Deciding on which building material to surface an interior space, a garden path, patio, or driveway can be a daunting task because there are just so many choices today. Factors to consider include construction budget, environment, level of maintenance, and aesthetic appeal, just to name a few. Stamped concrete is a very popular choice today because it reasonably meets all of those requirements for most homeowners and commercial property owners. One huge advantage is that it offers an excellent equity to installation cost ratio.
A Versatile Range of Choices in Aesthetic Appeal
Two of the major advantages of stamped concrete are that it is available in just about any color and a range of styles to mimic many different material patterns. Because of this, it is an excellent choice for both new construction and remodeling projects. Considering color and pattern, you can match the general motif of your home or business or opt for something less complementary.
Some popular patterns are slate, pavers, ceramic tile, brick, wood planks, and more; the list goes on and on. It is only limited by the choices offered by your concrete contractor. Paver patterns are popular for driveways and garden paths. Brick patterns are a good choice around swimming pools since it minimizes slips and falls. Wood plank patterns posing as real wood are a great alternative for the real thing; concrete does not rot over time.
But Doesn't Concrete Crack?
Anyone with a driveway will tell you that yes, concrete can crack, especially in very dry times. This is one disadvantage of a stamped concrete surface. Fortunately, using a reliable and experienced contractor that can go above and beyond your local building code if you so choose will lower this risk. If you are involved in new construction, this is the time to take the future chance of cracking into consideration.
On the other hand, if you are remodeling and installing stamped concrete over an existing slab, be sure to have it inspected and correct any defects before you begin. These stamped overlays are popular choices both on interior floors and on the exterior. Your contractor will do a thorough cleaning, make any needed repairs, and finally profile the surface (roughening it up for adhesion). Only then will the overlay begin.
Maintenance and Durability
One of the advantages of a stamped surface is the minimal maintenance involved. For example, a wood plank pattern does not require annual re-finishing and a tile pattern won't call for re-sealing the grout. In the long run, this will not only save you time but money as well. One task that you may need to do is periodic washing if moss build-up is an issue in your area. This is likely to occur in shady, humid areas.
Durability is a potential disadvantage in some situations. The cracking mentioned above is a prime example. Most light weight-bearing surfaces are not usually affected but driveways with vehicle traffic can be another situation. Another potential disadvantage is that concrete surfaces may be scratched. Luckily, this disadvantage may be largely avoided by applying a little common sense. For example, avoid using a metal snow shovel; go for a plastic one. For further protection, apply an acrylic sealer after the concrete has completely cured.
The decision whether to install stamped concrete or a more traditional material is ultimately up to the homeowner or business property owner. For easy installation, a wide range of looks, and easy maintenance, it is hard to beat concrete. This is not a DIY project so call Increte of Houston for your free estimate today!