Learn on how to maintain your Stamped Concrete!

How to maintain stamped concrete is a subject of frequent discussion among contractors and remodelers. Concrete is typically patterned, textured or colored to mimic brick, stone, wood, flagstone, tile or any other similar masonry material. The range of color and styles make stamped concrete very popular for use in driveways, patios and other areas in a house. Stamped concrete is inexpensive and requires little maintenance if sealant is used regularly. If you are considering a project that will require the stamping of concrete, it is important to learn how to properly maintain your investment.

The most important step in learning how to maintain your stamped concrete is to avoid damaging it with chemicals. Oil, grease and other liquids should not be used on stamped concrete since these liquids can weaken the structure over time. If you must use an oil-based cleaner on your driveway, use only products that are meant for the treatment of concrete and that are specifically designed for use on stamped concrete. You can find these products at your local home improvement store.

Another important part of learning how to maintain your stamped concrete is to:
1. Remove any loose dirt, mud or debris from the surface before beginning the resealing process. Any dirt that is allowed to become embedded into the surface will cause the sealant to miss the surface completely, which will result in premature fading of the area. Loose dirt or debris can also clog the pores of the sealant, causing the water to flow under the sealant and to the bottom of the hole. This can also cause a layer of organic material to form along the surface, creating a weaker seal and resulting in even more maintenance. Once the dirt has been removed, the area can be washed clean with soap and water and then re-sealed.

2. The most neglected areas of maintenance is sealing the edges. Often the edges of stamped concrete surfaces receive little maintenance because they are typically covered up during remodeling projects. The best option for this area is to apply a layer of clear sealer over the entire edge. This will provide a barrier to moisture, prevent water from penetrating the surface and provide a high degree of protection against stains and other damaging effects. It is important to remember that applying a layer of sealer does not mean that the sealers have been applied permanently.

3. To consider regarding spills and liquid spills. If a spill occurs on the sealer, it should be cleaned up immediately. Even small spills can seep into the concrete if left untreated, eventually causing cracking and pitting of the surface. Once spills occur, it is important to keep the area as free of material as possible. Cleaning up the spill immediately will help reduce the amount of damage that the spill causes to the sealer and the concrete itself.

4. Finally, proper cleaning is an absolute must for any concrete surface. Every time dirt or sand gets pushed into the sealer, the material is compromised and may become more susceptible to contamination and damage over time. Dirt particles in particular can penetrate the sealer, which in turn allows dirt and sand to seep into the underlying layers of the concrete, creating a weak point that can cause cracking. Sealing the dirt from the sealer can eliminate this potential problem.

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