Is there such a thing as a perfect patio? People enjoy their patios so much that they are constantly working on them – adding concrete pavers or bricks to line the patio, or pouring more concrete to enlarge the patio. An average patio 20 years ago was about 100 sq feet. Today we see stamped, colored concrete patios that are up to 1,600 sq feet or more. People are increasing the living space of their homes by adding outdoor living spaces and many of those spaces include stamped, colored concrete. And once those patios are installed they are beautiful and glossy and everything that people want.
Time passes and the color seems to fade and the people become unhappy. They are convinced that their beautiful patio has deteriorated and wonder what can they do to restore the color, the shine, the beauty to their concrete patio. And the people are in pain because of a lack of education that they should have received when their beautiful decorative concrete patio was installed.
Once a stamped colored concrete patio is installed and the proper time has elapsed, it is sealed to prevent water, usage, and the weather from harming the concrete. The sealers used for this purpose are primarily acrylic-based sealers. This type of sealer is used because it brings out the color and gives a sheen or a gloss to the concrete. These sealers are wonderful for their purpose. However, they have short-lives – usually between 18 to 24 months depending on how many solids are in the original sealer. Acrylic sealers break down with extreme temperatures – either hot or cold. So in the Mid-West (Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, etc) these sealers can start breaking down rather rapidly. They need to be reapplied every 18 to 24 months in order to not only keep your stamped concrete looking beautiful but also to provide maximum protection against the weather and especially the freeze-thaw damage so common in winter.
If your patio is looking old and tired, has lost its color and shine, then clean your patio and put on some good quality acrylic sealers (and not all acrylic sealers are equal!). The less expensive sealers are less expensive for a reason – they usually do not have the same level of active ingredients that the higher priced sealers have. Remember the old adage – you get what you pay for. Tomorrow I will talk about proper installation for acrylic concrete sealers. For more information on sealing your stamp concrete click… Stamped Concrete Sealer