Concrete & Cement FAQ’s
What is stamped concrete and where can I use it?
Stamped concrete is a low maintenance, cost effective alternative to brick pavers or natural stone. It boosts curb appeal as a paving material for driveways, pool decks, patios, walkways, garden paths, and steps.
It provides the same durability, strength, and permanence as conventional concrete. Because of this, it bears well under heavy foot and vehicle traffic. These qualities allow stamped concrete to be a practical choice for not only residential areas, but also an enhancer for public places.
How much does stamped concrete cost?
The price of stamped concrete can vary widely, depending on the price for materials, labor, and the complexity of the job. While stamped concrete may exceed the cost of asphalt or regular concrete, it is competitive or even less than that of natural stone or pavers. In the long run, stamped concrete is more cost effective then natural stone or pavers. The only cost after installation is a recommended protective reseal every 3-4 years.
Will stamped concrete increase the value of a house?
Decorative stamped concrete adds curb appeal and aesthetic value to any home. In turn, allowing you maximize the return on your investment.
How long will stamped concrete last?
Stamped concrete is just like regular concrete and should last many years. Over time the stamped concrete will wear and possibly become dull looking. This wear indicates it may be in need of a reseal which should restore the area to its original beauty.
Will the color of the stamped concrete last?
The base color is integrated into and mixed by the concrete truck before it‘s poured. The accent color is worked into the surface of the concrete during the stamping process and will not, noticeably, fade for years. All colors come from reputable national manufactures whose standard for a uniform quality product are unquestionable.
Another thing to remember is to keep up with resealing of your stamped work every 3-4 years. If you lose your protective layer you are more likely to lose color as well. Resealing is important.
Why would I chose stamped concrete over brick, stone, or pavers?
The number one reason people chose stamped concrete over its competitors is cost. Concrete can be far less expensive without sacrificing the appearance of brick or natural stone.
Maintenance also plays a big role in the decision to chose stamped concrete. Unlike brick, natural stone, or pavers, stamped concrete offers:
No weeds. There are no cracks or gaps allowing for dirt to settle and weeds to grow. This eliminates spraying weed killer, weeding, and in some cases mowing of your patio.
Level surface. Over time brick, pavers, and stone will heave and separate leading to liability risks of tripping. Replacing sections can become a nightmare.
Low maintenance. The only maintenance necessary with stamped concrete is a light power wash maybe once a season to remove any dirt, and the recommended reseal every 3-4 years. This will keep your stamped work protected and beautiful.
Will stamped concrete crack? How do you prevent cracking?
Any concrete, whether its decorative or otherwise, can experience some cracking. This is the nature of any man-made material, concrete included. However, through the use of quality concrete, a strong foundation, embedding wire mesh, and control joints, as well as, an experienced team, does its best to prevent against cracking.
Will stamped concrete be harmed under the freeze/thaw conditions of winter?
No, provided that you maintain the sealer. The sealer serves as the protective layer through these conditions. That is why resealing your work every 3-4 years is important. And, to avoid deicers if at all possible.
Can I use salt during the winter?
No! Salt deicers should not be used on stamped concrete. We recommend using kitty litter or sand as anti-slip methods during the winter months.
It is not the salt that actually harms the stamped area, as it is the freeze/thaw cycle that is created by the salt. By introducing salt to a sealed concrete area it puts the area through hundreds of freeze/thaw cycles per day, instead of the normal (1) freeze/thaw cycle of the weather. These continuous cycles breakdown the protective sealant and allow the salt water to penetrate the surface, therefore making your surface more prone to flaking and white/hazy spotting.
If a deicer is needed look for one that has a vast range of temperatures such as a magnesium based deicer which will cut down on the amount of freeze/thaw cycles.
Is stamped concrete slippery?
Traction on stamped concrete can vary from pattern to pattern. Patterns with more depth and texture will have more traction. If this is a concern, we do offer a anti-slip agent that can be added to the sealant to reduce traction issues. However, through feedback from many clients, traction is not a common problem.
How long will it take to complete my job?
The average job takes approximately 3-4 days to complete. The installation process is weather dependent, meaning these days are not always consecutive.
How thick is the concrete?
4” of 4000 psi concrete is poured onto a base of 4” of 2B stone and reinforcement.
What reinforcement is used?
10 gauge wire mesh is used for every job. Depending on the complexity of the job wire mesh is accompanied by #4 rebar for additional support.
What can be done for an uneven existing concrete slab, walkway, or driveway?
Aside from ripping it out and starting all over again another possible route is capping. By doing so you add an additional 3-4 inches of concrete which you can make any color combination or stamped pattern.
What is the difference between re-surfacing and capping?
Resurfacing adds a very thin layer of concrete to your existing area, and serves as a cosmetic quick fix to make concrete look new again. You can have your stamped concrete re-surfaced but this is not a service that DanTam offers or recommends. Typically after the first freeze/thaw cycle hits and water has found its way between the two layers of old and new concrete, cracking and flaking will appear. Often times, your concrete ends in worse shape than prior to re-surfacing.
Capping is similar to re-surfacing but adds an additional 3”-4” of concrete, which can be done over top of any type of concrete slab. This method is often used for customers that would like to add some curb appeal to their existing concrete slab without having to demo the existing area. It can be made any color combo or pattern of your choice and because of the thickness does not let water get between the old and new layers.
Can I match my existing color scheme?
With the wide variety of colors offered by our suppliers it should be no problem to find a color combination that will work well with any existing color scheme. It may take some time and patience but in the end it will all be worth it.
Where do I get design ideas?
With the multitude of design options that stamped concrete offers, finding a perfect pattern and color scheme can often be challenging, but well worth your time and effort. It is important to chose a look that harmonizes with the setting and will appeal to you 10 years down the road. Here are some resources for good design ideas and tips for narrowing down your options:
Visit our websites gallery or visit the Concrete Network Photo Gallery or Google Images to view a vast array of different pattern and color combos. This will help pin point a patter and color combo that appeals to you.
Get inspiration from your surrounding landscape and architectural style of your home. Choose color tones that compliment the roof, exterior façade and other structural elements of your home.
Consult with one of our employees, or designer. We specialize in seeing the big picture and can provide you with ideas, drawings, and references so you do not have to rely on imagination alone.
Set up a free estimate with our office so that we can provide you with our thoughts and ideas. Also, visit our gallery to see view color combination and patterns previous customers have used.