Stamped (also called textured or decorative) concrete is very durable and when properly installed, maintained and cared for, it can last a very, very long time even if it is exposed to extreme harsh winter weather conditions. There are instances in which stamped concrete can last even longer than more common, plain concrete surfaces.
On top of the strength and endurance that stamped concrete provides, it is a material that is extremely decorative. Periodically cleaning your stamped concrete as well as keeping it sealed with the proper concrete sealers is the key elements of any great maintenance plan.
One of the cases in which stamped concrete can last even longer than your standard concrete is if there has been a color hardener applied to the surface. Not only does the color hardener merely impart color, it also makes the surface a lot stronger as well as more resistant to water penetration and abrasion, which is why according to guys at SF Concrete, most of their customers prefer textured finish on a concrete patio rather than a driveway or walkway.
Usually a contractor will also apply a few coats of protective sealer to your stamped concrete; this will prevent dirt, oil and grease stains, deicing chemicals, and other substances from being able to penetrate the stamped concrete. Not only is it easy to clean the stamped concrete when a high quality sealer is applied, there are also other benefits that is offers such as preventing it from fading due to UV exposure and enhancing the color.
That being said, even the most properly and professionally sealed stamped concrete will require a certain amount if routine maintenance, this will largely depend on the conditions of exposure it experiences as well as the amount of foot-traffic that it receives. Here are a few tips and pointer on how to best clean and treat your stamped concrete in order to extend its life and preserve its beauty:
Cleaning and Maintenance Tips for Stamped Concrete:
- Although a high quality sealer will help to inhibit stains, it is still important to occasionally sweep as well as wash the surface; this will help to prevent unnecessary dirt buildup. For exterior stamped concrete surfaces you can scrub it with a very mild detergent or they can be pressure washed. If the stamped concrete surface is in the interior than typically the only routine upkeep that is needed would be dry dust mopping or wet mopping of the surface.
- When it comes to outdoor stamped concrete, it is best to avoid the use of deicing salts, this is especially important during the first winter that it experiences after having been installed. Often time’s sealers for decorative concrete tend to not do their job in the areas where deicing salts have been applied as well as areas which tend to receive drip off from cars that are parked.
- If after time you stamped concrete surface starts to dull or begins losing its sheen, the luster can usually be completely restored by re-coating (re-sealing) the stamped concrete surface with a high quality sealer, Make sure to inquire with the installer as to what quality sealers would be the best for your stamped concrete surface.
- On stamped concrete interior floors which tend to be subject to large amounts of foot traffic, it will be especially important to properly maintain the sealed surface; this will help to prevent wear patterns. You can provide additional protection with the application of a polish or sacrificial floor wax as it will help to protect the sealed concrete surface from wear and tear. It also serves as a great shock absorber to grime, scratches as well as scuffs.
The first step is of course proper installation and sealing; however it is equally important that stamped concrete surfaces be properly maintained and cleaned. The four tips mentioned above can help you to care for your stamped concreted surfaces and guarantee that their longevity and luster for many years to come.