrete will look great and last for many years if it is adequately poured and maintained. Your new decorative concrete project will need to be cleaned and maintained in order for it to continue looking good. Concrete has long been admired for its durability and low maintenance, which is why it remains one of the most popular materials for projects like patios, driveways, and sidewalks. But in recent years, the market for decorative concrete has exploded, and homeowners are eager to upgrade their concrete to enjoy beautiful patios, driveways, walkways, and more. You might be in the market for decorative concrete, which is great; just make sure you don’t overlook the maintenance.
Why We Love Stamped Concrete
Stamped concrete holds the ability to give the look of slate, stone, brick, tile, and even wood to the concrete surface. And we don’t mean it kind of looks like those materials; it is difficult to distinguish between the stamped concrete version and the actual material. But, thanks to the variety of choices you have with stamped and decorative concrete, it makes it relatively easy to discover something that fits perfectly with your outdoor decor or theme.
One of the significant benefits of stamped concrete is in the cost. Utilizing stamped concrete for your patio or other project is more affordable than many of the materials it can imitate. For example, a stamped concrete patio installed to look like natural stone is much less expensive than using the real deal.
When it comes to design options with stamped concrete, you will find it’s very hard to beat. If you own a house made from brick, then you might want your concrete surfaces to reflect that. You can also have your stamped concrete looking like the theme of your backyard, which is easy to do. The bottom line is that stamped concrete can be made to fit in wherever it is used.
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Cleaning is Key
Since concrete acts much like a sponge, due to its porous nature, cleaning it is the key to proper maintenance. One of the best ways to clean your decorative concrete is by spraying it down with a high-pressure washer. And while this is an excellent way to keep your concrete surfaces clean, you should consider having a professional stop by and clean them every so often. You see, since concrete is porous, you will need heat, pressure, and suction to properly remove the contaminants from the concrete.
While renting or otherwise using a power washer will clean your concrete and make it look better, there will still be a lot of dirt and grime that is embedded in it. Extraction cleaning by a professional will ensure that your stamped concrete is free from the contaminants that can cause it to look dirty and shorten its lifespan.
Sealers Work Wonders
In order to help keep those contaminants out of the porous concrete, a sealer should be utilized. A high-quality sealer will prevent dirt from penetrating the cement while also providing protection from water and other elements. A good sealer will also limit the damage that the UV rays from the sun cause in concrete. Not many people know this, but the hot sun we experience here in Colorado can cause a lot of damage to decorative concrete.
It’s essential to do a little research and use the right sealer for the project. For example, you will want to use a different sealer for stained concrete than you would for stamped concrete. And look for a sealer that protects from the sun as it won’t turn yellow with age. If moisture is a problem for your stamped concrete, look for a sealer that will prevent water from penetrating the concrete.
Should your stamped concrete start to lose some of its luster, recoating it with fresh sealant should bring back its shine. You will also want to avoid using deicing salts on your stamped concrete as it can cause damage to your concrete, even if it is properly sealed. Lastly, even simply using a broom to sweep off your concrete on a regular basis will help it stay fresh-looking and helps extend the life of your concrete project.
If you haven’t already done so, we recommend that you do a little research on stamped concrete to see if it is right for your concrete project. You will be amazed at all of the choices there are for you. In addition to being very good-looking, stamped concrete projects will stand the test of time. And if you have a vision of what you want your outdoor space to look like, contact us and let us help bring that dream to a reality.