HOW TO SEAL CONCRETE DRIVEWAYS AND PATIO
Over the years, concrete has largely effectively replaced black asphalt as the preferred material for driveways. Its light color makes it more appealing, and it is more durable in many ways. However, the porous nature of concrete makes it vulnerable to water damage, which can weaken the bonds within it and cause it to crack and chip. If you would like to extend the life of your driveway and avoid a premature driveway replacement then concrete sealing is for you!
Many people choose to seal their concrete driveways and patios to prevent cracking, chipping, and staining. However, while sealant can effectively preserve concrete, there are several factors to consider before implementing this method. Concrete sealants can be costly and time-consuming to install. Sealants only last a few years before they need to be replaced. Many sealants also leave a glossy sheen, which, while appealing, is slippery to walk on.
With these considerations in mind, you may be wondering whether sealing your patio or driveway is the best option. This article will walk you through the process of sealing concrete driveways and patios.
Types of Concrete Sealers
Before you begin, you should be aware that there are various types of concrete sealers. It's useful to understand the differences between acrylic resin-based sealers, epoxy or polyurethane sealers, and penetrating sealers.
Professional concrete supply retailers will have the best products. The low-cost sealers available at hardware stores and home centers are typically intermediate-level sealers that provide adequate performance but have a shorter lifespan than more expensive professional-grade sealers.
Concrete sealers, like paints, come in a variety of gloss or shine levels. There are no-gloss, matte, satin, semi-gloss, gloss, and high-gloss finishes available. Glosses are classified by manufacturers on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 representing the highest level of gloss.
There is no industry standard for the gloss level of a concrete driveway or patio. However, if you prefer a higher gloss sealer, and depending on where the concrete is located, you may need to consider a wet weather non-slip additive topcoat.
How to Apply Driveway Sealer
Most of the work involved in sealing concrete driveways is preparation, both for the concrete area and for you. Make sure the concrete surface is clean and dry before sealing it. To thoroughly clean the slab, use soap or a degreaser if necessary. Before sealing, any necessary patching should be completed. Clean, dry surfaces are essential for the sealer to adhere properly to the concrete.
Sealers are not substances you want in contact with your skin or eyes, so wear gloves, long sleeves and pants, and eye protection when applying the sealer. Before you begin, read the label directions for any special precautions, such as recommended sealing weather and temperatures.
Concrete sealers, depending on the type, only require a small amount of equipment for the application, such as a roller, sprayer, or brush. The recommended method is specified on the manufacturer's label. In general, solvent-based (oil-based) sealers are best applied with a sprayer, whereas water-based sealers are best applied with a roller.
Strive for complete coverage with either method. Most products have a coverage rate of 250 to 300 square feet per gallon. It is best to apply two or three thin coats, allowing each coat to dry in between. This prevents puddling, which can result in uneven coverage. To ensure complete coverage, overlap the areas as you apply the sealer.
Rather than working in narrow strips, it is preferable to focus on one small square section at a time, no larger than 25 square feet. The drying time is about two hours, but it can vary depending on the weather. Summer humidity may necessitate a drying time of five or more hours. Before applying the next coat, the entire surface should be dry to the touch and free of any sticky residue.
If you have a new or large driveway, you should consider hiring a professional to do the work. The cost of hiring a professional sealer is determined by the square footage of your driveway.
How Do You Seal a Concrete Patio?
Clean the Surface
On the surface of your concrete patio, dust and dirt accumulate. However, if you have stamped concrete or a textured surface, such as a fake deck, dirt collects in the recesses. Before sealing, ensure that the concrete is as clean as possible.
Spray the patio with water and then scrub the surface with a stiff brush. Work the brush into the joints and gaps before washing it with the hose and allowing it to dry for 24 hours.
For tough stains like grease, you could try using a pressure washer. It cleans the patio by blasting it with powerful water jets.
Remove old paint, sealer, or stains.
If there is still old paint, sealer, and visible stains on the patio, you may need to scrub it with sand. You could also use a bucket of warm water and detergent to clean up greasy spots.
Scrub the detergent into the concrete with the scrubbing brush until the oil or grease stain has lifted. If water and detergent are ineffective, you may need to use a grease solvent.
You could also try a small amount of muriatic acid if the stains have penetrated beneath the surface of the concrete. Now, rinse any residue away with warm water and allow the patio to dry.
Apply the Sealer.
Before applying your concrete sealer, carefully read the instructions. Most sealers are applied with a spray applicator, which results in a smooth and even layer. Some sealers, on the other hand, are poured onto the concrete surface and spread with a brush or roller.
Always begin in the farthest away corner and work your way back to the other end. Allow the first layer to dry before applying a second coat if necessary. This is usually 24 hours, but check the instructions for your specific product's drying time.
After ten days, recoat
After ten days, grab the hose and give the patio a final clean to remove any remaining dust and debris. Once dry, apply another layer of sealer with a spray applicator. Begin in the farthest corner and work your way backward.
Pour the sealer onto the concrete and spread it with a brush if you don't have a spray applicator. Just keep in mind that using a brush will take much longer and may not result in the same even finish.
Finally, after allowing the first coat of top sealer to cure for 24 hours, apply a second coat and allow it to dry for at least 36 hours.
Best Concrete Driveway and Patio Contractors
Sealing your driveway may appear to be a do-it-yourself project, but it is not as simple as it appears. You must understand your sealing options and purchase the appropriate sealer for your home. Using a concrete contractor, such as C&C Concrete Contractors in Lincoln, NE, ensures that you are making the best decisions based on first-hand experience. Furthermore, we help you in achieving the best sealing results possible due to the skills we've acquired over time. Please contact us so that we can discuss your project and provide you with the best driveway and patio sealing solutions at a reasonable price.