Stamped concrete driveways are a popular choice for homeowners, but they can be expensive. If you’re on the fence about whether or not stamped concrete is right for your driveway and want to learn more before making that decision, then this blog post will help with some of the questions you may have. We’ll cover everything from costs to benefits to maintenance so that you can make an informed decision about what type of driveway would work best for your needs!
1. A concrete driveway increases property value
To know if stamped concrete is beneficial to use on driveways, let’s discuss how a concrete driveway on its own is a beneficial improvement to a home, especially in Melbourne, FL. A concrete driveway is durable, which in turn increases the longevity of a property. This will add value because there is less maintenance required to keep the driveway in good condition. Concrete driveways are aesthetically pleasing and adds value as concrete looks much nicer than an old asphalt driveway that has all kinds of visible imperfections. You can generally expect a return on investment of around 50% the price.
2. What is stamped concrete and is it good for driveways?
Stamped concrete is a type of concrete that is stamped to create a textured, contrasting pattern. It is perfect for driveways because it provides grip and can be custom designed to match your home’s exterior design.
This type of finish makes driveways easier to maintain and water doesn’t pool on top or seep in from underneath.
3. Stamped concrete is cheaper than pavers for a driveway
The typical cost comparison for a paver driveway versus a stamped concrete driveway is about $25 per square foot depending on geographic location.
It costs less than traditional pavers for driveways, but it is not a vast difference in price. The higher cost for stamped concrete can be attributed to the extra labor and time that goes into creating them versus with pavers. Melbourne, FL has moderate labor rates for comparison purposes.
4. Why choose a stamped concrete driveway over other materials like asphalt or brick
If you want to compare it to asphalt or brick, it’s important to know the difference between them.
Asphalt and brick are traditional materials that have been around for a long time, but stamped concrete is newer technology with some advantages over these older options. While asphalt can get quite hot in direct sunlight and will buckle if you don’t properly maintain it, stamped concrete is much more durable and lasts longer than both of those other options (especially when compared to brick). In addition, stamped concrete isn’t as susceptible to weather damage like salt or hail from storms may cause pitting on an asphalt driveway. Thankfully, In Melbourne, FL, we don’t have to deal with icy conditions or even snow where salt is required to melt the ice.
Stamped concrete also has a feel similar to bricks but without all the downsides: unlike bricks which are heavy enough they’ll crack your foundation if installed too close together on top of it, stamped concrete is much lighter and can be installed in any pattern you want.
5. Is stamped concrete expensive?
In a location like Melbourne, FL, ballpark costs can land anywhere from $35-$90 per square foot.
It can be more expensive than traditional concrete, but the color and texture make them worth the extra investment.
6. Does stamped concrete crack easier?
It is stronger than other types of concrete and does not crack as easily. Stamped concrete is not as porous, which makes it stronger and less likely to crack. When it’s installed properly, there should be no cracking at all because of how strong this material is and can stand up better against freeze/thaw cycles than other types of concrete because of its strength and ability for water penetration.
7. You stamp concrete over old concrete
You can absolutely stamp over old concrete. However, you’ll need to make sure the old concrete is in good condition first. If it’s uneven or cracked, that means there are areas of different densities and these can lead to cracks once stamped – this will not look great! If your existing concrete has a uniform surface then it should be fine (if any cracking happens then just use an overlay product).
8. Many popular stamped concrete driveway patterns
There’s a whole variety of patterns. However, I’ll list out the MOST popular patterns commonly found here in Melbourne, FL
- Ashlar is a popular pattern which looks like cut stone. It is the most expensive pattern and requires a more experienced installer to work with it effectively since they need to be able to cut each block by hand.
- Basket weave patterns are popular for driveways because of how these squares create an interesting effect when connected in rows that stretch across the driveway from one side to the other.
- Checkerboard patterns are also popular because of the way these squares form a symmetrical pattern that looks great.
- Another popular pattern is a brick pattern. This lets people have the look of brick without needing to hire contractors for installation or waiting weeks and months for delivery!
- Stamped concrete driveways can be done with different shapes, too. Rectangles are common, but other shapes that might appeal include ovals, octagons, squares – even hexagons!
Any pattern you choose will depend on your preferences as well as what materials your home’s architecture allows. Talk to our experts today about how we can help you find the perfect design at an affordable price!
9. How often should you re-seal stamped concrete and when will I know it’s needed?
A common resealing schedule is every two or three years. However, depending on the climate and lots of rain like we get here in Melbourne during summer months, a reseal may be needed sooner than that – usually it’s best to have the surface inspected by an expert for recommendations specific to your needs.
The best way to know when resealing is required is when you see the telltale signs of wear and tear. These include cracks, chips in corners or edges, pitting, non-level surfaces that create tripping hazards (they should be a maximum height differential of ¼”).
10. You can powerwash stamped concrete
You can certainly powerwash stamped concrete – but you’ll need to use a power washer which is specifically designed for this type of material. You can’t just take any old household or professional grade pressure cleaner and expect it to produce the same results.
It’s also important that you don’t let water sit on stamped concrete without drying it off, otherwise problems may arise with mold growth, mildew buildup etc.
Stamped concrete driveways are a popular choice for homeowners, and it’s not hard to see why. They tend to cost less than traditional pavers but is still an affordable option. The key difference between the two options is that stamped concrete will make your driveway easier to maintain; water doesn’t pool on top or seep in from underneath because of its design. While the higher cost for stamped concrete can be attributed largely to labor and time spent creating them versus with pavers, they generally last longer without cracking as easily thanks to their stronger composition (not as porous).