Our Homeowners Ask:
Yes. Concrete slabs of substantial size will crack. With proper control joints or “grooves”(like the ones you see in sidewalks) you can give the concrete a weak point to crack on without giving a nasty jagged crack. So while this limits the chances of having any other cracks it is not possible to achieve a “100%” guarantee that you won’t have a cosmetic crack.
However you can avoid the separation/widening or the vertical displacement of a crack. This is why proper preparation from the stone base all the way through the type of mix and reinforcement in the concrete is so important.
Please don’t use salt products on any type of concrete. This will have a devastating affect on the surface of the concrete, and also void any warranty. It isn’t the salt directly that causes the problem, it is the cycle of thawing and freezing at a substantially higher rate that causes the issue. Sand is a great alternative, it gives the grip without damaging the concrete.
Stamped concrete is a cost-effective alternative to patio pavers. It is a decorative finish on a concrete slab with a base color throughout, that allows almost limitless combinations of styles and colors.
Just like everything else exposed to the elements, your patio/driveway/walk/porch could use a wash every now and then. If you have stamped concrete, you want to make sure you maintain a good sealer.
You know it is time for a reseal when your decorative concrete starts to look dull or the colors mellow together. The time to reseal has a wide time-frame, generally every 2-5 years. This depends on a number of different reasons; how much direct sunlight/ exposure to the elements, foot traffic, or extremes in the weather. It is important to keep up with this, because if totally neglected, can result in permanent damage.
While stamped concrete needs sealer and you can’t use salt, it is very low maintenance in the grand scope of things. Weeds can be a persistent problem with pavers, not so with stamped concrete because it is a solid slab, no room for weeds to come up through. Which also as you would imagine cuts down on how quickly your patio will get dirty.
Settling can be a more common issue with pavers as well over time, where dirt settles and causes the pavers to become uneven. Again this isn’t an issue with concrete when installed properly. Cost-effective, this depends on the application, but generally stamped concrete is the more attractive option.
Here are a few guidelines to follow, but generally this is personal preference. Know the color schemes of your home. For example, the siding, gutter, downspout, any fences or walls, or future plans you may have. This is also where our experience and willingness to walk you through the process can really work to your benefit.
Together we can create and design a product that really satisfies what you are looking for. Also take a look at our color chart on this website, along with past projects to get some ideas. Get creative, and have fun!