stamped concrete drive


A home we're considering has a stamped concrete drive, sidewalk and atrium. The concrete was either colored when poured or given an acid dye afterward, then sealed with a clear topping. The concrete is about 5-6 years old and the color has faded some and there's also a white "lime"-type of deposit on some areas.
If we end up buying the place, my plan is to pressure wash the concrete well and then apply a clear sealer designed for concrete. However, if the concrete itself still looks bad after pressure washing, I might be tempted to try a coat of dye.
Can someone with experience in this area share their advice or experience in rejuvenating a stamped concrete exterior surface?
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Nonny
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I had a stamped concrete patio poured here in NJ about 13 years ago. At the time I also considered pavers, but went with the stamped for a number of reasons. There are a couple of things they don't tell you about stamped concrete. One of them is that it needs to be re-sealed every 2 years, at least with the weather here in NJ. The second is, eventually the top color that gives it the distinctive color will eventually wear off and you are left with the remaining color of the concrete. That is not the color of concrete, but the color of the concrete plus the color added while it's in the mixer. When they pour it, first color bags go in the concrete truck and get blended in. Then they apply a powder to the surface and do the stamping. It's that last color step that gives it a varying color that looks like stone, etc. And eventually that is the part that wears off.
I eventually sand blasted mine and went with a solid color stain from either HD or Lowes, followed by sealer and am generally satisfied with the result. But, it now is one solid color as opposed to the more appealing variation look and obviously that isn't permanent either. It's lasted about 2 years so far.
Your plan to power wash and re-seal is sound. Just don't over do it with the PW, as it also has the potential to remove some of that surface color that you want to keep. As for sealer, I HIGHLY recommend using Kure N Seal, which is an organic solvent based product. It gives it a gloss look, which hopefully is what you want. That is the product that the guys who did the job used and it lasts longer and looks better than any of the water based sealers that you find in the typical box store. I apply it with an 18" roller and it goes down easy. The harder part is the prep work.
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What you describe is calcium leeching into the drive.
Check for any nearby irrigation leak in the landscape or sprinklers - calcium...
Here the stamped drives are poured with dye from the cement company and then stamped using rubber pads.
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Be carefull of sealers, many make it slippery when wet, and I dont think you can stain after a sealer. Wet is how it will look sealed so just see if you are happy with its color when wet. Ive seen color mixed in concrete and color or treatment sprayed on, ask the previous owner what he did and get out a pro. I would not experiment or "learn" on this. The white is Efloresence and can be a headache
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Nonny, I assume you are talking about an acid stained surface. Any treatment will need to be over the entire area . I'm sure you could try a limited area, but I'm sure you would want to do the whole thing for a more uniform look. There is a new acetone based dye that might work quite well, though I have not used it yet.
Any sealer will need periodic retreatment.
Here are some of the experts: http://www.thestampstore.com /
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