Stamped concrete is highly resistant to cracking when properly installed. Even if stamped concrete experiences minor cracks, the cracks are often difficult to detect because they often blend in with the pattern and bond lines. Stamped concrete that is properly installed and sealed can last for decades before it cracks or fades. Like any exterior material, minimal wear and tear over time due to exposure and use is unavoidable.
Stamped concrete won't last forever. Eventually, it will start to crack and break like any other type of concrete. However, stamped concrete is actually very resistant to cracking, and when steps are taken to care for it, it must endure a long time before it needs to be replaced. You won't have to worry about it breaking down too soon, as long as you have it installed the right way.
There are a lot of differences between stamped concrete and pavers, and most people don't really understand them, so I wanted to explain the top 5 reasons why stamped concrete stinks and why pavers are much better and, in fact, cheaper if you look at the price you pay in a span of more than 5 years. Stamped concrete is highly resistant to cracking. If you take care of your stamped concrete, it will last a long time. Stamped concrete lasts the same as standard concrete.
Often, the “cracks” people experience in stamped concrete aren't really cracks, they're part of the design printed on the concrete surface that works just like grooves in a sidewalk. This means that they will not cause the problems caused by an unwanted crack. They will not disturb the concrete foundations and weeds will not grow on them. Stamped concrete is extremely durable, lasts a long time and requires minimal maintenance.
A major problem is that stamped concrete cracks and chips, especially in harsher climates that experience frost. Here in New England, our winters can be especially harsh on concrete surfaces. Not only is it aesthetically unattractive, but it can also become a safety issue with trip hazards. The image on the right shows the damage to stamped concrete caused by road salt that cars bring to the driveway of cars.
Many experts and trainers approach crack control specifically in items and elsewhere, but few really get to the heart of the matter from the buyer's perspective. Concrete Decor is a valuable source of information, ideas, product news and training relevant to commercial and residential work in decorative concrete and related specialties. Stamped concrete is what you want for the paths, driveway, and patio if you want to add value to the landscape you've already done. Stamped concrete is often one of the least expensive options right from the start, however, there are some long-term factors you should consider before making a decision.
Most companies that install stamped concrete use a combination of past performance, pictured, and small stamped samples when selling new construction. The durability of stamped concrete depends to a large extent on the climate in its area and the weight exerted on the surfaces. Smart, well-paid engineers have been working on concrete formulations for over a hundred years, and yes, there are great advances, new techniques, new chemicals, new additives, but the reality about concrete cracking hasn't really changed much over the years. However, I always advise homeowners and stamped concrete contractors to review their work after two and a half years.
In general, early entry cutting is, without a doubt, the least noticeable and efficient way to control cracks in concrete. There's nothing above it, and there's no way to fix a cracked patterned concrete patio where you can't see the crack due to the pattern it's stamped on. Now retired, Doug Carlton of Wyoming worked in the decorative concrete industry for decades and often shared his ideas and views with Concrete Decor. Because of this risk, some professionals who use an early entry method to control cracks in stamped concrete wait one day before cutting.