Decorative Stamped Concrete: Good For Your Driveway?
Some years back, Concrete was so easy to choice of a driveway material as the options available are limited.
Today, besides the traditional concrete, asphalt, and stone materials, there are various decorative stamped concrete you can use to better enhance the look of your driveway.
Although the durability of concrete and some stone driveways cannot be disputed, it’s obvious these two materials, together with asphalt, lack character.
On the other hand, stamped concrete, which can be made to simulate any interesting pattern – brick, natural stone, slate, wood, basket weave – can give your parking pad or driveway a more luxurious and gorgeous transformation, unlike any other flooring material.
And if properly installed and maintained, decorative stamped concrete can last just as long as plain concrete on your driveway.
Stamped Concrete Driveways: Pros and Cons
Stamped concretes are very easy to clean and require practically zero maintenance to keep their patterned appearance.
However, one big downside to them is that when their installation isn’t skillfully done, over time, they will scratch and crack under the weight of a heavy load.
This is the reason why some would advise that stamped concretes are better suited for walkway, patio, or footpath than driveways.
But at this point we’d like to point out that all driveway surfaces will surely deteriorate with age and become a safety hazard.
The trick is to maintain a driveway so as to extend its life expectancy as long as possible before it will be completely removed and replaced.
Available Options, Aesthetics and Affordability
There’s no limit to the available designs for stamped concrete surfaces for landscaping and even interior flooring. This driveway material comes in multiple colors, textures, and patterns.
They can mimic almost any material from weathered lumber to cobblestone to marble. Stamped concrete provides an aesthetically stunning and affluent façade that add greatly to the value of a property or home.
Besides their beautiful look, stamped and colored concretes are more budget-friendly than most other surfaces. They would give your driveway the upscale look of natural stone, wood, pavers, or brick for a lesser amount.
Just like the traditional concrete, colored, and stamped concrete will provide years of service if it is well laid and maintained.
But take note that it will require periodical clean-ups and maintenance depending on your local weather conditions as well as the amount and type of traffic it gets.
Most contractors will apply multiple coats of protective sealer to prevent chemicals, dirt, grease, oil, and other substances from penetrating the tiny gaps of stamped surfaces.
Another good that a sealer does is that it makes the cleaning of concrete stamped surfaces easier. Also, it prevents the color of the concrete from fading due to UV exposure.
If your neighborhood experiences harsh winters or other severe weather conditions, you may need to reseal your stamped concrete every two to three years.
However, if the climate in your locality is as mild as that of the Mediterranean region, you may not need to worry too much that your beautiful stamped concrete driveway will crack.
This is because the expansion and contraction, which is common with severe temperature fluctuations, is minimal in places with mild weather conditions.