Stamped concrete is an attractive way to add an attractive design to any surface. Through stamped concrete, texture effects, brick, and tile can all be replicated without the associated cost of laying down bricks, tile, and mortar. But stamped concrete can also present some difficulties with cleaning and maintenance because of their special texture effects. Here are a few of the best ways to achieve clean and bright stamped concrete.
Coat and Re-coat With Sealers
When initially installed, stamped concrete should be thoroughly coated with a sealer. A sealer will protect the concrete from staining. Concrete is a very porous material, which means that it absorbs liquids very easily. When a colored liquid is spilled on the concrete, it becomes very difficult to get out -- depositing a stain throughout the concrete itself. A sealer will keep stains and liquids on the top of the concrete so that it can be easily cleaned.
Keep Surface Swept and Washed
Sweeping and washing concrete regularly will keep it looking like new. Liquid spills aren't the only thing to be concerned about. Dirt and debris can grind away at the fine details of stamped concrete, making it look dull or worn over time. By sweeping and washing regularly, you can minimize the damage that regular traffic puts on the concrete.
Don't Use De-Icing Salts or Harsh Chemicals
De-icing salts and harsh cleaning chemicals will often damage concrete. Stamped concrete is especially vulnerable because of the detail work on the surface. Salts can also collect inside of grooves and lines of a stamped concrete block, thereby grinding at it similar to dirt. Finally, de-icing salts and harsh cleaning chemicals will usually dissolve the sealer that is protecting the stamped concrete.
Pressure Wash As Needed
The easiest and lowest damage way to clean stamped concrete is to pressure wash it. Often, stamped concrete will come out of a pressure washing looking either new or close to new. When pressure washing, you should always start at a lower setting and work your way up, testing out the pressure settings as you go. A pressure washer should never be held on a single spot for longer than is necessary to clean it.
Though stamped concrete may take some work to maintain, it will also last a very long time. Stamped concrete is often stronger than ordinary concrete, as it needs to maintain fine detail and lines. When properly maintained using the above tips, stamped concrete can last decades without significant damage or staining.