The 3 NEVER-Do's to Keep Your Stamped Concrete Looking Great

Concrete is a very durable product that can stand up to the harshest of conditions. With that being said, it still needs a little TLC for you to get the most out of it. In particular, decorative concrete takes a little more attention and care to keep it looking great for a long time. Over the last decade of working with well over 1000 decorative projects, both new and old, we have found a few tricks of the trade that really make a difference with the longevity of your concrete.

1. Salt- NO. If you need to improve traction on your decorative concrete use sand. Salt is a product that will chew through most normal concrete even with a seal coat. Decorative concrete is even more sensitive to salt. It will destroy the sealer, the color and the concrete fairly quickly. No forms of salt are good - solid or liquid. From that point there is not much a person can do to change the problem. It's not a fun place to be so save your salt for your french fries!

2. Pressure Washing - Be careful. This is good practice to clean your concrete as long as the tip does not get too close to the concrete itself. It is best to keep 10-12" of distance between the wand and concrete surface. It is also best to use at an angle and not directly down on the surface. Again, it's a great tool to clean with but the power can strip the top off of concrete and change the finish of the slab quickly. This would leave a permanent marking with no good ways to fix.

3. Sealer - This is a HUGE one. Your decorative concrete, if using a good sealer to start, should only need sealing about every 4-5 years. When it is first applied it will have a very strong look to it when it's wet and not weathered. It will not always stay that way. No sealer product will. The normal look from that point will be a satin finish with a stone like appearance and texture. The thicker the sealer the more problems you will have with it. Put another way, the more coats of sealer the worse it will be. It may look good for a few weeks but it will only end in disappointment. A moderate sheen with a thin layer lasts longer and maintains the true color better. With sealer more is NOT better.

Hopefully this clears up some common questions about concrete maintenance in relation to the decorative side of things. Concrete needs a minimal amount of attention but the little things matter if you want the slab to last and look better for longer.

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