The Art and Truth of Decorative Concrete

Congratulations on your decision to put a stamped concrete patio in at your property!  Stamped concrete has become one of the most popular ways around to transform your backyard. Not only is it more affordable than most other patio options but it also has durability unmatched by any of the others. With that being said there are a few things you need to know going into the installation process…

1.     Your patio will NEVER be perfect! – Yes, you read that right and we are willing to admit it. Unlike other products, concrete is not made in a controlled environment. It’s made in your backyard where the weather is always different from day to do. The concrete on the truck is never made exactly the same at the plant and the color is not mixed precisely the same either. With that all being said expect some imperfects. Color variations, small stamp tears, aggregate pop-outs, irregular lines, indentations from stamping etc are just to name a few. We take pride in our work and the extra steps to minimize these imperfections but they are always going to be part of the process that makes every patio unique in its own way.

2.     Your concrete will change over the next year. Due to the moisture inside your slab it will continue to cure out over the next 12 months of life. The majority of the curing process will happen during the first couple months but due to this process the slab will continue to transform in color and texture over that timeframe.

3.     Even though it is concrete you will still need to maintain it. Little things like re-sealing it every 5 years is a critical step to persevere the look for many years to come. The type of sealer matters in this situation. Please reach out to us when that time comes to ensure you go with the right products. Things like not using hard metal edged tools to clean off snow or dirt also help to preserve the look of your patio.

4.     Drainage is important. We will provide some backfill around the edges of the patio to cover up any of the rock base that may be showing to give you a base to start your landscaping around it with. We encourage you to either plant grass or landscape with rock borders to catch the water coming off the slab. Without this proper substrate erosion can ensue leading to potential damage to the slab down the road.

5.     During the process of the patio construction phase you will see many different looks to your slab. When it is first poured it will look and feel very dull and rough. It’s like when a sculpture is first roughed out. It’s going to look raw and incomplete because it is!  From there you will see the detail work ensue from chiseling, to power washing to antiquing to touching up to the final seal coats. As this process moves along so with the look and feel. The colors will change and so will the overall presentation of it. Until the final sealer coat is applied it will not be a finished product so be patient as this process moves along. Also, the less you or your animals are on the slab during this time, the better to keep dirt on the slab a minimum.

6.     If you have questions please call either Brett (515-554-5976) or Mark (515-480-2485).

7.     Enjoy your patio!  It’s why you decided to put it in to begin with! It’s not to look at. It’s to be enjoyed.

We want to thank you again for choosing to work with us on your concrete project. It is our first-most priority that your experience is a great one.  We do everything within our power to make your project unique and enjoyable for years to come. If you have questions on anything please feel free to ask!

The McDonough Brothers

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