Stamped concrete is quick and easy to use. The combination of the concrete and the stamping creates beautiful driveways and patios. Stamped concrete is becoming more and more popular in Montreal, but some property owners have concerns about its durability.
The Quebec climate is challenging and tends to degrade most materials over time. Why would stamped concrete be any exception?
Actually, regular maintenance can significantly delay stamped concrete’s deterioration. So, what’s the best way to prevent wear and tear?
Our foundation crack experts offer their best maintenance tips.
How to maintain stamped concrete
Like traditional concrete, stamped concrete can last for decades if it is properly installed and maintained. You won’t regret dedicating a few hours a year to preserving the quality of the material, particularly since the process isn’t very complicated.
Here are some tips for cleaning and maintaining your stamped concrete to preserve its beauty and maximize its lifespan:
Maintaining stamped concrete in 3 simple steps
Light maintenance is all that is needed in order to keep your stamped concrete in good conditions for decades, but it’s important to do it regularly.
- Rinse the concrete well with a high-pressure hose
- Scrub it with a push broom and a small amount of liquid dish soap
- Rinse it again to remove all soap residue
If the hose and broom strategy seems inadequate, you can also use a pressure washer on the most stubborn stains, but take care not to set the pressure too high, or you could damage the sealer.
Oil and grease spills and any other substances that could damage the surface should be cleaned up immediately to prevent them from soaking into the concrete.
Re-applying sealer to revitalize stamped concrete
It’s a good idea to reseal stamped concrete in addition to washing it with water regularly, although resealing does not need to be done as frequently. We recommend re-applying sealer once every 2 to 3 years on a day that’s not too hot or rainy.
The purpose of the sealer is to prevent dirt, chemicals, oil, grease and other substances from penetrating into the concrete. Sealers also make concrete easier to clean and prevent discoloration due to UV exposure.
The effects of temperature changes
Unlike climates further south, the Greater Montreal Area experiences multiple freeze and thaw events every year. This can damage your stamped concrete, regardless of how exposed it is to the weather. The fact is that concrete is sensitive to temperature changes. Warm temperatures can cause concrete to expand, while cold temperatures will make it contract.
Over the years, these alternating temperatures can cause cracks to form. Fortunately, a concrete crack repair specialist can seal these cracks if they are addressed quickly.
Significant changes in humidity levels due to heating and erratic weather can also cause the concrete to expand and crack. That’s why it’s best to keep the temperature and humidity level as consistent as possible.
How to protect stamped concrete during the winter in Quebec
Avoid using de-icing salt on stamped concrete, particularly if it was installed recently.
In winter, stamped concrete sealer can deteriorate rapidly in 2 cases:
- When de-icing salt is used on it
- When it absorbs drops from cars parked on the concrete
The damage isn’t caused by the salt directly, but by the freeze-thaw cycles it triggers. Remember these best practices when the temperatures drop!
What to do about cracked concrete? Contact us!
Even though concrete isn’t an impenetrable block of kryptonite, its deterioration can be significantly delayed by regular maintenance. That being said, Montreal winters are as hard on concrete as they are on the city’s inhabitants, and maintenance isn’t always enough.
If your stamped concrete has cracks or develops them in the coming months, don’t hesitate to contact Foundation Crack Expert. Our team specializes in crack repair, which is often an essential step to revitalize your stamped concrete.