All What You Need to Know About the Stamped Concrete Process
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Stamped Concrete – a technology that allows you to give originality to ordinary concrete. In the course of work on the application of this technology, different dyes are used, made of polyurethane or metal. As a result of the use of stamps, the concrete surface becomes like a coating made of stone, wood, slate and other materials. Often, stamped concrete is called textured because stamps make it possible to change the texture of the concrete coating.
The stamped version of the concrete coating appeared a long time ago. And immediately after the appearance it became very popular among construction companies, as well as their clients. It is known that technology appeared about 70 years ago. At first, there wasn’t such a variety of colors and stamps in form, as today. So, the first forms were made of heavy metal and had a lot of weight. With their help, it was possible to create only an imitation of brick or stone. Complex patterns they could not do.
Over time, in connection with the development of technological processes in related areas, including the production of innovative building materials, it became possible to diversify Stamped Concrete. Stamp manufacturers have learned how to make shapes that are easier to use and allow you to reproduce the texture of many different materials, create different patterns.
Modern forms have different options. They are simple in their features and are complex in their pattern. Professional craftsmen can use different types of stamps. Moreover, they always take into account the degree of rigidity of the tool. If the form has a high density, then it will make it possible to better create a clear pattern. If the form is characterized by increased softness, then it is more difficult to work with. More effort is needed to give concrete the desired texture with such a stamp.
Where it is used
Concrete coatings created using stamps are often made in the courtyards of private houses, in parks, around pools, and also near the entrances to buildings. As a rule, such concrete is used for the construction of sidewalks, walking alleys, access roads, as well as paths on private land plots.
Other uses for printed concrete are terraces, arbor floors, patios, and café or restaurant floors. Concrete textured floors can be seen in large non-residential premises, for example, where large exhibitions of goods and services of companies and enterprises are held.
Another purpose is restoration. It is with the help of stamped concrete that you can restore a surface, for example, a pavement, which is a valuable architectural object. When creating a new coating, experienced craftsmen achieve the highest degree of similarity with the original version. An ordinary person will not be able to distinguish stamped concrete from the old coating if professionals made it.
How it is done
Many people think that high-quality, very beautiful Stamped Concrete is easy to make. This is an erroneous opinion. In order to get a high-quality texture coating, without empty areas or lines running into each other, you must have experience with stamps and have knowledge that relates to work with laying, leveling and processing of poured concrete.
When performing work, it should be remembered that the cement mortar is able to harden at different speeds. The hardening speed is influenced by the ambient temperature, as well as atmospheric conditions, for example, wind. If you miss the time when the concrete will be ready to perform work on its stamping, the cement mortar will become harder than necessary and a high-quality drawing will not work.
To work on concrete stamping, you need to have enough strength. A weak person may not cope with the indentation of molds in a hardening cement mortar. If mistakes are made, there will be no way to correct them. Therefore, many prefer to turn to professional masters, as they will be able to ensure that the process is carried out without errors.
Stamped Concrete is a technology that is applied after concrete has been poured. In fact, in this case, the preparation stage is all work on pouring, compacting and leveling the cement mortar. Next, a hardener having the desired color is applied to the prepared concrete surface. This material allows you to paint the future coating and give it additional strength. Hardener is a powdery substance with the inclusion of pigment, which will help to color the surface, and also granite particles and sand of quartz are present in its composition. It comes in a wide range of colors. There is an opportunity to choose it according to tone, according to the design idea.
Hardener is used after the initial setting of cement mortar. Masters determine this moment on time. For them, the guideline is often the complete evaporation of moisture, which acts on concrete during the drying process. A powdery substance is applied to concrete manually, starting from the central part of the concreted area. Application is carried out by a specific method to ensure full use of the entire volume of expended hardener.
Hardener begins to soak into the cement coating. This process takes no more than 10 minutes. During the specified time, the concrete coating is smoothed and the powder is rubbed into it, using a special tool. Afterwards, hardener is applied again. The second layer is needed so that the surface is evenly tinted and smoothing is done again.
After the hardener, a separation component is applied. Its use is necessary so that when using dies, concrete does not adhere to them. Its composition includes a coloring pigment, which allows you to additionally paint the surface, thus giving it a special shade. This material may be liquid or powdered. It is applied with a special brush.
The use of stamping molds begins at the moment when the poured concrete is in a state determined by the degree of solidification. This moment can be correctly determined by professional masters. The base should not be completely dry, but in its features, it should resemble plasticine. If you start work earlier, then the concrete will be damaged by the pressure of its own weight. If later, as we wrote above, it will not be possible to clearly carry out the process with preserving the bursting lines, which means that you do not need to wait for the picture to be clear.
With the correct determination of the degree of drying of concrete, the application of stamps begins. Forms are laid out on the surface. If there are numbers on them, then the folding is carried out in accordance with the number of stamps. Having received prints on all surfaces, stamped concrete is left to dry for half a day or for a full day.
Stamped Concrete: Subsequent Work
In the place where the shapes fit together, the cement may move slightly. A situation may arise when the lines are not clearly visible, although all the necessary manipulations have been performed. To correct the deficiencies, additional work is performed, using a special roller. If necessary, grout, materials with a rough surface are used.
After complete solidification, the surface is washed. For the flushing process, ordinary water is used, which is supplied under pressure. Next, use hydrochloric acid. With its application, the second washing step is performed. It is required to obtain the desired two-color effect. Hydrochloric acid also helps to open the pores of concrete, which provides good adhesion to the sealant.
Sealant in the form of varnish is then used. Its use helps to protect the surface and extends its operating time without signs of wear. Varnish helps protect concrete from the negative effects of oil and chemicals. The sealant makes it possible to make the surface begin to shine. Concrete becomes saturated in its color scheme. In addition, the use of varnish contributes to the ease of care for the concrete surface in the future.
Varnish is applied using a special roller. If the prints are deep, a brush should be used at the seams. As a rule, sealant is applied in more than one coat. Varnish is applied in 2-3 layers. After the varnish has completely dried, the surface can be started to operate.
Stamped Concrete: Features
Experienced craftsmen in the manufacturing process of stamped concrete are especially careful to work with forms that allow you to simulate natural materials. It is very important not to repeat in the drawing. It is better to follow the principle of randomness, so that the surface looks more realistic.
To create a surface that would resemble an old one, even before the concrete dries up, a bit of a separation component is used. First you need to use a powdery substance, and then the substance is in a liquid state. The liquid component will affect the powdery substance and dissolve it. This process will lead to the formation of small scuffs that are present on antique surfaces.
It is important to monitor the state of the separation component. It should be well pressed into the cement mortar. Otherwise, when washing with water, the substance will not remain on the concrete.
When working directly with stamps, craftsmen always monitor the cleanliness of shoes. If there is dust or dirt on the soles of the shoes, they will fall onto still concrete and lead to defects in the stamped surface.
Experienced craftsmen try to carry out work when the ambient temperature is not very low or not very high. In wet weather, they also do not try to carry out work as environmental conditions directly affect the quality of concrete laying and the result of its stamping.
Benefits of Stamped Concrete
Stamped Concrete has several advantages that contribute to the fact that many customers choose it.
- Monolithic – stamped concrete has no seams. This is not a piece of material, which when applied, forms seams. Since there are no seams, in the future, it will not be necessary to restore the concrete coating.
- Environmental friendliness – concrete refers to materials that are clean in terms of environmental friendliness. When it is heated, harmful components are not released into the environment. This cannot be said about the same asphalt and some other coatings.
- External beauty, decorativeness – concrete can be given the appearance that the customer wishes. The surface, as a result of the use of stamps, can look like a tree, like a stone, etc.
- Long operating time – concrete is considered to be one of the most durable materials. It does not absorb moisture and calmly tolerates temperature changes. Used additional substances in the manufacture of stamped concrete contribute to the improvement of its qualities of resistance to external factors. This coating will last a very long time, at least 15 years. If you carry out minimal procedures for its care, then the service life can be shed for many years.
- Resistance to external factors – stamped concrete easily tolerates continuous operation and environmental influences. That is why it is often used for laying paths, sidewalks and other outdoor structures.
- Simple care – it is very simple to look after stamped concrete even on the street. For maintenance procedures, plain water from a hose is suitable. When it is supplied under pressure, then with its help, it is easy to wash off all contaminants from a textured surface. However, do not leave puddles on concrete. Care must be taken to ensure that water does not accumulate on the surface.
Price Stamped Concrete
The cost of Stamped Concrete can vary widely and average between $8 and $20 per square foot. The price may be higher than the specified parameters if the customer wishes not only to lay tracks from such concrete, but also to decorate them with additional elements, which will also be covered with stamped concrete.
The final price is affected by several factors.
- Area to be treated.
- The number of patterns to be applied to the concrete surface.
- The number of colors that will be present on the coating.
Stamped Concrete is a beautiful coating if made by experienced craftsmen. Nothing will remind you that in front of you is a surface covered with cement mortar. The coating will look like wood, stone, paving stones and other surfaces of your choice. The concrete surface, which was decorated with stamps, will decorate any yard, gazebo, the area around the pool, other places that need to be designed for their comfortable operation. Despite its decorative effect, stamped concrete has excellent strength characteristics, which is very important, because the coating can last for many years.
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