Should stamped concrete be sealed?

Should stamped concrete be sealed?

Posted on Monday, April 3 2017 in Alex’s Construction News

Protect your investment – retaining wall services to the Oklahoma City area

A question that we at Alex’s Construction Services in Oklahoma City are often asked is if sealing stamped concrete is a requirement or if it is even necessary. The short answer is: yes. You will want to have your stamped concrete sealed. Concrete, by its very nature, is a porous material; without any level of effort attracts and retains water and chemicals (like oil). When you seal your stamped concrete, it helps to ensure that it will better handle the different conditions that your stamped concrete sidewalk or driveway may undergo.

Preserving the workmanship

By properly sealing and maintaining the stamped concrete sidewalk or driveway you are essentially preserving the stamping process so that it lasts for years or decades in relatively the same state that it starts in. Many choose stamped concrete sidewalks and driveways to bring a sense of individuality and uniqueness to their Oklahoma City home, especially in neighborhoods that are known for cookie-cutter houses. Preserving the workmanship of the stamped concrete by properly sealing will help keep your investment protected, it also can make the colors really stand out of your stamped concrete design!

All Sealers are Not the Same

Alex’s Construction Service offers sealing services that will help your stamped concrete maintain its great looks for many years. Properly sealing your stamped concrete sidewalks and driveways will help prevent the penetration of oils, stains, deicing chemicals and other similar contaminants that are known to cause or allow stains and discolorations. Depending on the use of your stamped concrete surfaces, resealing your stamped concrete sidewalk or driveway will be necessary to maintain that great stamped concrete look. It is also appropriate to analyze what type of use and traffic that your stamped concrete sidewalk and driveway might receive. UV based sealers are highly recommended in outdoor settings and recommended to be thinly coated with re-coats approximately every two years. By utilizing the incorrect sealer, or having it applied incorrectly, it can create slippery spots or not properly protect the colors of your beautiful stamped concrete sidewalk or driveway.

The Weather Takes its Toll

The greatest enemy of concrete, especially stamped concrete sidewalks and driveways, is the weather. Sealing stamped concrete sidewalks and driveways with UV coating helps to protect it from discoloration, abrasion and wear; especially with the cold winter months and warm summers that Oklahoma City is known for. However, because of this hot and cold contraction process it can cause hairline cracks that may require resealing periodically. During the cold winter it is usually necessary to treat your stamped concrete driveways and sidewalks with deicing solutions for safety reasons, which may erode the sealing process, exposing your stamped concrete to the elements. Note the care tips below…

NOTE: Pressure washing with abrasive chemicals can also erode the sealing process exposing the concrete to weather and contaminants.

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Make those colors pop!

By properly sealing your stamped concrete sidewalks and driveway the colors of the stamped concrete will really show through. Colors are notably intensified and the overall design will be far more pleasing with the proper UV sealing. You can also add sheen to the surface of the concrete. The sheens range from satin to high gloss and everything in between.

How to Properly Care for your Stamped Concrete Sidewalk or Driveway

To keep that great look of your stamped concrete or driveway for your Oklahoma City home requires just a few maintenance tips:

  1. While properly sealing your stamped concrete sidewalks and driveways helps to prevent stains, it is still smart to occasionally sweep and clean your stamped concrete sidewalks and driveways. Be sure to use a mild detergent and washing nozzle for your pressure washer to keep from damaging the UV sealer.
  2. Especially in the first year of having your stamped concrete sidewalks or driveways installed, avoid using deicing salts and chemicals as much as possible. As soon as the weather allows, rinse your stamped concrete sidewalks and driveways to keep these corrosive chemicals from eating away at your sealer.
  3. If you start to notice a loss to the sheen of the sealer contact us right away. Delays in resealing may lead to stains getting to the concrete and damaging the stamped concrete sidewalk or driveway leading to a significant repair. By catching the delamination early, it can be resealed to preserve the great look that your home receives with stamped concrete.

When Experience Counts

Alex’s Construction Service is your first and best choice in Oklahoma City area for stamped concrete sidewalks and driveways. Our experience tells us that having the process done properly the first time will save you from years of headaches of having to redo the same job again and again. Our expert craftsmen can create a stamped design that will be sure to set your home apart; combined with the proper sealing techniques necessary to preserve your stamped concrete sidewalks and driveways will be sure to keep it looking great for many years to come.