If you are a Chicago homeowner, one of the things you may be considering is adding a stamped concrete patio to your home’s exterior. The good thing about the stamped concrete patio is that it offers a long lifespan and is quite affordable to install, making it a great alternative to concrete or pavers.
In this article, you will learn about how long you can expect your stamped concrete patio to last, and some maintenance tips that will help you extend its durability. Read more on our website.
What’s the expected lifespan?
If properly installed and well maintained, your stamped concrete patio is expected to last about 25 years. This is just about the same lifespan expected of standard concrete, considering that they are both made of the same material. The main thing that makes stamped concrete different from the standard one is the fact that the surface is stamped just before the concrete dries completely. To avoid unevenness, this procedure is best carried out by a professional.
It is important that your stamped concrete patio is maintained properly to get the maximum durability out of it. The same goes for a standard concrete surface. Engaging the service of a professional to educate and help you with the different maintenance procedures will ensure that you get the best out of your patio.
Factors that affect your patio’s durability
While the average life expectancy of a stamped concrete patio is 25 years, this is not always the case due to a number of different factors. This includes improper installation, too much load on the surface, not getting the surface sealed, and little or non-existent maintenance. We discuss a few below:
The chances of cracks and other forms of damage are high when the stamped concrete patio is not properly installed. There are many things that can affect the installation. For example, the use of inferior quality materials or failure to pack the foundation properly.
Problems may also occur if too much water has been mixed with the cement. While concrete installation is easier with the addition of water, shrinkage can result from the addition of excess water. Shrinkage is the term used for the contraction of concrete as it dries and hardens. As more water is added to the mix, the possibility of shrinkage also increases, thereby resulting in larger cracks.
The curing process can also be affected by too much hotness from the sun while the concrete dries. If the concrete dries too soon, the structure may not have enough time to gain the required strength, thereby making the surface prone to damage.
Although a properly designed patio is expected to support significant weight, there’s a limit to how much it can take. The heavier the weight that is put on it, the more stress is caused to the patio. For example, delivery trucks, garbage trucks, and heavier vehicles have excessive weight that can cause damage to your patio. Some of the damage you can expect includes cracks, breaks, and potholes.
Because a patio is at the home’s exterior, it gets exposed to different weather conditions such as hail, extreme temperatures, excess moisture, and many other serious weather events. If your Chicago home does have a good drainage system installed around it, moisture and puddles remain on the surface of your patio for long, causing the seal coating to wear down and allowing moisture to seep in. This causes damage to the layers underneath the patio and reduces its lifespan.
The concrete component of your patio can also be affected by the harmful UV rays from the sun. This could cause hairline fractures and minor cracks to the patio.
Maintenance tips for your stamped concrete patio
One of the features that have made stamped concrete patios popular is the low maintenance requirements, especially with the fact that they are cheaper to install than a wood deck, pavers, or stones. The following are a few maintenance tips to extend the lifespan of your concrete patios.
If your stamped concrete patio is not kept clean, it can result in erosion. This causes the surface of your patio to develop holes and get damaged sooner than expected.
One good way to rid your patio of dirt and other foreign contaminants is to pressure wash it or use a standard garden hose. Another option is to use a broom or scrub to wash off spills and bird poop with liquid dish soap, after which you rinse it with a garden hose. Your cleaning can be done about every week.
Also, do not waste time at cleaning up food spills and grease as soon as they stain your patio. Those can be effectively washed off using a pressure washer or stain remover.
Sealing your stamped concrete patio will not only protect it from early corrosion but will also help to maintain its color and appearance. It is recommended that sealer should be reapplied to your concrete patio once every two to three years. However, you may need to reapply sooner if you notice that the sheen is disappearing or the color is fading.
It is not advised that you seal your patio yourself. It is best to engage the service of a professional to get the best outcome.
Avoiding destructive chemicals
With your concrete patio sealed, it is able to withstand strong elements and normal degradation due to use. However, some destructive chemicals can corrode the patio and even remove the sheen before the expected time. For example, products that contain sulfates and ammonium nitrates can cause harm to the concrete. The use of deicing salts on your treated patio can damage it. So, you want to avoid using salt on your just-installed concrete patio during the first winter.
Covering the patio
The lifespan of your stamped concrete patio is extended when it has less exposure to the elements. So, you may want to consider having your patio covered with a pergola or canvas patio cover. In addition to the protection it offers, this may even give your patio a different appearance and more comfort.
The stamped concrete patio of your Chicago home is expected to last about 25 years. You can extend its lifespan by ensuring that you observe the maintenance tips that have been offered in this article. Above all, you will benefit a lot from engaging the service of a professional to help with the proper installation of your patio and get it sealed. You can refer to Angie’s List for a list of the top professional stamped concrete contractors in Chicago.