Q-How often should a stamped concrete driveway be sealed?
For stamped concrete driveways, every 2 to three years is a good rule of thumb to follow. The constant use of salt by the municipalities as a de-icer guarantees that salt, concrete's number one enemy, will get tracked on to your driveway. Salt will attack and wear out the sealer prematurely, especially compared to an area that does not receive salt. For stamped concrete patio's, which will likely never see salt, sealing every 3 to 4 years should be more than sufficient.
Q-Is it better than to just re-seal every year?
No. It is not necessary, and frankly, a waste of money to reseal yearly. In fact, building up too much sealer on the surface of stamped concrete can cause as many problems as not having enough sealer can.
Q-I followed the maintenance recommendations of the installer and I still have massive surface damage on my stamped concrete. What happened?
Stamped concrete is a unique product, in that, it is manufactured and placed on site at the same time. It takes an immense amount of skill and craftsmanship to properly place and finish. Even then, however, there are factors that have nothing to do with the ability and skill of the installer which will still have a significant impact on the long term durability of the concrete. It takes 28 days for concrete to fully cure and gain 100% of it's strength. If, during that month long curing process, there are extreme environmental conditions like heavy rainfall, extreme temperatures or even extreme temperature swings, the natural curing process of the concrete will have been disrupted and the slab will not attain maximum strength. Structurally, there is usually no problem. However, since the slab's strength is weakened, the decorative impact of the product will ultimately be compromised with the appearance of surface damage. Regardless of whether the homeowner has followed proper maintenance procedures or not.
Q-Can everything be repaired?
If you throw enough money at it, everything can be repaired. However, we analyze each case individually and work withing the homeowners budget to achieve maximum value. For repairs, each case is unique and must be addressed accordingly. There have been times when we have had to say that 'it is a waste of time and money to try to fix this and, unfortunately, your only option is to remove and replace everything.'
Q-Is crack repair possible?
Crack repair is possible and routinely done. However, it depends on what kind of crack it is. If we determine that it is not a 'moving' or 'structural' crack, we can repair it and it will be fine. For structural cracks that are still active, we don't recommend repair as it will just have to be redone again eventually.
Q-What are the white stains running down the step faces on my porch?
Efflorescence. Water is seeping out, draining, from under the stamped concrete on the porch. The white stains are mineral trails, or hard water deposits. They can be removed with a mild concrete cleaner and gentle agitation.
Q-Can oil stains on a stamped concrete driveway be removed?
If the oil has not penetrated into the concrete due to a lack of sealer, they can. If the oil has penetrated, it will be virtually impossible to get rid of the stain.
STAMPED CONCRETE SEALING AND REPAIRS