Why Fire Pit Areas and Stamped Concrete Go So Well Together
Campfires aren’t just for the woods anymore. As backyard design becomes more creative and complex, sales of fire pits have skyrocketed. They provide a spot to hang out and socialize, roast marshmallows,, and stay warm on chilly nights.
There are two basic types of fire pits - permanent and portable. Permanent fire pits are custom built as permanent fixtures of the lawn by a landscaper or contractor, while the portable or freestanding versions can be purchased at a big box store or online, self-installed and moved around.
What Is Stamped Concrete?
Stamped concrete is a popular choice for fire pit pads. It’s a type of decorative concrete that has a printed or in-molded design on the surface. It is a very durable and long-lasting product that is also relatively easy to install.
You can choose from many different designs or use your own custom design.
It’s an excellent choice for fire pits because it’s easy to clean and resistant to chemicals. However, gas fire pits are more prone to melting the surface of stamped concrete because of the heat and could potentially damage the design.
If you have a wood fire pit, stamped concrete is perfect for you as it provides a good surface for sitting around the fire pit.
Pouring and Setting Stamped Concrete: The Process Explained
Leveling the Soil: After you engage a concrete contractor, they will first level the earth in the area where you want the stamped concrete to be poured. This is a critical phase that should be carried out with caution. The soil must be well-compacted and precisely flat to prevent eroding beneath the concrete.
Setting Up Forms and Reinforcements: The concrete is usually poured in stages, and the formwork is used to hold it in place until each section is filled. The formwork should be held together with metal clips, bolts, and screws to ensure it doesn’t fall apart and the concrete will not leak out. At the end of the job, the forms are removed, and the finished product is left.
Concrete contractors will set up wooden forms around the sides and tops of the fire pit. This helps to keep the concrete in a more consistent shape and level. It will also provide support while the concrete sets.
Pouring The Cement: When the forms are in place, cement will be poured into the form. It will be a little more than four inches thick, giving a sloped top for water drainage.
Applying the Stamp: After the cement has been poured, a rubberized stamp will be applied to the concrete. There are many different types of stamps with varying degrees of detail. The stamp may also be used to imprint texture.
Cleaning The Concrete: The form will be removed from the concrete once it has set and the concrete is allowed to dry.
Making The Fire Pit: Once the slab for the fire pit has been poured and stamped, the area can be prepped for the actual fire pit itself. The fire pit will be typically made from cast iron. Ensure that the pit is installed on a surface level and adequately anchored to the concrete slab.
How Long Does Stamped Concrete Last?
Many factors affect the durability of concrete in general. Those include age, the amount of traffic that it gets, the climate and environment, exposure to UV radiation, chemical spills, and the amount of sealer applied to the surface.
Epoxy sealing can last 5 to 10 years, but stamped concrete can last up to 25 years.
The best thing is that keeping stamped concrete is simple, allowing you to keep it looking stylish for a long period. To gently wipe away the trash, all you need is a broom and a soft cotton mop soaked in water. To remove any stuck-on debris, use a non-abrasive detergent. People will be impressed by your fire pit surround for a long time.
Stamped concrete and fire pits are made for each other. This combination can make a great place to socialize or even have a barbecue with friends and family. Stamped concrete is the perfect solution for a backyard fire pit area as it is easy to clean and maintain, and will last for a very long time.
Are you interested in stamped concrete in Northern Virginia? Get in touch with Nav Construction. We are your trusted source for residential and commercial concrete for any of your projects. Text us for a free quote!