Okanagan forecast - Cold! How to look after your stamped concrete Kelowna
Like regular plain concrete, stamped concrete will provide decades of service when properly sealed and maintained, even when exposed to harsh winter weather conditions.Routine Maintenance is Key to keeping your stamped concrete looking great for years to come.
Like regular plain concrete, stamped concrete will provide decades of service when properly sealed and maintained, even when exposed to harsh winter weather conditions. In some cases, stamped concrete can be even more durable than standard concrete, especially if a dry-shake color hardener has been applied to the surface. For general cleaning, follow the same recommendations given for plain concrete.
Special Care Requirements
If the stamped surface begins to dull or lose its sheen and luster after time, recoating with sealer will usually restore the freshly poured glow. Ask your installer to recommend the best sealer type to use.
On outdoor stamped concrete, avoid using deicing salts, especially during the first winter after the pavement is installed. Salt chemically reduces the temperature at which water freezes. When salt is applied to a sealed decorative concrete surface covered by snow and ice, it causes melting and turns the frozen water into a liquid that is now able to migrate into the concrete.
This salt-rich water (brine) goes through many freeze-thaw cycles as environmental conditions change (i.e., more snow falls, the sun comes out, more salt is applied, the temperature changes, etc.). So instead of one freeze-thaw cycle per day (or season, the farther north you live), it’s possible to have hundreds per day when salt is used.
During each cycle, the water expands as it freezes and thaws as it contracts. The problem is that while sealers help to retard moisture movement, they do not stop it completely. So as the saltwater passes through, under and all around the sealer, the water is expanding and contracting, and eventually the sealer will fail.
The best offense against sealer failure due to deicing salt use is a good defense. In areas with severe winters, some contractors use a combination of sealers to fight the effects of deicing salts. They start with a penetrating sealer (silane, siloxane or silicone) that fills the concrete pores from the bottom up. Then they apply an acrylic sealer for decorative concrete that creates a membrane from the top down. This systems approach costs a bit more, but when faced with stripping and resealing, it may be well worth it.
If you have questions about winter and how it might affect your new or existing concrete pour then give us a call. If you’re located in the Okanagan area of Kelowna, Vernon or Penticiton and are looking for an estimate on your next concrete job then please give us a call or fill out our contact request here.
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