FAQ’s about Stamped Concrete Maintenance Cost and Process
Stamped Concrete Customer Questions
Q. Is there ongoing maintenance with stamped concrete patios, pool decks, driveways and sidewalks-walkways?
A. Yes. Depending on the location of our stamped concrete customers project, the amount of exposure to the sun, weather elements in the North East and traffic, will determine the frequency at which one should wash, treat (as applicable) and seal their stamped concrete project. *Also note that no de-icing salt or similar product can damage the stamped concrete surface integrity, and should not be used. Stamped and conventional concrete need quality concrete sealer protection.Following this guidance, our stamped concrete customers will ensure, that releasing agents and integral color in their stamped concrete project remains intact, along with protection of the stamped concrete surface integrity. Concrete scaling, spalling and flaking will severely damage the concrete surface appearance, integrity and its appeal.
Q. Can I just blow off the concrete with a blower and then apply the stamped concrete sealer?
A. I suppose you can, although, not recommended. But, do you want to? Conventional or stamped concrete should be properly cleaned, to avoid future problems, that can be quite expensive to rectify. By ensuring you concrete is properly cleaned from containments such grime, mold, mildew to name a few, or any other organisms living in or on the concrete’s surface. You will also prevent future surface problems, thereby reducing your cost and overall expense, while protecting your concrete or stamped concrete investment.
Q. What type of concrete sealer should I use? (Warning!)
A. Here is where majority of customers and contractors screw up big time. There are many types and brands of sealers on the market today. Many different sealers with many different pricing, which is very confusing to understand when shopping for a quality concrete sealer, to protect and beautify you’re stamped concrete project. Failure to protect your concrete’s surface, can in most cases and will eventually result in spalling, scaling-a type of concrete flaking, that will compromise the concrete or stamped concrete surface integrity.
- Depending on the look and protection one is trying to achieve, will determine the type of sealer you will want to choose to use.
1. Acrylic sealers that are solvent based will provide the customer with a “shiny look” and are topical film forming sealers, that contains a percentage (%) of acrylics in the sealer. This protects the integrity of the concretes surface from water penetration and the loss of the surface color integrity. Acrylic sealers all vary in pricing, but, the same holds true, in that, in almost all cases, “you always get what you pay for.” Stamped concrete pool decks, patios, stamped concrete driveways and sidewalk-walkways should be sealed with a top quality stamped concrete acrylic sealer, only after they are properly cleaned.
2. Water based acrylic sealers contain no solvent and therefore utilize a water delivery vehicle for the sealant, to the area one is sealing, thus resulting in spotty coverage and resulting more so in a “matte finish”, vice the “shiny look.” These sealers can be utilizedfor our customers stamped concrete patios, pool decks, stamped concrete driveways and stamped concrete sidewalks-walkways. Water-based sealers are often used on indoor residential and commercial projects.
3. Water-based acrylic sealers are less expensive, and most of the time, show very little difference from the way the concrete looked, prior to the sealer application of the water based sealer.
4. Conventional concrete can be sealed with a multitude of different sealants, which are determined based upon the desired purpose, one is trying to achieved. In most cases, penetrating sealants are used, filling the concrete capillaries, forming a glass-like barrier beneath the surface, thereby reducing or eliminating moisture and water penetration into the concrete surface from the top down. Penetrating sealants-sealers are utilized for regular concrete sidewalks, concrete patios, concrete driveways and concrete pool decks. Penetrating sealers can also be used on vertical surfaces, such as walls, brick-joints, foundation walls and Floors, etc.
Q. Can I spray the sealer on my pool deck, driveway, patio or walkway-the other guy did it?
A. We sometimes spray an acrylic sealer on our customers stamped concrete surface, because of our experience, we are able to control the amount of sealer being applied, and overspray does not end up everywhere. Spraying stamped concrete sealer can result in too much sealer making the, surface looking “milky white,” “crystallizing look,” small pinhead size “bubbles” and de-lamination-peeling. We normally use a rolling application method, when applying quality acrylic sealer to flat or irregular stamped concrete surfaces, depending on the surface condition, porosity and temperature of the surface and day.
Q. Why does my stamped concrete surface have little pin head size bubbles (weeks after application) on the surface along with yellowing?
A. The yellowing is most likely the result of cheap sealers with styrene and also an improperly cleaned surface (pollen, trapped mold, mildew) The bubbles are a form of de-lamination, which can result from a multitude of reasons, including, but not limited to; improper cleaning of the surface, incompatible sealers, wrong nap size roller, sealing over a wet or damp surface or improper sealer application.
Q. I have had several different concrete contractors service my project and it looks terrible, what can I do?
A. Many folks try “ the band-aid approach,” Once “the process” has been compromised, or a low quality sealer has be applied, there is not much one can do than to start over. Most contractors do not specialize in the sealing of concrete or stamped concrete,that has been around for a few years. They install, seal and take the money and run, or walk fast. So they are not aware of the problems they create for our customers. Stamped concrete cleaning and sealing is what we do!