[one_whole ]One thing that seems to come up a lot in conversations with people when they ask about landscaping needs is the topic of concrete. Concrete is a really tough subject in general, because it’s very hard to get it right no matter what—which is why there are so many botched jobs when people who aren’t trained properly try to do it. So in general, please ask lots of questions when it comes to concrete.
But there are a lot of different options for concrete, and one option in particular that seems to be trending is stamped concrete. What is stamped concrete? Stamped concrete is any sort of textured or imprinted concrete that pretends to be other elements, like stone, brick, or even wood. People use it a lot for outdoor needs, because it’s been touted as a beautiful, cost-effective way to replicate other stonework or pavement that can be more pricey.
But one thing that Hiner Landscapes can for sure tell you is this: stamped concrete is the worst kind of concrete for Colorado Springs, and you really shouldn’t be using it in your backyard or landscaping needs.[/one_whole]
Why? Well, let us tell you 5 reasons why you should not be using stamped concrete in Colorado Springs.
1. Colorado Springs Has a Dry Climate
We all know our dry climate is really unique and faces certain challenges all its own. We are very dry here, with very little humidity. In our climate, then, stamped concrete tends to dry out very quickly after being poured, but even after it has set for a while. When this dryness happens, stamped concrete becomes very brittle, especially at the surface. Eventually, the brittleness can lead to cracking and an overall lack of integrity in a pour.
2. Colorado Springs has a Temperature Fluctuation
If the dryness wasn’t enough, we also have a climate that changes rapidly from night to day because of that dryness. Many other places will have ongoing hot temperatures all summer, where degrees only fluctuate may 5 or so degrees from evening to day. However, Colorado can have really big drops from day to evening, sometimes ranging in the 90s during day and 60s at night. Even in the winter, we tend to flip-flop from cold to warm days regularly. While this fluctuation can make for some lovely diversity of weather, this actually adds more pressure to stamped concrete, making the chance of cracking over time even bigger.
3. 300 Days of Sunshine & That Darn Colorado Wind
We all know it can get windy here, with those gusts traveling across the Eastern prairies and lambasting our city. We also have 300 days of sunshine here in the Centennial State, which definitely makes our state such an amazing place to live. However, those two things can really impact how long the surface of stamped concrete lasts, both during the pouring and setting process, but also over the months and years. Sun and wind are huge deterrents to concrete staying together over time, and it adds a layer of complexity to things.
4. Winter Temperatures, Freezes, & De-Icers
We can’t forget the Colorado winter, now can we? While our winters aren’t as brutal as our Northern brothers and sisters, we still get plenty of snow, ice, and freezing temperatures during the winter. Stamped concrete holds up very poorly in freezing temperatures. It also really doesn’t do well with the salt and deicers that people use to help keep one another safe, because salt can cause a lot of cracks and damage over time—especially in the first year of a concrete’s life. Stamped concrete can also be very slippery in the rain or ice, which is an added safety hazard.
5. Stamped Concrete Takes a Lot of Upkeep in Colorado Springs
It’s probably apparent, then, that stamped concrete can actually be one of the worst kinds of concrete to pour in your backyard or landscaping project in Colorado Springs. Its takes an incredible amount of knowledge, upkeep, and care to make sure everything stays okay. Even with care, it’s really only a matter of time before your stamped concrete will get really weird cracks in it. You will end up paying extra money for repairs down the road, and your lovely stamped concrete will stop looking lovely far too quickly for it to be a wise investment in our Colorado Springs climate.
[one_whole centered_text=”true”]We truly hope that this little look into stamped concrete didn’t crush anyone’s dreams. It looks very nice, but there are a lot of issues lurking underneath the surface. We just like to tell it like it is, because we’re committed to honesty and integrity. Concrete in general is just absolutely unforgiving, and stamped concrete seems to be the hardest to manage, in many ways. Save yourself some pain and try different options for your home. Hiner Landscapes can help you out with any and all questions! [/one_whole]