Many people think of concrete as maintenance free, but in reality, it requires regular care just like any other element of your home. Decorative concrete surfaces may look beautiful, but if you want them to stay that way, you will need to follow some simple maintenance tips.
Do You Really Need to Maintain Decorative Concrete?
It is common to wonder if you really need to maintain your exterior decorative concrete. After all, concrete is a durable product that requires little maintenance. Decorative patterns, however, can make maintenance necessary. Even in the case of plain concrete, properly caring for the material will greatly extend its life and beauty. In other words, by maintaining your surfaces, you protect your investment.
General Maintenance of Decorative Concrete Surfaces
To maintain your surface, you will want to clean the concrete regularly, preferably once a year or more, to get rid of the standard buildup of grime and dirt. This annual cleaning also lets you remove stains, such as rust, embedded dirt and automobile drips.
In addition to regular cleanings, you will want to repair any cracks you notice. It may be possible to do this yourself, but sometimes decorative concrete surfaces require professionals to repair cracks. It is essential to repair the cracks right away, as they decrease the strength of your concrete, letting water in and possibly leading to bigger issues further down the road.
When to Reseal
There are two types of resealing done with maintenance: resealing the joints and resealing the surface itself. Resealing the joints is more like refilling the joints which helps to prevent weeds and dirt from accumulating in these areas as well as minimizes the possibility of water intrusion, which would lead to structural damage.
Occasionally, you will also want to seal the concrete surface itself, which helps repel water and resist dust, abrasion, and UV damage. This in turn allows your exterior decorative concrete surfaces to last longer and maintain their beauty.