When you think of concrete, the first word that comes to mind is probably durable, or some synonym thereof. We use concrete for both indoor and outdoor flooring because it offers long-term aesthetic appeal and requires less maintenance than other types of floors. Stamped Concrete can make concrete floors more interesting, and can take the place of less expensive substances like slate and brick.
Stamped concrete floors, however, are more susceptible to water and mineral damage than regular concrete floors because they contain more grooves and artificial indentions. Water, ice, oil, and other substances can penetrate the porous surface of stamped concrete, leaving it permanently damaged. Sealing your stamped concrete floors can prevent this from happening and negate the need to replace your floors for several years.
The surface of a non-sealed stamped concrete floor will contain minor flaws that take away from the natural beauty of the floor. The concrete may appear antiquated and flawed, and marks on the floor will be much more visible. Sealing your stamped concrete floor will not only keep it fresh and unblemished but will also add to the aesthetic quality.
Since stamped concrete (also called patterned concrete) can be found almost anywhere, sealers are created to work for both indoor and outdoor concrete. Pool decks, patios, entryways, balconies, and porches can be made more attractive with stamped concrete, which can be made to resemble any number of different surfaces, including flagstone, shale, brick, stone, tile, and wood.
Stamped concrete can be sealed as soon as it is installed, or it can be applied later as long as the concrete has been cleaned. (For tips on how to clean concrete, visit The Concrete Network.) Some of the most popular concrete sealers come from Davis Colors, Increte, LM Scofield, and QC Construction Products.
Make sure, when selecting a stamped concrete sealer, that it complies with any air management statutes in your state and that it is specifically designed for stamped concrete. Because of the porous nature of stamped concrete, you might find that traditional sealers penetrate too deeply and make it even more susceptible to the elements.
You should also look for a stamped concrete sealer that works for both indoor and outdoor concrete, or for one specifically. It is best to visit your local hardware store and talk with someone who is knowledgeable in this area. That way you won’t purchase a sealer that will damage or ruin the aesthetic quality of your stamped concrete. For the best results, try the sealer on a spare tile of concrete and observe its effects over a 24-hour period.