The Pros And Cons Of Installing Stamped Concrete
It is true that stamped concrete is much easier to install than stone or brick. Still, it is a complex process, which requires not only the expertise from the right professionals but also the appropriate materials and tools for it to be successful. There are usually various steps in the stamping of concrete, but crews only have a short window period to achieve all of them before the concrete begins to dry. Besides placing and impressing every stamp, these experts must apply a color hardener on the surfaces and spread a release agent, which prevents the stamps from ticking.
Concrete installation experts work hard!
Once the concrete has set, the crew must continue with more work, which includes installing the joints, completing the detail work, and applying a concrete sealer. Just to take you back, even before all the hard work begins, the experts must make adequate, appropriate preparations to ensure the job will be successful, and the client will be happy. Advance preparation is especially essential in large stamped concrete projects to ensure everything goes smoothly. On each job, these professionals must stick to certain do’s and don’ts to ensure the project is a success. Here are some of these pros and cons:
Appropriate sub-grade preparation: The structural integrity of each slab depends on a well-compacted sub-grade. It also improves drainage as well as preventing soil erosion under your concrete. Hence, the crew does not overlook the importance of proper sub-grade preparation.
Use of quality reinforcements: A credible concrete crew will not skimp on reinforcements because they know of their importance. For most slabs on grade, some reinforcements in form of welded wire mesh or steel bars are essential for controlling cracking and augmenting strength especially for driveways and places that support vehicle traffic.
Use of a durable concrete mixture: The concrete specialists will pay special attention to the ratio of water to sand in the concrete mixture. Ask them to use a mixture that will be resistant to exposure conditions such as thawing, freezing, chemicals from the climate, and the wear and tear of vehicle and/or foot traffic. Using too much water when mixing the concrete will weaken the mixture making it more porous and less durable.
Proper joining of pavements: The concrete experts do join properly the stamped concrete pavements to minimize or eliminate cracking. For the crew to be effective in this, it has to cut the joints to a depth one-quarter of the thickness of the slabs. If you are concern that the joints will disrupt the beauty of the stamped surface, you can ask the concrete experts to hide them by integrating the joint with the pattern lines of the surface if possible.
Can you stamp concrete on your own?
It does not make sense to stamp concrete on your own in terms of expenses, labor and expertise, and many experts do not recommend it. It is not a DIY project by any chance, and you will be mistaken to think so. There are numerous benefits of hiring professionals to take care of the job and you should take advantage of that.