With stamped concrete you get all the beauty of slate, flagstone, cobblestone, brick and other textures along with all the structural benefits of concrete. With very little service and maintenance you will protect your investment and help to maintain its beauty and integrity for many years.
When cleaning your stamped concrete, in most cases a simple hosing is all you need. When required, a non-corrosive cleaning detergent can be used together with scrubbing using a hard bristle broom. If available, a small pressure washer can also be used.
The original seal applied at installation helps to maintain moisture in the concrete slab, which is very important with new concrete. It is very good practice that this original seal be as worn as possible before re-sealing is performed. It is normal for any sealed concrete surface to wear inconsistently as some areas undergo more wear than others. Torus Construction recommends re-sealing 3 years from installation.
Once stamped concrete has been re-sealed the first time, additional re-sealing is recommended approximately every 3-5 years depending on how the existing sealer wears. Some may choose to never re-seal again after this first re-seal, which is fine. Do not over seal your stamped concrete. Many customers will make the mistake of resealing every year. Would you paint your garage doors or stain your fencing every year? Concrete sealers do not wear that quickly and over sealing will create an unnecessary buildup of sealer ultimately leading to surface issues (i.e. imbedded moisture, hazy white surface, peeling of sealer, etc.).
Avoid the use of low quality retail sealers as they more than often have negative reactions especially when mixed with high quality VOC compliant acrylic sealers. An improperly or over sealed concrete surface is sometimes beyond the point of repair and may require stripping. Stripping sealer is a very expensive and unnecessary procedure.
Any staining on a sealed surface that cannot be cleaned with standard detergents (i.e. rust, tire marks etc.) can be removed using special ‘Sealer Repair’. Simply apply the Sealer Repair to a white cloth and scrub the stain gently. This product will essentially melt the existing sealer hence removing whatever staining is on the surface. A stubborn stain that requires more aggressive scrubbing may create a bare spot in the sealed surface. In this case, sealer will need to be ‘brushed’ on this spot only. Sealer and Sealer Repair are available at our office in both large and small quantities.
Calcium carbonate can occur on all products that contain cement. This is very common with natural stone hardscapes but is a little more noticeable on stamped concrete surfaces. This calcium may sometimes be found leaching down vertical step risers and is white in colour. Muriatic acid (no diluting) on white rags can be used to clean calcium, then using separate dry rags to immediately wipe clean. Care should be taken to protect concrete flat work below the step riser in question; wet down flat work with water as necessary during calcium cleaning.
Chipped Concrete Edges
At the time of construction, chipped concrete edges may occur during the stamping process as the molds are lifted; these chipped edges are repaired at the sealing stage. Chipped edges can also occur by simple wear over the years just as any product may naturally chip along an edge. Chipped edges that occur by wear are typically repaired during the first re-seal service. This is a very minor cosmetic repair where the same surface colour hardener is used.
Torus torus takes all precautions that concrete cracks do not happen, however, with the freeze / thaw process and with ground shifting, some hairline cracks may appear.