Concrete cures over approximately a four month period. During this period there will be slight changes in color. What you will notice most within a 3 to 6 week period is the curing of the color hardener and the sealer; the brighter the color, the more dramatic the change. Over the same period of time, the sealer will change from a gloss look to a semi-glazed brick look. Please remember that your decorative concrete is unique to your job. No two jobs look the same because every job is different.
You may also notice the appearance of surface cracks in the concrete. Sometimes this occurs, but not always. Do not be alarmed - this is normal and these cracks do not go all the way through the concrete. This cracking is a result of the concrete being stretched during the process of stamping.
Within the first four months and over the first winter, you will need to keep a close eye on your concrete. If structural cracks are going to occur they will most likely happen during this period. It is imperative that you notify us as soon as you notice any cracks. The earlier we attend to the cracks, the easier they are to repair. The repair usually requires making a cut for an additional expansion joint to reduce stress and filling in the crack with color. Cracks that are left unattended for extended periods of time may not be repaired as effectively.
You may wash your decorative concrete with mild detergent, followed by a proper rinse. This is especially important if any chemicals should spill on it. We do recommend that you reseal often, depending on the volume and intensity of traffic on your concrete. By resealing, you restore the color as if it were new, and protect the finish. We suggest the following as a guide to how often resealing should be done:
Driveways: every year Front entrances: every 2-3 years Patios/Pool decks: every 4-6 years
By maintaining this resealing schedule, you are assured to get the maximum life and beauty out of your concrete.
There is usually a mandatory waiting period before heavy weight is allowed to be placed on your new concrete. For driveways, you must wait a minimum of 7 days before you are allowed to drive or park on it. For patios, walkways, pooldecks, etc. you must also wait a minimum of 7 days before placing heavy furniture on the concrete. If you plan to place any metal furniture on your decorative concrete, please put Teflon rubber or felt strips on the bottom in order to prevent scraping the concrete.
Please do not allow pesticides, lawn chemicals, salt or any de-icing chemicals to come in contact with your decorative concrete, as this will ruin the finish. This is most crucial over the first winter.
Your new concrete coating will give you years of enjoyment if maintained properly. It is literally impervious to most everything. If something should discolor or chip your project, there is always an easy fix. We do not recommend the use of salt at anytime. We suggest sand as an alternative.
DO’S AND DON’TS
Gasoline is one of the few products that will affect the finish. Never let gasoline stand for more than 24 hours, for it will dissolve the sealer. If this should occur, it can be cleaned and re-sealed.
Rust will also attach to the coating. If you have metal patio furniture, be sure to protect the feet with plastic tips. If a metal object is left on your project area, and it leaves a ring, then it must be scrubbed with a wire brush, using any cleaner that breaks down rust.
Tire marks have always been a problem with any surface. The good news is that your new coating is the easiest surface to clean. If you have tire marks, they will scrub off with a general purpose cleaner.
Your new coating needs little attention to keep it looking new. An occasional rinsing with a garden hose is all that is required. If you have neglected this for a period of time, then the use of a general detergent along with a rinse should bring it back to its original beauty.
We recommend that power-washing and a fresh coat of sealer be applied every year as needed. This will ensure the maximum life of your coating.