Getting to the Basics: Remodeling Projects

How To Maintain Stamped Concrete

by Jill Jenkins

It's important to maintain your stamped concrete, and the best way to do this is to regularly reseal it. Contractors (such as those from Lee-Sure Pools Inc) generally recommend that you reseal your stamped concrete once every two years or so. Depending on the amount of direct sunlight and foot traffic the area receives, you might have to do it even more often. If you decide to wait longer than this, you might notice some color fading. By resealing your step concrete, you can ensure that the color will remain as bright as when it was first installed. The following steps will show you how.

What You Will Need

  • Pressure Washer

  • Protective Eyewear

  • Protective Gloves

  • Muriatic Acid

  • Dishwashing Liquid

  • Plastic Bucket

  • Scrub Brush

  • Leaf Blower

  • Roller Brush

  • Paint Roller Cover

  • Paint Tray

  • Anti-Skid Additive

  • Sealer (the Same Type Originally Used on Your Concrete)

Step 1. Use a pressure washer to carefully remove any dirt or debris from the surface of your stamped concrete. Avoid putting the tip close to the surface of the concrete, since you don't want the pressure washer to cause damage.

Step 2. Put on protective gloves and eyewear. Mix 1 cup of muriatic acid and a tablespoon of dishwashing liquid into a large bucket of water. Make sure you do this well away from the concrete, since any undiluted acid spilled on the surface will cause damage. Use the mixture and a scrub brush to scrub down the concrete.

Step 3. Use the pressure washer to rinse away the soap suds. Then put 1 cup of baking soda into a large bucket of water and use this to wash down the surface of the concrete with the brush again. This will neutralize any remaining acid. Rinse one more time with the pressure washer.

Step 4. Use a leaf blower to completely dry the surface of the concrete. If you don't have a leaf blower, you'll need to wait at least 24 hours to ensure the surface is dry. If it rains during the intervening hours, you'll have to reset the clock and wait another 24 hours for it to dry. In addition, if you allow the concrete to get dirty or covered with debris again, you'll have to wash the surface again. You don't want to apply sealer over a moist or dirty surface.

Step 5. Once it is dry, you can apply the sealer. Start by mixing an antiskid additive into your sealer, following the manufacturer's instructions. Pour the mixture into a paint tray. Make sure you keep stirring this mixture together to keep the additive suspended in the sealer.

Step 6. Use a roller brush to apply the sealer to the surface of the concrete. You want a very thin layer, so it's important not to over apply.

Note: It's best to apply sealer to an outside concrete surface when the temperature outdoors is higher than 55°F