One of the most popular in decorative concrete trends today is stamped concrete. Stamp mats that are premade with patterns are stamped onto fresh concrete to make an imprint. One reason why this is a popular paving method is that it is less expensive, it can replicate high-end materials, it is durable, and very easy to maintain. The maintenance, however, often relies on the finish of the stamped concrete surface. Concrete is a very porous material. Although durable on its own, it is highly recommended to apply a sealer as a final layer. This way, the entire slab is protected from harmful elements like moisture, weeds, moss, mold, and more.
High-Gloss Concrete Sealers
If you want your concrete space to be shiny, a high-gloss sealer is what you need. This is the most common type of sealer used on stamped surfaces because, aside from adding shine, it also makes the color of a stained surface richer and more appealing. Some of the benefits of a high-gloss sealer include its high resistance to UV rays and it is breathable. If you are not a fan of high-gloss, there are less shinier versions like semi-gloss and matte.
Penetrating Concrete Sealers
If you want the protective features of a sealer but also want to retain the look of your stamped concrete surface, a penetrating kind is what you need to have. This type of sealer will retain the look and color of the stamped surface but will still provide the much-needed protection. How? The sealer penetrates into the slab and a chemical reaction will take place just right below the surface. This reaction will create a hydrophobic barrier in the pores of the concrete slab that will repel any water that would try to penetrate the slab. It is effective in preventing damage caused by moisture, ice, mold, mildew, and even efflorescence.
When opting for stamped concrete, make sure to have it sealed when it has cured well enough. Although this is optional, most contractors would recommend it. Unsealed concrete gets worn out and damaged easily. If you care enough for your investment, seal it. It may incur additional costs but it is nothing compared to the benefits that you will reap from a well-protected stamped concrete surface. Consult a pro for other types of concrete sealers that you could use on your outdoor concrete spaces.