Provided properly installed and properly maintained, stamped concrete will last the same as non-stamped or standard concrete, approximately 25 years. This is because the installation processes for stamped concrete and standard concrete are mostly the same. If you lay pavers on a 4-inch thick concrete base, you don't have to worry about weeds, insects, or anything growing through it. You don't have to worry about the pavers shifting, and you don't have to worry about concrete cracking because the pavers are on top.
Here in the Midwest, where we have freezes and thaws, it's the best way to install cobblestones so that your yard area lasts 30+ years without any problems. 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. In its infancy, concrete stamping sometimes resulted in premature cracking and shorter concrete life because it was difficult to ensure that the entire surface was stamped at an even depth.
This problem has been resolved and stamped concrete now lasts as long as traditional concrete: 25 years or more if properly installed and maintained. Patterned concrete sometimes lasts longer than traditional concrete due to the sealant used to protect the patterned design and color. The same strategies used to prevent cracking and promote longevity in traditional concrete structures, such as proper foundation installation and expansion joints, are also used in stamped concrete. Patterned concrete may appear chalky and faded when it needs to be resealed, but will be restored to its original gloss and color when new sealant is applied, which should be done every three to four years.
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.
In general, early entry cutting is, without a doubt, the least noticeable and efficient way to control cracks in concrete. This method allows a finisher to place and saw concrete on the same day. Early entry cutting will also work with stamped concrete, but with a big complication. With most stamped concrete, same-day cutting leaves marks or marks on the newly stamped surface.
Because of this risk, some professionals who use an early entry method to control cracks in stamped concrete wait one day before cutting. Meanwhile, the risk of cracks appearing is real and must be taken into account. 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 years ago, one of my stamping customers said, “I know cracks in the concrete, but I don't want to see any. On the other hand, the low initial cost of stamped concrete attracts many homeowners who ignore maintenance costs.
Obviously, ultimately, you'll need to decide which hard surface is right for you, but before you decide if you want to use stamped concrete or not, you'll want to consider the long-term implications of your decision. You should consider two things related to crack control before placing concrete in your next sealed project: Your plan should include where you will place the breaks in the concrete and by what means. I don't care if it's stamped concrete or not, since maybe I don't know all the new techniques to achieve this look. 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.
First of all, people should know that the specific name in “stamped concrete” is not a trim, but rather refers to the material used. A stamped concrete professional can do almost everything else smoothly and still lose a customer's faith due to random cracking. Now retired, Doug Carlton of Wyoming worked in the decorative concrete industry for decades and often shared his ideas and views with Concrete Decor. Some of the stamped concrete is designed to mimic the look of stone pavers at a fraction of the cost of installing the paver.
For me, I would never put stamped concrete in my house or in any of my friends' or family's houses. If the stamped concrete slabs have the same depth in the paved area and were stamped when they were slightly dry but malleable, 25 years is the average. Contractors who specialize in stamped concrete won't mention this, but your yard will look great, sometimes incredible when done by a really good company, for about 3 to 5 years (if you seal it every year). .