Concrete can be stamped with any number of designs to mimic wood, stone, tile, slate and even brick. Concrete is durable and because of its porous properties, you can even stain your concrete to give it a one-of-a-kind look to match with your style. Stamped concrete, much like traditional concrete should be taken care of and maintained to prevent cracking and crumbling, although stamped concrete needs an extra maintenance step - sealing your concrete. See below for instructions on how to maintain your stamped concrete.
Clean Your Patio Often
Sweep your patio often to prevent grass and weeds from growing into your patio. Weeds or grass can grow into the tiniest crevice, turning your once beautiful patio into a crumbling weedy mess before too long. Use a push broom to sweep debris from your patio a few times per week. Be sure to mow away from your patio to prevent grass clippings from blowing onto your patio. Spray your patio with the garden hose to clean stuck-on dirt and debris. At the beginning and end of the warm weather season, use a concrete cleaner to give it a more thorough clean. When cleaning your concrete, be sure to remove everything from the patio so you can clean the entire surface.
Seal Your Concrete
Your concrete patio should be sealed every other year (or every year) to help protect the surface and to bring back shine to your patio. Look for a sealer made specifically for concrete. Talk to your concrete installer about what sealer is best for your patio. Follow the manufacturer's instructions, then apply the sealer as instructed. Allow the sealer to dry thoroughly before using the patio or returning any of your furniture onto the patio. The sealer will need time to cure.
- Remove Stains. Clean up spills immediately to prevent staining of your concrete. If you notice a stain, use a concrete stain remover and a soft bristle brush. Gently scrub the stain to remove it. Stains can breakdown your concrete, which can cause crumbling or cracking.
- Fill Cracks. Fill in cracks as soon as you notice them. Use a concrete caulk to fill in the cracks, then smooth them with your finger or with a putty knife.
- Use Sand Not Salt. In cold weather months, use sand on ice rather than salt. Salt can be too harsh and can cause your concrete to breakdown.
Stamped concrete looks gorgeous as a patio, driveway, sidewalk, or even when used indoors. Be sure to take care of it properly to protect your concrete and to lengthen the life of your investment. Talk with a decorative concrete contractor for more information.