We have listed some of the more common questions and answers that you may have below, simply click on any question and the answer will appear. If you have questions that aren’t listed below, please do not hesitate to contact us directly on 07510 102915. We will be happy to hear from you.
Stamped concrete looks very realistic because most stamping mats are molded from the actual materials they are designed to replicate. To achieve natural-looking colour variations, such as you would see in real stone, stamped concrete contractors often use integral or dry-shake colour in conjunction with surface-applied colouring mediums. If anything, stamped concrete looks better than the real thing, because you won’t get weed or moss growth in between the joints, and it won’t rot or splinter if you are mimicking wood planking.
Because stamped concrete is a textured surface, it is often more slip resistant than conventional concrete. However, just like natural stone, it can become slippery when wet or if a film-forming sealer has been applied. If stamped concrete will be installed in a high-traffic area, such as an entryway or pool deck, there are a number of things you can do to increase its slip resistance such as using a heavier texture or adding non-skid additives. Talk to your us if you are concerned.
Like conventional concrete, stamped surfaces will last for decades when properly installed and maintained, even when exposed to harsh winter weather conditions. In some cases, stamped concrete can be even more durable than standard concrete, especially if a colour hardener was used when it was poured. We will also apply a sealer to stamped concrete to protect it from wear and abrasion and make it easier to maintain.
There are many steps involved in stamped concrete that must be executed carefully and quickly to achieve uniform results across the entire slab before the concrete sets. The pattern must be pre-planned and diagrammed, tools and labor ready to go. After the concrete is poured and allowed to set to the proper consistency, colour hardeners and release agents are applied. The concrete is tested again before applying the stamp patterns. Finish work, detailing and cutting contraction joints finish the project. Most often, stamping is done on newly poured concrete. However, existing concrete that’s in good condition can be covered with a stamped overlay, which gives you the same look as conventional stamped concrete.
We don’t recommend installing stamped concrete as a DIY project, and the main reason is that you only have one chance to get it right. You can’t finish it later if you run out of time and you can’t take it apart and re-do it. With all of the things that can go wrong from sub-base preparation and concrete mix, to gauging the proper time to start stamping and actually finishing before the concrete hardens, and everything in between, it’s really a job best left to the pros. What’s more, the stamping tools and materials you’ll need can cost hundreds of pounds and aren’t really worth the investment unless you plan to use the tools on multiple projects.
Stamped concrete is one of the most durable and long lasting paving materials available and requires less maintenance than the materials it regularly replaces. Regular maintenance of cleaning and resealing stamped concrete should be done every 2 to 3 years on average, but will depend on the use the area is subjected to, car or foot traffic, chemicals, weather, etc. Basic cleaning with a garden hose or pressure washer, some mild detergent and a push broom is all that is needed before resealing. Colour hardeners and sealers make the surface stronger, more resistant to abrasion, and help block the penetration of water, stains, dirt and chemicals. However, it’s still a good idea to remove oil, grease and other spills immediately.
Stamped concrete is highly resistant to cracking when installed correctly. Even if stamped concrete experiences minor cracking, the cracks are often hard to detect because they will often blend in with the pattern and joint lines.
Efflorescence, weathering, dirt and traffic can take their toll on the colour of stamped concrete. You can minimize any colour change by periodically cleaning and resealing the concrete. Even if the colour has faded due to years of neglect or lack of maintenance, it can often be restored to its original state by cleaning and resealing.
You should avoid using deicing salts on stamped concrete, especially during the first winter after the pavement is installed. Using deicers can cause surface damage—primarily scaling and spalling—by forcing the thawing and refreezing of moisture. Products containing ammonium nitrates and ammonium sulphates are especially harmful because they will actually attack the concrete chemically. Rock salt (sodium chloride) or calcium chloride will do less damage, but they can harm vegetation and corrode metal. As an alternative, use sand for traction.