Decorative concrete, also known as stamped concrete, offers a more stylized look when compared to traditional concrete surfaces. With proper installation and maintenance, stamped concrete can last for decades. In some cases, decorative concrete can outlast traditional concrete; this is especially true if a color hardener is added to the surface.
Stamped concrete comes in a variety of colors and patterns. It can be made to imitate the look of natural materials, like stone pavers, for a fraction of the cost. Decorative concrete makes a great option for high quality faux surfaces. The actual materials being replicated can be used to design and create stamp molds. Additionally, natural coloring is obtained through a combination of well-blended dry-shake color and surface-applied color mediums.
As pretty as decorative concrete looks, it’s still every bit as durable as more industrial-looking concrete. In some cases, decorative concrete is more durable. In almost all cases, it’s more durable, or at least requires less maintenance, than the materials it imitates; say for instance brick or cobblestone.
How is Decorative Concrete Installed?
Installation of decorative concrete is like standard concrete surfaces. The main difference is that towards the end of the application process, contractors stamp a design and add coloring before the drying process begins. A sealcoat of some type may be required to protect surfaces.
How Long Does Decorative Concrete Last?
Decorative concrete lasts for around the same amount of time as traditional concrete. Around 25+ years when installed and maintained correctly.
In some cases, stamped concrete can last longer and be more durable, especially if a color hardener is applied to surfaces.
In the earliest days of stamped concrete there were some issues with it cracking sooner than regular concrete. That’s because there was no way to measure the entire surface and stamp it to a uniform depth. Rest assured, that issue is long in the past.
Long Lasting Decorative Concrete Needs Sealant
Stamped or decorative concrete requires sealant, a protective coating that keeps it looking great for many years. Sealant is necessary to preserve the stamping and coloring added to concrete. Sealant should be reapplied as-needed. A key indicator that stamped concrete requires a new coat of sealant is when it starts to look faded or chalky. After a fresh coat of sealant is applied, surfaces should return to their original bright and beautiful appearance.
Sealant also makes it a lot easier to clean stamped concrete surfaces. You should regularly sweep surfaces. Debris are more likely to create stains if stamped concrete is not sealed.
Will Coloring on Decorative Concrete Last?
You have the option to add different colors to decorative concrete, and these colors really do hold up over time. As soon as colors begin to look faded, it’s time for a new coat of sealant. Oftentimes, old and long-neglected surfaces can still be restored to their original luster with a new coat of sealant.
Is it Slippery Compared to Traditional Concrete?
Similarly to natural stone, some stamped concrete may become slippery when wet. But, for the most part, stamped concrete is textured, which makes it less slippery than other surfaces. If applying to a high traffic area there are certain techniques that can be used to improve grip and reduce slipperiness.
Commercial Decorative Concrete by Kleenco Construction
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