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Install stamped concrete correctly

Ensuring that stamped concrete is laid correctly involves planning and management on the part of the applicator. Sub-standard work can result in poor colour consistency, peeling or flaking surfaces, crusting, wearing of colour finishes, shrinkage, cracking, inadequate concrete cover and poor stamping of patterns.

Concrete stamping: What to look for

You should look out for the following when installing concrete stamping:

  • Failure to apply two base coats of colour hardener. Colours pale with little depth or lustre
  • Using the release colour coating as the second colour application. Again, pale colours can be more prone to wearing or fading
  • Not applying colour at the specified rate. Pale colours or blotching of the surface can result when colours are applied unevenly
  • Reinforcement is too shallow resulting in corrosion. Stamped depth can be up to 200mm
  • Working colour into a surface that is too wet or using colour powder as a ‘drier’ can result in crusting of the surface, peeling, drummy surfaces or surface crazing
  • Inadequate removal of release agent, causing colour lifting
  • Placing concrete too wet, resulting in shrinkage cracking
  • Crack inducement strips’ – placing too late can result in a rearing effect on the surface. If the reinforcement is too close to the surface, adjoining areas are disturbed with cracks either side of the strip
  • Control joints not correctly spaced, causing excessive shrinkage cracking
  • To prevent the effects of hot, dry or windy weather, use wind breaks, reduce the size of the pour, use more labour, wait for a cooler part of the day, or cover the concrete.

Use of Stencilcrete

Stencilcrete can experience the same problems as stamped concrete, but common issues associated with it are:

  • Placing the stencil on excessively wet concrete where it goes in too deep
  • Placing the stencil on drying concrete and achieving an inadequate bond
  • When the stencil is removed, it pulls away the edges of the coloured surface.

Ensuring a proper seal

Poor sealing can result in surface contamination and reduced durability. If the sealer is applied too early before the surface has hardened, colour surface can be dislodged or, when applied with a broom, colour can be dragged across the surface.

It’s best to apply sealers with a spray or roller when the surface is still drying (after approximately four hours in hot weather) or wait until the surface has hardened sufficiently to broom on the sealer.

To find out more, contact HIA’s Building Services team.

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