To Seal or Not to Seal … What Does Your Concrete Really Need?

Concrete is a pretty amazing product when you stop to think about what it’s expected to do.  And it’s exposed to UV rays, liquids leaking from vehicles, tire marks, pet damage, snow melt chemicals and salts, de-icers, dirt, grime, snow, rain, sleet, hail, tire chains, kids’ toys, damage from garden tools and equipment, not to mention that it sits on a chuck of earth that is constantly moving and exposed to water.  So, for a fairly inexpensive investment, don’t you think it’s worth it to seal your concrete so it’s protected and lasts longer?  The benefits to sealing your concrete are many:

  • Sealing your concrete will prevent moisture from penetrating the slab so that freeze/thaw cycles, which are so common to Colorado in the winter and spring, will not damage it.  In Denver, we experience 105 days of freeze/thaw annually!
  • Sealing your concrete protects it from oil spills and all kinds of stains.
  • Sealing your concrete reduces spalling, flaking, and cracking.
  • Sealing your concrete makes it mold and mildew resistant.
  • Sealing your concrete improves its appearance and enhances the curb appeal of your home.

 

Other Factors to Consider When Sealing Your Concrete

Cost should not be a factor when determining the sealer you’re going to use.  Low cost sealers purchased at your local hardware or home improvement center cannot match the quality and performance of commercial professional-grade sealers purchased at a concrete materials supplier.

The sealer must be compatible with the overlay or decorative finish to which it’s being applied.  For example, you cannot put a penetrating sealer over an already sealed surface or the color hardener in stamped concrete, just as you should never try to apply new sealer over old sealer that has a different chemical composition.  If you choose a solvent-based sealer for a specific concrete floor, always use a solvent based sealer for that floor.  The same holds true for water based sealers.  Do not mix the two!

Sealed concrete is slippery!  If you’re sealing raw concrete, use a penetrating sealer which is slip-resistant.  If you’re sealing a decorative concrete or overlay finish, make sure to put a traction additive in the final seal coat.

Sealers don’t last forever.  Depending on how well and how often you clean and care for your concrete, you can expect sealers to last one to three years.

If you do your homework, carefully consider the performance and appearance factors most important to you, and properly clean and prepare the surface before application, you’re good to go.  If you don’t want to deal with any of that, call us.  We’re happy to provide you with a free estimate.

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