When thinking of having a new driveway, walkway, or patio installed on your property, you may not like the idea of concrete or cement; this surface is often dull and drab and even a bit industrial. However, it's also durable and easy for an installer to work with, and may last longer than stone or brick. Decorative concrete can be the best decision if you want the durability of this material but not the dull look; note a few questions you might have about such concrete so you can determine if this is the right choice for your property.
1. What is stamped concrete?
Stamped concrete refers to concrete that is poured and then stamped with a type of mould or cast to create the look of individual stones or tiles. Rather than pouring small sections of concrete individually, this stamping gives the surface the indentations or shapes needed to make concrete look like brick or stone. This process can be used along with painting or staining of the concrete, and it's a good choice for areas like a patio or walkway where you may want a surface that looks like natural stone.
2. Will a paint or stain protect the concrete?
Having your concrete painted or stained may not actually give it protection from water damage; you would probably still need to have the concrete seal-coated regularly. This involves putting a coat of sealant or a protective coating over the concrete, and this material is different from the paint and stain used to decorate the surface. You may even need to have the concrete sealed more often once it's painted or stained to protect that colouring. Your installer can tell you the best choice for keeping your concrete strong and durable as well as protecting the finish, but don't assume the paint or stain is all that's needed once it's applied.
3. What happens when aggregate comes loose from concrete?
An aggregate may come loose eventually, as the concrete absorbs moisture and softens over the years. Depending on the amount of damage, you usually have two options; one is to have the entire section of concrete removed and fresh concrete added. This can be needed if the concrete is very soft and is cracking or chipping in many areas.
However, you can also have concrete resurfaced, which is having just a top layer poured over the current layer. This can replace any worn-down or missing aggregate, and your concrete will look like new. Resurfacing is much more affordable than having an entirely new driveway or walkway poured.