Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
Installing stamped concrete is a popular way to transform your outdoor space. It can add style and curb appeal to any yard while making it more durable. If you're considering adding stamped concrete to your outdoors, a few questions you might have in mind are, what is the maintenance routine like? and how long does it last? Not to worry, as we conducted extensive research to help you answer those questions, here are our findings.
Stamped concrete is easy to maintain as long as you use the appropriate tools and equipment. When it comes to durability, stamped concrete can last up to 25 years with appropriate care, just like regular concrete. This is because they are both installed utilizing the same installation process.
Continue reading if you want to learn how to properly maintain your stamped concrete and make it last for decades. We will also provide you with some maintenance tips and the advantages and disadvantages of utilizing stamped concrete in your outdoor setting.
Is Stamped Concrete High Maintenance?
Stamped concrete is a type of concrete that has a decorative pattern embedded or stamped into the surface. The stamped concrete can be in multiple colors, which gives it a unique look. It is also flexible and easy to install for homeowners.
Stamped concrete doesn't require high-end tools to maintain. As long as you have your push broom with water and liquid soap, you are good to go. All you need do is sweep it clean occasionally depending on the weather conditions to avoid dirt build-up.
To clean your stamped concrete surfaces, you'll want to purchase products specifically made for removing dirt and stains from stained concrete surfaces, like instant removal sprays or all-purpose cleaners of any brand. These cleaners have powerful degreasing agents that will make light work of any stubborn stain.
How To Clean Stamped Concrete
Stamped concrete is a popular outdoor surface option for residential and commercial properties, and there are many benefits to installing this type of hardscape. It is also durable and requires little maintenance and offers excellent slip resistance. Check out this article for more about the slip resistance of concrete.
However, it is essential to maintain and clean it properly to avoid damage and discoloration. The best strategy is to seal the concrete with a quality sealer after installation, protecting the surface from stains and sealant wear.
Maintanance Tips For Stamped Concrete
Here are some maintenance tips that will increase the lifespan of your stamped concrete.
- To prevent the color of your stamped concrete from fading, it is recommended you reseal the surface every two to three years. If you can't do it yourself, you can hire a hardscaping company for assistance
- Sweep debris away from the surface of the concrete regularly. Cut back any weeds or tall grasses that are growing around your stamped concrete as well.
- To prevent dirt building, use a push broom with soap and water to clean the surface. You might often face tougher stains that soap and water cannot remove. To get the best results possible, you should use either a pressure washer or a power washer depending on how dirty the surface is.
- Using a vigorous cleanser might cause the sealer to become thinner and become white. As a result, it is recommended that you use a less aggressive cleaner to extend the life of the sealant.
- Any water that accumulates on the surface of your stamped concrete should be cleaned up quickly since it might lead to the formation of mold and mildew, which could damage the sealer used to protect it.
- If, by chance, the stamped concrete gets covered with snow during winter, use a plastic shovel to remove the snow from the surface. This is because using a metal shovel can cause scratches on the surface due to the pressure applied.
- Lastly, be consistent with your cleaning routine to keep the surface of the stamped concrete clean at all times. Most hardscaping companies do routine stamped concrete maintenance. It might be best to hire one if you think you will be too busy to keep up with the cleaning schedule.
How To Avoid Cracks On Stamped Concrete
Here are a few pointers to help you avoid cracks on your stamped concrete when installing it.
Make Sure To Flatten The Subsoil
Using a compactor, flatten the subsoil under the patio. After that, you'll add four inches of sand to the concrete and compress it.
Mix The Appropriate Amount of Water
Most homeowners add plenty of water to the concrete mix when it gets dry, which can lead to easy cracking of your stamped concrete. To avoid this, you should use a 45% water mixture. This will result in a solid surface.
Use a Sealant
Because of the porous structure of stamped concrete, it tends to leak through when water is poured on it. This might result in tiny holes, and when winter approaches, the water trapped within those holes will freeze. It should be noted that water expands when it freezes leading to cracks. To avoid this, you must apply a sealer when the installation is complete.
This will help protect the top coat of your concrete from staining and cracking. It also helps the concrete retain its fresh look for much longer by adding a protective layer on top of it.
Applying Sealant on Stamped Concrete
To seal stamped concrete, you will need to purchase an epoxy sealant in a color that matches your poured concrete. You'll have to shake the container before applying it evenly over the surface.
Too much does not mean better - apply just enough so that you don't see any areas of bare pavement when dry. If you're unsure about where to start or what product to use, you can consult with a professional as they will be able to walk you through this process and help ensure success while doing so.
Avoid Placing Heavy Objects On the Surface
Before installation, determining what would be placed on top of your stamped concrete is essential. For example, a platform meant for cars might damage easier when much heavier trucks park on top. Although it may initially be resistant, cracks would appear much earlier than anticipated.
Add Control Joints To The Concrete
Due to changes in weather conditions, the tendency of concrete to expand leads to fractures when there isn't enough room for the expansion to occur. To avoid this, control joints must be included while installing your stamped concrete to allow for simple expansion and contraction all year round.
Pros and Cons of Installing Stamped Concrete
To help you determine if installing stamped concrete is worth it, let's look at the advantages and disadvantages of adding it to your outdoors.
Ease of Installation
The installation of stamped concrete is one of the most time-efficient methods of hardscape construction. Because it is constructed in a slab-like style, installation is easy and takes a fraction of the time needed for other types of pavers and surfaces.
Low Cost and High Durability
One of the primary advantages of selecting stamped concrete for your outdoor design is that it can last for an extended period before it has to be repaired. If properly maintained, it can last for 25 years or even longer.
Stamped concretes are also affordable, in part because of their minimal maintenance requirements. As a result of the cheap price tag, installing a quality stamped concrete surface is an excellent alternative for your outdoors.
Low Cost Maintenance
Stamped concrete is low maintenance and needs minimal attention, so there won't be a strain on your wallet in terms of maintenance charges. It takes a long time to need repairs, allowing you to save money in the long run.
There are a variety of stamped concrete designs you can choose from. Different colors, patterns, and textures are available in stamped concrete, meaning your yard can have a unique design.
Few Cons Associated With Stamped Concrete
It May Become Cold
Stamped concrete neither emits nor absorbs heat, so it may be cold, particularly during winter. Homeowners sensitive to cold on their feet may find this a little uncomfortable.
It May Crack
Cracking is the most common issue that occurs on concrete surfaces. Although cracks in stamped concrete are less visible than cracks in plain concrete, they are nonetheless there. Even though stamped concrete needs far less care than other hard surfaces, it is essential to bear this in mind when making your final choice on which kind of surface material to choose.
Key Take Away
Stamped concrete can be a great addition to your home or business outdoors, and with the proper maintenance, it can last for decades. The tips mentioned in this article should serve as a guild line when carrying out your routine. If you have read up to this point, you might want to check out this insightful article on how to rinse bleach stains off your concrete's surface.