There are many options for concrete surfaces. We put together a list of the main types and the applications they are best suited for.
Poured concrete is extremely durable. For that reason, poured concrete is found in all types of exterior applications, namely driveways, patios, walkways, and pool decks. Homeowners must be diligent in maintaining these surfaces because it is expensive to replace poured concrete. Concrete surfaces have a long lifespan, but that lifespan is affected by how well the surfaces are maintained. A driveway wash and seal for poured concrete is twofold. On one hand, the wash is important for homeowners that take pride in how their driveway looks, but the seal is even more vital and prevents any chipping, pitting, and cracking. Once a year, homeowners must wash and seal their driveways and other concrete surfaces to help prevent damage from occurring.
Stamped concrete is designed to emulate other materials at a cheaper cost. It is a great option for homeowners that value aesthetics and want to lower the up-front cost of installation. Stamped concrete cannot hold up against heavier weight, so it is best used for patios, walkways, and pool decks. The downside to stamped concrete is that the need for repair and replacement will approach sooner than it would for poured concrete or asphalt. Homeowners get an acrylic top coat on stamped concrete to repel water and add a stain to the surface. We recommend getting stamped patios and other surfaces washed, but not sealed. While poured concrete is porous and can benefit from our penetrating sealer, stamped concrete is not porous and therefore cannot benefit.
Pavers are a cost-effective option for a patio compared to poured concrete or asphalt. The cost of replacement is especially cheaper with pavers because you generally are only replacing the damaged sections of the patio as opposed to replacing the entire surface. The rough feel of the surface of pavers makes them inherently slip-resistant. Paver installation requires a professional and takes a lot of time and materials to install. Pavers are much stronger than poured concrete and better equipped to handle changes in the seasons. Having said that, paver patios tend to have a longer life and a greater gap between replacement, but the application of a sealer will help aid in their life cycle. Penetrating sealer must be applied to these surfaces to further protect them.
Brick is one of the more cost and labor-intensive options for a patio and requires a safer pressure to wash. Brick is very porous like poured concrete and benefits by our washing and sealing processes. One downside of a brick patio is how the passage of time will negatively affect this surface. For example, when seasons come and go and the area below the surface tends to soften and shift, this can cause the brick patio to become uneven and perhaps dangerous to walk on. Beyond the initial costs of materials and labor, the maintenance of a brick patio is also more costly than other surfaces over a shorter period. Having said that, the bricks themselves can last a lifetime if maintained properly.