Stamped concrete has become one of the most popular finishes for outdoor patios. It is available in many beautiful designs, patterned surfaces and colors that each provide elegant and stylish ambiance. Stamped concrete is also very durable in any weather conditions, which makes it an investment worth making. This type of patio material needs minimal maintenance. Below are some tips in caring for and maintaining your stamped surfaces.
Not much is required when it comes to cleaning your stamped concrete. Dilute a liquid detergent with water to quickly and efficiently clean spills, dirt and dust. Use a brush to scrub away, and then rinse thoroughly with a garden hose. Make sure you rinse away all traces of soap to avoid whitish areas when the patio dries. Allow at least 24 hours for the patio to dry out naturally. If you want it to dry sooner, use a leaf blower. You can also clean stamped concrete with a pressure washer.
Avoid using deicing salts during the winter. This can result in scaling, flaking and other surface damage because of the increased freeze-thaw cycles. This creates added pressure and strain on your concrete. When removing ice, avoid using a plow or snow shovels that have metal edges as these will cause damage to stamped surfaces.
Sealers are used during installation of stamped patios to provide protection from the potential damage by water, wind, sun and dust. They also help in polishing the color of the concrete which tends to loose its lustre with time. It is a good idea to re-apply sealer to reinforce protection. Apply a sealer 6 months after initial construction and then once every one or two years, depending on the need. Sealing is especially beneficial for a stamped concrete driveway as it will help manage the wear and tear effects arising from frequent driveway usage.
Before applying the sealer, wash the patio well and allow it to dry thoroughly for a full day. You can mix some anti-skid solution into the sealer then apply using a nap roller. Two coats will suffice. Ensure that the first coat has dried well before reapplying the second coat. It is best to apply sealant when the weather is not too hot like in the spring or fall. If you must apply in the summer, it is better to apply in the early morning or evening.
Frequent movement of furniture tends to result in scratches and marks which can mar the surface beauty of your patio. Fixing plastic glides at the bottom of your patio furniture will help in protecting the patio surface. Make sure that flowers containers sit in plastic dishes to avoid abrasions on the patio surface.