Stamped concrete is a very popular and relatively inexpensively way to add character to a home. Its low maintenance and durability have made it very popular for sidewalks, driveways, patios, and other outdoor surfaces. Its nearly limitless patterns and color options make it one of the most versatile materials on the market. While well cared for stamped concrete surfaces can be very attractive, poorly or wrongly maintained stamped concrete can be one of the most hideous and repulsive things in the world of home ownership.
The most common mistake most people make is using salt based ice melt to remove the ice. While this seems completely harmless at first, once the ice is gone you’ll notice blotches on the concrete that look very similar to hard water stains. These apparent stains come from the chemicals in the ice melt reacting with the dyes used to color the surface in much the same fashion as bleach. These blotches cannot be removed or covered over. The only way to fix this problem is to break up the whole surface and re-pour it, which is expensive and time consuming.
As with most problems, prevention is the best medicine. Some surfaces that are unlikely to be used, such as gazebo floors, can be covered with tarps before the first snow falls, to provide a barrier between the ice and the concrete. This will also eliminate the need to shovel these areas, as the snow can be left to melt in the springtime. For areas that will be in use during the winter, you need to choose a salt free ice melt, such as Safe Paw Ice Melter, to prevent discoloration.
Salt Free Ice Melt
Homeowners with stamped concrete should avoid salt based ice melts at all cost. The results of long-term use are much more expensive and inconvenient than simply switching over to a salt free ice melter such as Safe Paw.