Not all stamped concrete is created equal. There are numerous details that if skipped will create short and long term problems with your new product. One very important component is the ground preparation. We removed 4-6" of your existing ground and replace it with compacted stone to give your patio a base to drain the moisture and provide proper moment. This alone greatly reduces risk of cracking.
Stability of the slab
The next step is to provide the proper reinforcement. We choose to use 1/2" rebar in a 2'X2' grid throughout your entire slab. This ensures that no structural cracks take place and cause the slab to break apart. Along with this, we use an "imported sand" mix of concrete for the sole purpose of avoiding unsightly pop-outs on the surface of your patio. With regular mix combined with Iowa winters, pop-outs will make your patio look like a hail-storm hit it.
All of our decorative, colored concrete slabs are colored at the plant before the concrete reaches the site. This gives us the best true color and consistency possible. After the colored slab is poured and stamped we then add an accent, otherwise known as "antiquing", to the slab to give your stamp a 3-dimensional look and feel. Through our custom application of this step we can truly make your patio one of a kind.
sealing and maintenance
The sealing step is critical for multiple reasons. The first being it provides the true color of the new slab. Colored concrete will not exist in its true color until the sealer is applied. This is why we use a commercial grade sealer so that we provide the most real color possible. This sealer is what also provides protection to your slab from the effects of sun, rain and snow. Our sealer has been shown to last 5-7 years under normal wear and tear so maintenance is minimal compared to other forms of decorative patios.