Questions Answered For Those Considering Stamped Concrete

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Do you have a patio or driveway that needs a facelift? If so, stamped concrete could be the answer. This decorative finish adds a permanent design to the concrete. It allows you to make a plain expanse of concrete look like paving stones or brickwork, or you can opt for a custom design. The following guide can help answer some of your questions about the process.

Can stamped concrete be used on existing concrete?

Answer: It is possible to pour a fresh layer of concrete over the top of an existing slab, and then to stamp the desired design into this fresh overlay. This is a suitable option if the underlying slab is in relatively good condition. A good condition slab may have some cracks or surface damage, like pitting, but it cannot have major cracks that gap or areas where the slap has become uneven.

Is stamping the only choice?

Answer: No. Stamping is usually used in conjunction with other decorative treatments. For example, you can have the concrete dyed to a color of choice, such as gray to better resemble stone or terracotta for a more clay tile-like appearance. There is also the option to have additional texture added with the addition of gravel or sand aggregate to the concrete mix. It's even possible to create more complex designs by using concrete of different colors and textures in the same space, such as to create a border or inlay look.

What is the basic process?

Answer: The area will first be prepped, which requires either the construction of a level, sturdy base or the repair and preparation of an existing concrete surface. Once this is finished, the concrete is dyed, if desired, and poured. It then is allowed to partially dry before the final design is stamped into it. The final steps include cut small notches in strategic places to allow for expansion and to prevent cracks, followed by a final sealing to protect the concrete surface.

Does stamped concrete require special care?

Answer: It requires the same care as normal concrete surface. Sweeping and rinsing it off with a hose is sufficient for daily cleaning. You can use an oxygenated bleach cleanser to remove any stains. It is also a good idea to reseal the surface every few years, or when water no longer beads up on the surface. Avoid using salt to melt ice on stamped concrete, and do not scrape the surface with a metal-bladed snow shovel.

For further assistance, contact local professionals, such as those from W C Lowery Inc.

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