Concrete patios are low-cost and durable. However, if the appearance of plain poured concrete is not appealing to you, but you want the durability of concrete, you should install a stamped concrete patio. The installation is difficult and best done by backyard patio builders. However, here is the method of building a stamped concrete patio.
Steps For Stamped Concrete Patio Installation
Selecting And Preparing The Location
The first thing to select where you want the patio to be. For the best results, the location should be bumpy or sloped to one end. Once selected an area of the backyard, clean it well.
Choose The Color And Pattern Of Concrete
There are many patterns and colors you can choose from. You should consider the surroundings of your landscape and the color of the exterior of your house as well and select something that complements it. You can choose any stone, wood, brick, or similar patterns.
Cracks in concrete are common. So, when choosing patterns, keep control joints in mind too that are used to control where the concrete will crack.
Avoid straight-line errors and make sure that the mats for the pattern you selected are ready for use. Also, make sure that you know which mat should be placed first and where. Take help from a contractor to get this right.
Moreover, most parts of the patio will be stamped with a standard mat, but some parts won’t fit standard mats.
Place The Forms
Forms are boundaries that help you give concrete any shape. You can use wood or metal forms. Choose the size of the patio and then select forms accordingly. For wood forms, place pins in the corners and attach a string from one point to the other to get a straight line.
After placing the forms, place rebars (reinforcing bars) in the outline created by the forms. Make sure rebars completely fit the outline and are secured in place for the structural integrity of the concrete you will pour.
Check The Weather
Concrete will not set correctly in very cold weather while it will set too quickly in hotter weather. Both situations aren’t considered ideal. The best temperature to pour and set concrete is 60 Fahrenheit. However, the thing you should be most careful about is rain. Check the weather and make sure that it won’t rain for the next 3 days.
Pour The Concrete
For pouring concrete, you can use get a ready-mix truck to arrive at your place and pour concrete in the frame. Make sure that concrete is poured as evenly as possible in all parts of the location because if all the concrete is poured in just one place, it can become a headache. Moreover, use plastic sheets to protect nearby landscapes, structures, and other concrete slabs.
Additionally, if you want the whole concrete slab to be colored inside and out, make sure to mix the liquid color into the concrete that will be poured. However, if you’re going for the broadcast method of coloring concrete, you don’t need to perform any additional steps of coloring at this point. This is because, in the broadcast method, you will be applying color to the freshly poured concrete.
After pouring concrete, leveling out the surface is an important part and you may need the help of a masonry contractor Long Island at this stage. Use screeds and bull float for leveling the surface and use your full concentration to make sure the surface is not uneven or doesn’t slope in one direction.
Color The Concrete
If you didn’t use liquid color before the pouring stage, you should color concrete with a color hardener. It’s a powder used for coloring concrete. The concrete should be a little bit dry enough that there is no floating water on the surface when you should apply the color hardener powder.
For this, fling handfuls of the powder on the concrete surface. Make sure that you broadcast the powder evenly so one part doesn’t get too much color while others don’t.
Leave it for a few minutes so that the powder can color the surface. After this, use a concrete float to even out the color on the entire surface. If you notice any areas that didn’t receive color, you can repeat the process. However, this can waste precious time if you’re working in warm weather because you need to stamp concrete after this as well before the complete drying of the concrete.
Apply The Release Agent
After coloring the concrete, you must be ready to stamp concrete. Bear in mind that stamps are plastic mats that are placed on a semi-hard concrete surface. They are pressed enough to imprint the pattern of the mats on concrete.
However, to prevent the stamps from sticking to the concrete surface, you should apply a release agent first. With this, mats don’t stick to the surface and the patterns imprinted on the concrete surface are clean, clear, and crisp.
Release agents come in powder and liquid forms. Powder release agents are applied similarly to a color hardener while liquid release agents are applied with a spray on concrete and the mats. Ensure that the color of the release agent is the same as the concrete color because about 20% of the release agent is left on the concrete after the removal of mats.
Stamp The Concrete
When you have applied the release agent onto the concrete surface and mats, you can start with the stamping. Make sure you know the starting point and where the mats will go from there to avoid a messy pattern. Place the mats close to each other to avoid a big space between them. After the placement, put pressure on it by standing on it and making sure that all parts of the mat are pressed evenly.
Keep removing mats after imprinting the pattern and placing the mats on the next part of the surface until the entire concrete surface is stamped. This step should be done by multiple people for quicker results.
Clean The Surface
Use a pressure washer of 3000 PSI to clean the concrete surface. This will remove most of the release agent from concrete, however, you should try to remove the release agent completely because a small percentage of it can give the surface more of a natural and shadowed appearance. Be sure to clean the surface from a distance so the concrete is not damaged.
Seal The Surface
Use the correct decorative concrete sealer for sealing your stamped concrete patio. Proceed with sealing after 24 hours of washing the concrete. Before sealing, use a blower to remove dust from the surface.
When sealing the concrete, applying two coats is sufficient. Apply the first coat in one direction and the second coat should be perpendicular to the first coat’s direction.
A sealer improves the color of concrete and adds a gloss to the surface. Sealing will prevent dirt, leaves, and other things to stain the surface. It will also make the surface easier to clean and prevent too much moisture from penetrating the surface which can result in more cracking than usual. For maintenance, you should seal your stamped concrete patio every year.
Pouring a stamped concrete patio is more difficult than installing a paver patio. Follow the above steps to successfully complete the process. If it’s confusing, hire a patio contractor Long Island to install a stamped concrete patio perfectly. This will ensure a longer lifespan of your concrete patio.