A stamped concrete driveway is a concrete driveway that has a vast array of textures and designs stamped into the surface as it sets up. From a traditional brick to a cobblestone appearance, there are a wide array of decorative choices that can make up the stamped concrete driveway. Color can be added to the surface of a stamped concrete driveway, lending to the authentic appearance of the design and pattern chosen. The advantages of a stamped concrete driveway are numerous when compared to the hand-laid version.
Many brick driveways are in use all around the world; however, the maintenance on such a driveway is often frequent and costly. The bricks often become loose, and weeds and grass find a way to invade the spaces between the bricks. There are no such maintenance issues with a simulated brick stamped concrete driveway. The stamped concrete driveway gives the illusion of hand-laid brick with none of the issues commonly associated with the real thing.
Construction methods of a stamped concrete driveway are the same as with a smooth poured concrete version. Once the driveway has been fitted with wooden or metal forms, the concrete is poured as usual. Once the driveway has been poured and floated, the design is stamped into the surface. Once dried and cured, the concrete must be sealed to ensure a quality finish for years to come.
Depending on the climate, the stamped concrete driveway can last as long as an actual brick driveway. It is important to keep the concrete sealed by applying a quality concrete sealer. The sealer aids the concrete from chipping and developing cracks. When a color base is added into the stamped concrete driveway design, the sealer helps the color to remain shiny and durable in all types of weather conditions.
There are some environmental issues associated with a stamped driveway. While a real brick driveway offers areas for rain to seep back into the ground water system between the bricks, a concrete driveway simply sheds the rain water off of the driveway and into the storm drain system. Some people feel that the water sheds are already overfilled and that the water is better directed between the bricks and left to filter through the earth en route to the water supply.
There have also been cases where the concrete finish has become slippery in cold areas. This has caused not only dangerous slip-and-fall conditions, but also situations where vehicles slide out of control through garage doors. It may be wise for individuals living in colder areas to monitor the concrete for ice in the winter.