The Durability of Stamped Concrete Driveways (Homeowners' Guide)

July 1, 2022

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Stamped concrete driveways offer a stunning look outside any home. Stamping offers the look of high-end brick, flagstone, and other materials, but for a fraction of the cost! Additionally, staining that concrete allows for greater control over the finished shade and tone.

However, some homeowners might wonder about the durability of stamped concrete driveways, patios, pool decks, and other areas. After all, you don’t want to invest in any outdoor project that doesn’t last! Check out some quick details about stamped concrete durability and then discuss this with an installer near you as needed.

The Permanence of Your New Stamped Concrete Driveway

First, note how a contractor installs stamped concrete surfaces including driveways. Second, you might note the material’s durability in general and how to keep it in good condition. Then, you can discuss any lingering concerns with a stamped concrete installer.

What are stamped concrete driveways?

Stamped concrete starts with a standard concrete installation. Next, a contractor presses a mold or specialty form over its surface. Then, the contractor adds coloring or tint. In turn, you’re left with what closely mimics stone, brick, clay pavers, or other such materials.

One advantage to stamped and stained concrete is that it’s easy to pour around landscaping or to create rounded edges. Also, staining allows for greater control over the finished appearance. Consequently, your outdoor spaces look coordinated and cohesive.

How durable are stamped concrete driveways?

First, note that stamped concrete is as durable as any other concrete installation. Second, keep in mind that this doesn’t mean that stamped concrete is somehow indestructible! What does this mean?

One vital consideration for keeping concrete durable is ensuring it’s thick enough for its purpose. Two, property owners need to avoid damage to the concrete, such as with snowplow or lawnmower blades. Also, consider that motor oil, lawn care chemicals, and other debris often break down concrete.

In turn, a contractor should note the weight of vehicles running over that surface before pouring your new driveway. For example, if you own a heavy motorhome, your contractor might pour thicker concrete for your driveway. On the other hand, less thick concrete is sufficient for most everyday sedans or areas like patios and pool decks.

Is Stamped Concrete Hard to Maintain?

Stamped concrete is no more difficult to maintain than standard concrete. A few simple tips can help ensure your new driveway, patio, or other concrete surfaces always looks the best:

  • Sand, silt, gritty debris, soot, pollution residues, and other grime dry out concrete, risking premature damage. In turn, it’s vital for property owners to keep that concrete clean! Schedule regular power washing for your stamped concrete, to keep it clean and protected.
  • Additionally, motor oil and other automotive fluids break down concrete binders, also risking premature damage. Put down cardboard if you must work on your vehicle or lawnmower on the driveway! Also, wash away any drips as quickly as possible.
  • Avoid scraping concrete, such as with snow blower and lawnmower blades, as said. Scraping pulls up concrete aggregate and can risk etching and cracking.
  • Fertilizers and other landscaping chemicals as well as snow salt can break down concrete binders. To avoid this risk, invest in a bagged mower so you keep clippings off the driveway. Sweep melted snow off concrete quickly, to remove the salt.
  • Invest in concrete patching kits and make crack repairs quickly, to keep those cracks from spreading.

Above all, property owners should seal concrete regularly. Sealant provides an added layer of protection over concrete surfaces. Consequently, the sealant protects against fading, cracking, weed growth, mold, and other damaging elements.

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How Long Should Stamped Concrete Last?

Stamped concrete usually lasts as long as standard concrete, typically 25 years or so. However, remember that expert maintenance and cleaning help prolong that lifespan. On the other hand, failing to maintain concrete can risk premature cracking and breakdown.

Also, note that poor-quality installation also affects concrete’s lifespan! Remember that concrete installers mix the material as it’s installed. Using too much water or not pouring concrete thick enough can risk weakening and cracking. Consequently, rely on an expert contractor for your stamped concrete installation needs!

Stamped Concrete & Cracking

Property owners often assume that stamped concrete cracks easily because of that stamping process. However, note that the molds used for stamped concrete don’t penetrate all the way through the concrete. Instead, they only create a shape and texture along concrete surfaces.

In turn, this stamping doesn’t weaken concrete in any way. Also, you aren’t likely to see weed growth through those stamped sections. Weed growth pushes on concrete, risking cracking. For all these reasons and more, stamped concrete isn’t likely to crack any sooner than standard concrete!

With this in mind, remember that you still need to maintain concrete for it to stay strong. This includes power washing, sealing, and prompt crack repairs. These simple steps keep concrete strong and prevent small cracks from growing. If you keep up these maintenance tasks, your concrete should last some 25 years or longer, as said.

How Often Do You Have to Reseal Stamped Concrete?

Most contractors recommend resealing stamped concrete every 18 to 24 months. Doing so less often allows the sealant to break down, risking premature damage and fading. Also, note that you should seal concrete more often if it’s subjected to more wear and tear than average.

For example, if you drive over that driveway quite often throughout the day, you might consider annual sealing. Also, consider annual sealant application if you notice excessive lawn debris or damaging chemicals landing on the driveway frequently. The sealant also enhances stamped concrete color, so apply a coat if those colors start to fade prematurely.

Kansas City Stamped Concrete Pros is happy to provide this information about stamped concrete driveways to our readers. Hopefully, you found it helpful! If you’re ready to add stunning style to your property, call our Kansas City stamped concrete contractors. We offer FREE quotes and convenient appointment times. Also, we carry a full line of beautiful stamps and stain colors. To find out more or to get your property started, feel free to contact us today.


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