Stamped concrete is simply concrete that is patterned or textured to bear a resemblance to brick, flagstone, stone, slate, tile, wood, and various other surfaces. It can be used for patios, sidewalks, driveways, and pool decks. Normally a base color is chosen to reflect the natural color of the material it resembles. An accent color is also commonly used which gives the stamped concrete some texture.
To protect the appearance of stamped concrete, it is best to seal it. The right stamped concrete sealer will keep the surface looking good for many years. Concrete sealer can also revive an existing stamped concrete surface.
Benefits of Sealing Stamped Concrete
- Prevents color fading caused by U.V. rays
- Improves appearance
- Protects from stains
- Locks out moisture
- Reduces chance of freeze/thaw damage
- Protects from deicing salts and chemicals
Like any surface, you will need to wash the stamped concrete before sealing it. Use a concrete cleaner and a stiff brush or pressure washer. Remove any dirt, grime, mold, mildew, and any other stains. For severe mold/mildew, a mild bleach solution can work well. Follow the directions on the concrete cleaner and be sure to rinse well. Allow the stamped concrete to dry for a day or so before applying concrete sealer.
Choosing a Concrete Sealer
Stamped concrete sealers are offered in a variety of gloss levels, ranging from matte or non-gloss to high-gloss or “wet” look. The sealer can be applied using a brush, roller, or a quality metal sprayer. Cheap plastic garden sprayers do not work well as the sealer is too thick.
Concrete Sealer Application
Once the surface has completely dried, start applying the sealer evenly on the surface. Avoid “puddling” of the sealer; back brush any areas that start to pond or puddle up. Depending on the product and the type of finish you want, a second coat may be necessary. For glossy or “wet” look concrete sealers, additional coats can add more shine but be sure to follow the directions on the label and wait for the adequate dry time between coats. Once the entire surface is sealed, stay off the sealed concrete for the suggested amount of time, usually at least 24-48 hours.
Keeping your stamped concrete surfaces maintained will improve the look and value of your property. Protecting stamped concrete from the elements, stains, and other contaminants is certainly the best way to protect your investment.
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