Concrete is one of the most versatile, durable, and long-lasting paving materials. From driveways to patios, garage floors, and other surfaces, concrete is a popular choice for many people. However, like all paving materials, proper installation is critical to the longevity and performance of your concrete surfaces. And the best way to ensure your concrete surfaces last even longer is to seal them the right way. A proper concrete sealer will protect your concrete surfaces from weather exposure, grease, oil stains, de-icing salts, water and abrasion, among other elements.
What's more, concrete sealing makes the surface easier to clean and brings out the beauty of the material. However, it would be best to do it correctly to enjoy its benefits. With that in mind, here are some tips to consider to make the most of your concrete sealing project.
Prep The Surface
The first step to sealing your concrete surfaces the right way is to work on a clean surface. Your sealer won't adhere properly to the concrete if the surface is dirty. Therefore, proper surface preparation is essential when sealing your concrete surfaces. You need to ensure the surface is free of any oil, dust, dirt, grease, stains and all forms of debris. If there's any existing sealer from previous sealing, ensure you strip it off. You can then pressure wash the surface thoroughly. If you notice any stains, use cleaners designed for the stain. It's imperative to let the surface dry before you apply the sealer. The duration may vary based on the sealer you choose, so remember to ask. However, it's essential to watch out for rains because you may need to wait a little longer. Therefore, always remember to check the weather.
Know The Different Types of Sealers
Concrete sealers are available in many different options. Therefore, it's vital to know their differences to ensure you buy the correct type. Generally, the primary concrete sealers are penetrating sealers, acrylic resin-based sealers and polyurethane sealers. As the name implies, penetrating sealers are designed to penetrate the concrete surface, creating a chemical barrier to contaminants like water, oil and grease. They are perfect for protecting your driveway or garage floors from oil stains and other similar pollutants.
On the other hand, acrylic sealers sit on the concrete surface. They are typically easy to apply and come in different options with unique properties. In addition, you can find blended options that contain silicone, epoxy, polyurethane, etc., designed to make them more durable. Overall, they are versatile in terms of choices. However, some acrylics tend to develop a yellowish hue when exposed to direct sunlight. For this reason, they are ideal for interior use.
Polyurethane sealers are also popular because of the UV protection that keeps them from yellowing over time like their acrylic counterparts. While they also sit on top of the concrete surface, they tend to be thinner than most sealers, making them ideal for added protection over other sealers.