How to Protect Stamped Concrete
Stamped concrete can last for decades (or longer) when properly installed and maintained. Even when exposed to harsh conditions, such as severe weather or heavy traffic, stamped concrete will remain durable, given that some routine maintenance is provided. Here are some ways that stamped concrete can be affected to help ensure that it lasts as long as possible:
- Color hardener applied to the surface: A color hardener not only provides coloring to a stamped concrete surface, but it also makes the surface stronger and more resistant to abrasion and penetration. Read more about stamped concrete coloring methods.
- Apply a protective sealer: Applying several coats of a protective sealer can help block penetration of dirt, deicing chemicals, oil and grease stains, and other substances. A sealer can also make the concrete easier to clean, can enhance any coloring on the surface, and can help prevent color fading from UV exposure.
- Protect from freeze-thaw damage: The consequences of freeze-thaw damage can be particularly devastating to the appearance of stamped concrete including ugly scaling (or flaking) of the surface, popouts, and cracking. Concrete mixes can be designed to resist this damage.
- Avoid using de-icing salts: Especially during the first winter, de-icing salts should not be used on stamped concrete. De-icing salts can cause sealer failure resulting in what starts out as a white, hazy appearance, and then can progress to eventually separating the sealer from the concrete.
- Install the correct mix: Make sure your contractor is using a concrete mix that can stand up to the conditions it will be exposed to. No sealer or protective coating on the market can compensate for concrete that's not durable to begin with.
Read more stamped concrete maintenance tips.