Stamped concrete is a durable and attractive choice for both indoor and outdoor surfaces. With low-maintenance requirements, they last decades and even get stronger over time. They only require some routine cleaning and maintenance to keep them in tip-top condition. Compared to other paving materials, stamped concrete is by far the least expensive to maintain.
Minimal upkeep will prevent premature damage and protect the concrete surface itself. Your concrete maintenance routine will vary depending on foot traffic and environmental factors. Here are the three basic steps involved in maintaining your stamped concrete surfaces:
Do a General Cleaning
Basic cleaning is what your stamped concrete needs. For indoor surfaces, using a broom to sweep up debris is enough. Routine sweeping can help remove loose dirt and grime from the surface.
You may also mop the surface and wipe up excess water until it gets dry. To avoid dirt buildup, use a mild detergent and wash the stamped concrete weekly. Mild detergents, liquid cleaners, and dish soap are safe to use as long as it’s not chemical-based cleaners. Be sure to rinse with a wet mop to remove soap scum and any residue.
If you’re cleaning outdoor stamped concrete, keep the surface free of debris by using a leaf blower or a garden hose. Always use a stiff bristled broom and scrubbing brush to clear away loose debris.
Try Power Washing
In case of stubborn marks and stains on the surface, mild cleaners might no longer work. For these instances, a light power washing is necessary. Power washing will remove tough stains, tire marks, and grease spots. If you don’t own a power washer, try renting a unit at your local hardware store.
First, test out your power washer to adjust the output pressure. The right pressure will vary depending on the concrete surface itself. We recommend using power washers with a pressure rating between 2000 and 3000 psi.
To avoid any form of damage, it’s advisable to use a fan nozzle rather than a jet spray nozzle. This is the most suitable nozzle because it sweeps out a broader surface without damaging it. Always be careful when power washing your stamped concrete as it can cause irreversible damage to your concrete driveway or patio.
Remove Stains Quickly
Concrete is porous, which means stains may penetrate through the surface. It’s better to remove stains immediately before they seep deep into the concrete. For tougher stains, use an alkaline degreaser and clean the surface after. This will help lift the stain and break down grease and oil on your stamped concrete surface.
Simply apply the degreaser directly onto the area and use hot water to dilute the product. Each degreaser may have different instructions, so make sure you follow what’s stated on the label. You may ask your concrete contractor for the most recommended stain removal products.
Reseal the Concrete Surface
Proper sealing is the best way to preserve your stamped concrete. Over time, the original sealant will be worn off, which is why you need to reseal the concrete every 2-3 years. A new coat of sealant will block dirt, dust, and stains from penetrating the porous surface. In addition, this will protect the surface against wear and abrasion. If you’ve added color to your concrete floor, the sealant will prevent any color fading, etc. You may do this step yourself or hire a contractor who will do all the work for you.
Things to Avoid
- Don’t use harsh cleaning products and chemicals like de-icing salts because they will damage the surface.
- Don’t use abrasive cleaners like steel wool, pumice, and sandpaper as these can remove the coating from the stamped concrete.
- Don’t let unnecessary materials and debris pile up on your stamped concrete surface.
- Don’t use a plow or a shovel with a metal edge when removing ice on your stamped concrete.
- Don’t let concrete damage get out of hand. Repair them immediately before they could compromise the value of your home.
Stamped concrete is an investment that will surely pay off in the future. At Midstate Concrete, we specialize in all aspects of concrete work. We provide comprehensive services in driveway paving, sidewalk and walkway installation, mudjacking, and more. Our team of concrete contractors takes pride in the quality of our work. Request a free estimate today!