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Old 04-29-12, 03:09 PM   #1
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Stamped concrete driveways

Does anyone have a stamped concrete driveway? I'm wondering what the durability is like (winter temps and shoveling), how much maintenance is required (does it need regulary sealing?), and can it handle dogs urinating on the surface without eating away the top layer like regular, unsealed concrete?

How much did it cost to install? I've read it's $10 per SF and up.

We're considering paving our driveway, walkways and a backyard patio area.
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Old 04-29-12, 05:55 PM   #2
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Old 04-29-12, 06:11 PM   #3
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Can't really help on cost. My Mom just had her front step and sidewalk concrete stamped - as she had to have a new walkway put in anyway - I do know she checked out several people and most of them really guided her to the stamped stuff (lots of options and colors - it boggled Mom's mind for a while) - it was more expensive than just getting a regular entrance and sidewalk - but not too much more. I really looks nice though. Google it - there are youtube vids that I showed Mom on how they do it - pretty cool. I see lots of city areas being done with this now.

And yes there is a little wear and tear on it with ice/snow and shovel work - and salt stuffs on it.

But really - google it - there are some interesting vids on it. Don't know about a driveway with it (it would look lovely though) - but showing Mom the youtube vids on how they do it, color it and stamp it and explain about it sealed her decision on doing what she wanted to do.
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Old 04-29-12, 07:49 PM   #4
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Keep painting it with urathane every friggin year.

The trouble is where you live all concrete cracks due to the cold and weight of the igloos on the driveway.
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Old 04-29-12, 08:29 PM   #5
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I'm wondering what the durability is like (winter temps and shoveling)
This is more a function of what the exact concrete mix is, and the procedures of the installer.

There is an incredible amount of technology that goes into modern concrete production, but if you hire somebody out of the phone book to build you a sidewalk they will likely give you something that is gray and wet, and who knows what else is in it or isn't in it. What is good for the strength and durability of concrete actually makes it difficult to place and finish. What the installer wants to do with the mix to make it easy for him to place and finish actually makes it less resistant to freezing weather.

Ask your installer what their concrete mix is and if he says something like "oh it is a 5 sack mix..." then go on to the next installer. There is a lot of important stuff needed in concrete besides just the cement, and you don't want too much water. You need admixtures such as air entrainment and water reducing, and you need a maximum water/cement ratio of 0.45. And don't let them put extra water in the mix at the site to make it easier to place.
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Old 04-30-12, 05:13 PM   #6
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This is more a function of what the exact concrete mix is, and the procedures of the installer.

There is an incredible amount of technology that goes into modern concrete production, but if you hire somebody out of the phone book to build you a sidewalk they will likely give you something that is gray and wet, and who knows what else is in it or isn't in it. What is good for the strength and durability of concrete actually makes it difficult to place and finish. What the installer wants to do with the mix to make it easy for him to place and finish actually makes it less resistant to freezing weather.

Ask your installer what their concrete mix is and if he says something like "oh it is a 5 sack mix..." then go on to the next installer. There is a lot of important stuff needed in concrete besides just the cement, and you don't want too much water. You need admixtures such as air entrainment and water reducing, and you need a maximum water/cement ratio of 0.45. And don't let them put extra water in the mix at the site to make it easier to place.
.....and a good dose of calcium chloride to help that cement cook up there.
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Old 04-30-12, 06:32 PM   #7
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.....and a good dose of calcium chloride to help that cement cook up there.
Sure thing. NOT!

We do not allow calcium chloride in our concrete.
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Old 04-30-12, 06:53 PM   #8
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You might want to look into stamped pervious concrete, which lets something like 80% of precipitation through to the soil beneath. Premium is IIRC about 20% more than the wet gray stuff.
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Old 04-30-12, 07:06 PM   #9
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You might want to look into stamped pervious concrete, which lets something like 80% of precipitation through to the soil beneath. Premium is IIRC about 20% more than the wet gray stuff.
I'll check it out. As Spry so eloquently pointed out, we have slightly cooler conditions here in Canada which requires more air entrainment in the concrete to allow for expansion / contraction cycles. My guess is that the pervious concrete won't work so well here.

Btw, we don't keep our igloos on the driveway ... that's for the sled dog team.
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Old 04-30-12, 07:07 PM   #10
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Can't really help on cost. My Mom just had her front step and sidewalk concrete stamped - as she had to have a new walkway put in anyway - I do know she checked out several people and most of them really guided her to the stamped stuff (lots of options and colors - it boggled Mom's mind for a while) - it was more expensive than just getting a regular entrance and sidewalk - but not too much more. I really looks nice though. Google it - there are youtube vids that I showed Mom on how they do it - pretty cool. I see lots of city areas being done with this now.

And yes there is a little wear and tear on it with ice/snow and shovel work - and salt stuffs on it.

But really - google it - there are some interesting vids on it. Don't know about a driveway with it (it would look lovely though) - but showing Mom the youtube vids on how they do it, color it and stamp it and explain about it sealed her decision on doing what she wanted to do.
I'm more worried about our dogs peeing on the concrete. They tend to prefer the closeness of our patio stones to pee on in the winter.
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