After installing stamped concrete, the question that looms in your mind is: How long does it last? There are a variety of factors that determine how long the finished product will stay looking new. Here are some tips to ensure that stamped concrete will last for years:
- Stamp the concrete before it dries completely.
- Apply a sealant. Sealing your stamped concrete will protect it from fading and staining.
- Allow it to dry for twenty-four to forty-eight hours before using it.
Once the concrete has dried, you will need to reseal it periodically. A sealer can help keep the concrete from fading due to moisture, freeze-thaw, and environmental damage. Sealing is recommended every two to three years, depending on the area’s traffic. A UV-protectant sealer will help reduce fading in the regions that receive direct sunlight.
Rain is a huge issue when it comes to stamped concrete. The rain will eventually damage the concrete even if you have a waterproof sealant. It would help if you were careful not to walk on it when it’s still wet. The surface will look blotchy while it is drying. This is normal and will even out as the surface cures. For this reason, if you plan to walk on it immediately after the installation, protect the surface by covering it with a plastic sheet.
The stamping method is the main difference between stamped concrete and standard concrete paving. The former involves adding a stamp to the concrete, while the latter uses the surface-color hardener. The latter has the advantage of more detailed stamp impressions and more excellent color selections. The most durable option is a combination of both. If you plan to use stamped concrete for a long time, sealing it will help it last longer.
Moreover, you can choose a design that complements the surrounding environment. Stamped concrete is durable when properly installed and maintained. It requires routine maintenance to keep its beauty. It is essential to follow the guidelines and recommendations to extend the life of stamped concrete. If you don’t do this, you could end up with a ruined slab that looks worse than when you first installed it. But don’t worry. There are ways to make your stamped concrete last longer.
Moreover, stamping concrete has virtually unlimited color and pattern options. Choosing a color and pattern that blends well with your home’s architectural style is another great way to make them look unique. For instance, brick-patterned borders could evoke your home’s brick exterior and tie in with the surrounding landscape. Once you install stamped concrete, you have to keep in mind that it will crack at some point, so it’s imperative to invest in a control joint every few feet to avoid any cracks in the future.
If your stamped concrete doesn’t last as long as you would like, you can replace it with another material. Alternatively, you can choose interlocking pavers instead. While these might be more expensive than stamped concrete, they can be replaced one by one if you’d prefer. But remember that natural stone surfaces are also beautiful but are more costly than artificial ones. There are many ways to extend the life of stamped concrete, but the biggest issue is the cost.