With so many available options, deciding on a material for the interiors, driveways or patios can be a daunting task. You would want something that is aesthetically pleasing, yet cost-effective and durable. Decorative concrete has gained wide popularity because of its aesthetically appealing appearance. Stamped concrete, a type of decorative concrete, can be produced to mimic different material patterns and designs at an affordable rate. This makes stamped concrete a popular choice among home and business owners. However, everything comes with a set of pros and cons. So before you decide you must consider these points.
Limitless Possibilities and Aesthetics
One of the major advantages of stamped concrete is that it offers a wide variety of possibilities to choose from for your landscape. Stamped concrete comes in a variety of colors, patterns, and textures. It can be produced to mimic nearly any surface including marble, stone, brick, wood plank, interlocked pavers, and more. You can also choose from a mix of colors to create an interesting combination for your landscape. Stamped concrete makes an excellent choice for those looking to add a decorative touch to their residence or workplace.
Ease of Installation
Another benefit offered by stamped concrete is the ease of installation. The installation procedure is less labor intensive as compared to other materials like pavers. Installing stamped concrete is a matter of mixing, pouring and stamping. If done using the right mix and technique, stamped concrete can last long.
Stamped surface comes with the benefit of low-maintenance. Most patterns like the wooden plank, marble or tile would do without annual refinishing or sealing. This makes the material time saving and cost-effective. However, you must make sure to clean it regularly for retaining its appealing appearance.
While the material is durable, this nature of stamped concrete may turn into a potential disadvantage in some situations. It is crucial to consider where you install stamped concrete. This material is prone to cracks and scratches below heavy load and extreme temperatures. It best works in mild, Mediterranean temperatures. The expansion and contraction cycle in harsh temperatures may cause the surface to crack. Moreover, it is a poor choice for areas with heavy traffic. While you cannot control cracking, scratches can be avoided by preventing the use of scratch causing materials and proper maintenance.
Problems with Installation
While the decorative material offers ease of installation, if not done right it can turn into a drawback. Concrete is a mix of water and cement powder. If the concentration of water is high, the risk of rough edges and poor finish prevails, which might lead to a weak pavement. However, if the mixture is too dry it might result in bulging and premature cracking.
Whether to install a stamped concrete or not is a matter of choice. Considering these pros and cons shall help you make the best choice that suits your budget and requirements. However, if you choose to go with a stamped concrete, it is best to leave the job to a paving professional for the best finish.
A stamped concrete driveway is paved by the systematic imprinting of a pattern or a texture on the surface of your old concrete slab. These patterns usually resemble the texture of a brick or a tile and have become increasingly popular among homeowners as they are quite durable.
Stamped concrete is also a cost-efficient way to enhance the beauty of your dull, old concrete slab. However, like any other concrete surface, this driveway needs to be sealed and maintained annually. With proper maintenance, your driveway can provide decades of service even when exposed to harsh sunlight and other adverse conditions.
Here are some key tips on stamped concrete care and maintenance to keep your pavement safe and smooth:
1) Clear the Debris
Clearing the debris from your concrete driveway needs to be done on a regular basis just like any other aspect of your home maintenance. Sweep and remove all the natural debris like leaves, grass, and weed from the pavement. This is because, if not removed timely, these decaying leaves and wood can leave behind a stain on your driveway and make it blotchy and unkempt permanently. Moreover, the presence of these wet leaves can make your concrete walkway slippery which is hazardous for the pedestrian as well the drivers.
2) Wash the Surface
You can use water and a mild detergent to wash the surface area of your entire driveway. Make sure you wear rubber gloves during the process. Once you are done with the washing, clean out the area using a garden hose.
For a thorough cleaning of the surface of your driveway, it is recommended to use a pressure washer. However, it is important to make sure you exert a medium amount of pressure on the pavement while using a pressure washer or else you might end up damaging the surface of your concrete slab. You can consult a pavement expert to do the same for you.
3) Remove the Snow
Snow can be a hazardous element for your driveway. If snow is not cleared from your pathway on time, the water will melt and seep into the surface of your driveway. This can result in the emergence of cracks and potholes. Therefore, it is important to employ a contractor for efficient snow removal to keep your stamped concrete driveway smooth and functional.
4) Apply the Sealer
Seal and waterproof your driveway at least once a year. Sealing your driveway protects it from moisture penetration, freeze-thaw conditions, de-icing chemicals and abrasion. Ask your contractor to recommend you the best sealant for a stamped concrete driveway. Applying a sealer can also keep look of your stamped concrete intact for a longer period of time.
Your stamped concrete driveway can last a long time if it is maintained correctly. Book a maintenance check with a pavement expert at the end of every season to repair and maintain your driveway. A skilled contractor cleans your driveway and repairs the cracks in your concrete timely. This extends the life of your driveway and makes it safe to use.
Follow these simple steps for stamped concrete care and maintenance to keep your driveway good as new. Consult our experts at Blacktop to schedule a maintenance check for your pavement today.