Stamped concrete contractors can tell you that, while concrete is strong, it isn't invincible. It can be damaged by water, dirt, chemicals, or heavy objects dragged across the surface. Whenever we lay down stamped concrete, we apply a sealer to the surface of the finished overlay; this sealer helps to protect the overlay from spills, stains, and scratches. However, if the sealer isn't maintained and cleaned on a regular basis, it can fail, and the concrete underneath can be damaged. Fortunately, most damage to the sealer can be repaired or disguised. The average homeowner can often do light touchups and resealing themselves, however, more extensive damage may need to be fixed by stamped concrete contractors. That said, the best bet is to avoid causing any damage in the first place.
At this home in Denton, Texas, the homeowner decided to remodel a pool deck made of plain Jane concrete and wanted us, being stamped concrete contractors, to transform it using an attractive stamped overlay. We applied a stamp that resembled a random stone pattern using a circular diamond saw to cut the stone pattern in the majority of the floor and a handheld dremel for tight spots such as underneath the fence.
The stamped concrete was the first part of the homeowner's pool remodeling project. Other work crews, who were not stamped concrete contractors, would be making additional changes to the area. We were worried that the new deck could be damaged during the project. One of our first recommendations to our clients is that we come in last, so that you don't have to worry about the other trades but in this case it just couldn't be done so instead we made a few recommendations to the homeowner about how to keep the new overlay in top condition, not just during the remodeling but also for years afterward.
You absolutely need to avoid dragging heavy furniture or other objects dragged across a sealed concrete surface - such as patio chairs or equipment - which can scratch the sealer and possibly even gouge the concrete underneath. To avoid this, we suggest using either a furniture dolly or 1/4" thick Masonite boards during temporary moves. Another alternative are furniture sliders intended for hard-surface floors but make sure no dirt is trapped underneath them. Once the furniture has been positioned, it should have a hard surface protector under them at all times (those small felt pads that stick to the bottom of the feet) as that back and forth movement over a small area will eventually wear through the sealer and start to gouge the concrete.
One of the biggest nemesis for stamped concrete contractors are rubber mats. You can't use any type of rubber mat or rubber-backed liner, which are used to prevent rugs from sliding, on sealed concrete floors as they can trap moisture, turning the sealer white underneath. The biggest issue is that if they are not moved periodically, they will eventually stick so tightly to the sealed surface that it will have to be literally peeled off, often damaging the sealer and the stain underneath. Other types of throw rugs should be fine. Avoid placing any tape on a sealed overlay surface, the tape and the sealer may bond after a little while, damaging the sealer when you try to remove the tape. While painting, we suggest using paper, cardboard or Masonite boards to protect concrete surfaces.
Spills can leave permanent marks if they are allowed to sit on the sealer for too long. To keep this from happening, be sure to clean up any spills immediately. While a wax coat on top of the sealer can provide further protection from damage, we only recommend using wax on indoor surfaces. A fresh coat should be applied every three to six months in homes or at least once a month inside commercial establishments. Only apply the wax after the concrete surface has been cleared of dust, dirt, or stains. Make sure that the water used for mopping is clean; dirty water will leave streaks, and the wax will trap the dirt.
Outdoor concrete surfaces, like the pool deck at the house in Denton, can't be waxed, exposure to the elements will just destroy the coat it in a matter of weeks, sometimes just days. Instead, we recommend reapplying the sealer every two to three years. Any stamped concrete contractors can do this step, or you can do it yourself. Following these steps can keep a concrete surface looking like new for years. If you have other questions about how to maintain your concrete surface, be sure to read our more detailed guide in our FAQ section or contact us.