Now that your decorative concrete surfaces are in place, it’s time to think of how to keep them looking new. This does require a little work, but nothing complicated or hard to take care of on a routine basis.
Many decorative concrete surfaces have added color hardeners which help the strength and endurance of the surfaces, making maintenance a simple chore. There are several methods to applying the color hardeners; color added directly to the concrete mix tends toward more subtle coloration, while other methods require hand application and produce brighter, more vibrant color.
A good sealant, appropriate for weather conditions in your location, not only enhances the color of the concrete surface but also protects the surfaces from water seepage and makes them more resistant to abrasion. Properly applied, a sealant should last several years before needing to be reapplied, although heavy traffic areas may need a new coating every two to three years to maintain their appearance. If you live in an area where harsh winters are common, be sure the sealant used is compounded for ice and snow. Most standard sealants may fail due to repeated freezing and thawing cycles created by using deicing salt.
Once the sealant has been applied and cured, regular sweeping or a blast from the leaf blower is all that is needed to help keep the surfaces clean. Rinsing with a garden hose at least once a week keeps dirt and debris from building up in the crevices of the design of the concrete. If you find excessive dirt, power washing or scrubbing with a gentle detergent is recommended as the dirt and grit will eventually damage the sealant and, in turn, lead to damage of the concrete itself.
Oil stains are not only unsightly but can lead to damage if left untended. There are specially formulated cleaners on the market that will remove these spots without harming the concrete surface.
The main purpose of decorative concrete surfaces is to add beauty and value to your surroundings, and with a little effort on your part these surfaces will last for many years.