Stamped concrete driveway, otherwise known as patterned concrete, refers to a system of concrete floors that are made up of designs specially made to beautify floors. It is important to note, however, that it is considerably different from concrete, although it has most of the same elements.
Stamped concrete is designed in a way that makes it really resemble an assemblage of brick, wood, and tile – that is because it certainly is. Although stamped concrete is an array of these various elements, it is a system of flooring that demands careful and recurrent tending to. Stamped concrete is prevalently used for sidewalks, patios, driveways, interior flooring, and pool decks. Stamped concrete being able to look like a variety of building materials makes it a cheaper alternative to using those other original materials such as brick, stone or slate.
Several methods can be taken when it comes to the installation of stamped concrete. Some of these methods are ‘difficult’ to achieve and will require the attention of a proper flooring expert or service. In this article, you’ll find all the information you need about the installation, nonetheless. First, however, I will explain the pros and cons of stamped concrete.
Pros of Stamped Concrete Driveway
The benefits of stamped concrete driveway are numerous. Some of these ‘benefits’ apply to other systems of flooring but stamped concrete offers a lot on its own, too. Although the stamped concrete has a few of its flaws, the advantages of stamped concrete far outweigh these flaws.
Perhaps the most important benefit of stamped concrete is the beauty it offers. For owners of simple homes and buildings, using stamped concrete can largely increase the aesthetic value of such buildings. Given proper attention and installation, it may even be the highlight of such buildings. Stamped concrete offers a lot more than quality, well-designed flooring, it is guaranteed to beautify your building.
If you don’t want to overspend on beautifying the floor of your home or office, you should seriously consider using stamped concrete. The aesthetic value it can offer your patio and floors and ultimately, your home is massive.
2. It Is Very Cheap
Unlike other flooring systems, stamped concrete costs very little. The cost needed to install a properly designed stamped concrete floor makes it a no-brainer as a flooring option. Paving, for example, will cost a considerable larger amount of money than stamped concrete. In addition to being very beautiful and being largely eye-pleasing, it is cost effective and plays perfectly well to the financial strengths of an average earner.
Its cost-effectiveness can go a long way for simple homeowners. Everyone can afford to have that patio designed with the best designs that stamped concrete has to offer.
3. It Lasts For A Very Long Time
In addition to its cost-effectiveness, one more benefit that stamped concrete offers is its durability. Concrete lasts for a long time before they even need to be repaired. In fact, a well-installed concrete system can last up to twenty-five (25) to thirty (30) years before it needs to be repaired. With proper, adequate care and prompt repair, a stamped concrete system can last for as long as fifty years or more. If that isn’t longevity, what is?
4. It Offers Versatility
Even though it is mostly concrete, stamped concrete offers a large range of designs and patterns specially made to ensure the beautification of your floor. Stamped concrete can be whatever you want it to be. All you need is to be creative with your demands. Your floors can take on the form of marble or hardwood or oakwood. The choices available are endless, and there is certainly something for everyone.
5. It Has A Low Cost Of Maintenance
Maintaining stamped concrete is not difficult. It requires careful planning, though. Stamped concrete maintenance is not only easy, but it costs little or no money at all! Repairs will probably not happen for a long time after installation and that time range is beneficial to any owner. Even when repairs are needed, the work required will be very little. This is why, unlike some other flooring systems, stamped concrete is a great idea for a long term plan.
Cons of Stamped Concrete Driveway
Despite the numerous benefits that stamped concrete offers, there are some disadvantages that it has too. Some of these disadvantages aren’t necessarily bad or altering. But they are disadvantages all the same. Here are some of the cons of stamped concrete:
1. It Is Very Hard
Perhaps the most obvious con is the hardness of the surface of concrete. The surface of stamped concrete is very hard and may cause discomfort to people who will walk on it. Despite its durability, it can cause a great deal of discomfort. It can also prove difficult for household equipment which may be placed on top of it. The hardness and roughness will undoubtedly be an issue in the long run. Unlike, marble or paving, it is unusually hard and rough, which may pose a problem to comfortability.
This hardness can affect the value of your home in the housing market. Most homeowners place a large deal of importance on comfortability and the hardness and roughness of surface of stamped concrete floors can affect how much they value the property.
2. It Is Susceptible To Cracks
Another unfortunately obvious con of stamped concrete is its susceptibility to cracking and breaking. After a while or if a large force is exerted on it, there is a large risk of breaking and cracking. Of course, this can be avoided for a while, by careful usage and maintenance but the fact remains that you run a much larger risk of cracking when you decide to use stamped concrete for your homes.
Why this is a problem is because these cracks can then lead to even bigger cracks which may then cause water logging in the cracks made. These can affect the beauty and aesthetic value of your home. And as earlier said, with careful, maintaining and usage, the issue of cracks can be put off for a long period.
3. It Is Susceptible To Moisture
As a result of concrete’s very low insulating nature, moisture is easily absorbed in the concrete. This can prove difficult for households that place household items that reject moisture on stamped concrete. There is the issue of discomfort, too, of course. The moisture generated by the concrete can prove very discomforting to human feet and body. The moisture also ensures that organisms like plant have absolutely no way to grow on them. So for households that have an eye on gardening and or farming, the issue of moisture can prove a most difficult problem indeed.
4. It Can Be Very Cold
Stamped concrete does not conduct heat at all. This, of course, means that a different temperature will be present – the cold. And concrete can get very cold. The cold temperature can prove very discomforting to human skin and for homeowners that are pro-pet, pets. For household items that require some degree of warmth to stay in optimum working condition, this can prove difficult. In the long run, the cold can get unbearable and intolerable for the occupants of such homes.
5. It Can Be Harmful To The Environment
Installing a stamped concrete is easy and straight-forward, but it’s harm to the environment are numerous and deadly. Because of concrete’s nature, there is a great deal of carbon dioxide being dispensed when it is being installed. That it is susceptible to moisture hardens this fact. A buildup of carbon dioxide does not only damage the environment, but it also poses a danger to humans. Stamped concrete does this, and for homeowners that are pro-environment, this is definitely a disadvantage.
How To Install Stamped Concrete Driveway?
Earlier in the article, we talked about explaining the major steps involved in the installation of stamped concrete. There are generally just three processes involved. It is pertinent to remember that these steps, and installing itself, no matter how easy they may look must only be done by a professional to avoid any future problems or issues. So, it is advisable to employ the services of professionals in the field.
The first step is to add the primary colour of the concrete onto the concrete. This process requires a great deal of patience and effort. With the use of colours specially designed to harden on application to a surface, this process is usually over quickly.
The next step is to add a secondary colour to the concrete. This colour defines the colour that is obvious to the human eyes. Here too, careful application is usually employed.
Having gotten by the colouring, the next step is to choose the pattern and designing of the concrete. Here, designs are stamped onto the concrete and these designs eventually solidify into a form that is qualifiable as concrete.
Stamped concrete has its advantages and its disadvantages. If installed by the right hands, it can be perfect for your homes or office or buildings. There are numerous flaws to it too, but one thing is certain; there is no denying that stamped concrete is a great idea for a flooring system.