Sealing your foundation
To answer this question, we need to know What is concrete sealing first. Concrete sealer just what the name would imply: seals concrete. The concrete sealer provides effective protection from corrosion, staining, many other types of surface damage by blocking the pores, forming an impermeable layer, and reducing its ability to absorb water, salts, and other materials from passing through.
For example, freezing and thawing on concrete is the most insidious form of damage for concrete. Alkali-silica reaction, chemical intrusion, and corroding steel reinforcements are other examples of materials that cause damage that concrete sealer prevents.
Should concrete be sealed?
Having a concrete sealer applied to your concrete driveway is equal to waxing your car, applying sunscreen, and scotch guarding your sofa. New or old, concrete sealer will protect your driveway and keep it looking good for years. The concrete sealer will rejuvenate an existing concrete surface, too, whether it is a driveway, garage floor, or a patio.
It is recommended by concrete experts and sealer manufacturers to have reapply concrete sealer every so often as a general maintenance step to maintain a glossy sheen and vibrant color. A slip-resistant concrete sealer is available and ideal around swimming pools, on sidewalks, and stairs, or on a sloped driveway. If you’re not fond of glossy shine, you can go with a no-gloss or low-gloss concrete sealer.
Outdoor concrete is subjected to a lot of abuse that can permanently stain it with ugly grease, oil, pet stains, tire tracks, and more. The right concrete sealer will help keep all of those things from penetrating the surface with an unsightly stain. The concrete sealer also prevents damage from freezing and thawing during the winter that often cracks concrete when the water has penetrated the concrete.
What is the best sealer for concrete?
A concrete sealer is designed to seal the concrete while enhancing and protecting the surface. The top choices as “best sealer” are:
- Armor AR350: A solvent-based acrylic that leaves a “wet look” and is recommended for most concrete surfaces, indoor and outdoor.
- Siloxa-Tek 8500: A silane and siloxane blend that is easy to apply with brush, roller, or spray on brick, concrete, masonry, and stone surfaces.
- ToughCrete Concrete Sealer: U.S. Department of Transportation approved, this eco-friendly, non-toxic siloxane has a ten-year Tough promise.
- Rain Guard Water Sealer CU-0201: Leaves a clear, low gloss coating that is UV resistant, hot tire mark resistant, and takes impact from heavy automotive uses, non-yellowing.
- EnduraSeal Semi-Gloss: A 100% acrylic solvent-based, low odor, and leaves a glossy, wet look.
What’s the best way to seal concrete?
Applying a concrete sealer may look easy, but it can be tricky, which is why hiring a professional that has experience in working with the product is always recommended. If it isn’t applied correctly and it isn’t allowed to dry thoroughly, it won’t be as effective as you want it to be. For the homeowner that wants to do their own, these concrete sealing steps that follow will help:
- Clean all dirt, dust, grease, oil, and stains
- Remove any existing concrete sealer
- Apply the etching solution to open up the concrete
- Using a roller or sprayer, apply a thin coat of concrete sealer
- Allow the first layer of concrete sealer to dry
- Going in the opposite direction, apply a second coat of concrete sealer
- Allow the concrete sealer to thoroughly dry, usually three days, before driving or walking on the surface
Can you seal old concrete?
Yes, there is no age limit to apply a concrete sealer, even if the cement has been treated previously. Make sure the floor is cleaned, removing all dirt, dust, grease, oil, etc. If a sealer has been applied before, it needs to be removed, the clean the concrete again.
There cannot be any trace of efflorescence, grease, mildew, mold, mildew, oil, or rust, or they will be sealed into the concrete. These things could also “fight” the sealer and not give you the full effect of the concrete sealer.
When it comes to Concrete sealing, how to know you need it:
When water gets on a driveway, patio, stairs, or steps that have been treated with a concrete sealer, it beads. If the water isn’t beading on wet concrete, then it needs a concrete sealer applied. If the surface has high traffic, then a concrete sealer is recommended and frequently reseal. The concrete sealing pros and cons to consider:
- A sealer will help repel moisture and keep it from absorbing into the cement, causing possible damage and weakening it down inside.
- A concrete sealer will make the cement stain-resistant by sealing the pores.
- Concrete sealed floors have a longer lifespan because it is protected from the elements that damage it like the UV rays.
- A concrete sealer will enhance a highly visible surface and maintain its appearance.
- The concrete sealer can be slippery when wet, but an abrasive can be added to the coating to make it non-skid.
- The concrete sealer needs to be reapplied every few years to maintain its quality, especially in areas of high traffic.
- Some concrete sealers can be dangerous to pets, plants, even humans. If you’re applying the concrete sealer yourself, wear protective gear for eyes and skin and avoid breathing in the fumes. These are the reasons why we recommend having a concrete sealer applied by professionals.
- For a new slab, a concrete sealer cannot be applied for one month, allowing time for the concrete to cure.
How long does concrete sealer last?
There are a few factors that can affect the lifespan of concrete sealer. An epoxy or urethane concrete sealer system can last five to ten years with regular traffic exposure. An acrylic-resin concrete sealer has an expected lifespan of one to three years. Foundation Support Specialists is your source for quality foundation repair in San Antonio and Austin, TX. Need to get started? Call 210-267-8828 today.