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Concrete comes in many different types and substrates that can be found both for both interior and exterior applications. There are Concrete Driveways, Vertical Brick Walls, Brick Paver Patios, Basement Floors, etc. Concrete is very porous and can be prone to degradation from Water, Ultra Violet Radiation, wear, and tear, etc. By sealing or waterproofing your concrete surface you will add life and protection to your surface.
So what is the Best Concrete Sealer?
The answer to that is dependent on why you are sealing, what surface you are trying to seal, and what your final expectations are.
Concrete Sealer and Water Repellent Types
Sealing concrete will protect the surface from elements, deicing salts, spills, mold/mildew infiltration, and freeze/thaw damage. Knowing this, many homeowners have elected to seal their concrete surfaces. Whether it is a driveway, sidewalk, pool deck, or patio these surfaces can benefit greatly from being sealed.
There are many concrete sealer types and it can be a bit confusing deciding which product is best for your concrete. A general description of the most common concrete sealer types will make your buying decision a little easier.
Different Types of Concrete Surfaces and Best Sealer to Use.
Decorative Concrete – This is any concrete surface that is not simply a means of construction but that is also altered to enhance its beauty. While still serving as an integral part of the building process such as floors, walls, driveways, or patios the concrete is also transformed into a decorative piece. The altering of concrete to enhance its beauty is accomplished through a number of procedures such as stamping, acid staining, polishing, coloring, overlaying, and more.
Sealer Type to use: Use a sealer that enhances the color tones with a wet look. Typically these are Acrylic sealers in either water or solvent based. If solvent, use a “styrene” acrylic to allow moisture to escape. These come in a Gloss, Semi-Gloss, Satin, and No Gloss.
Sealing Exposed Aggregate patios, driveways, and walkways will enhance and protect your surface from damaging weathering and deicing salts. Sealing aggregate stone is something any homeowner can do with great results.
Benefits of Sealing Exposed Aggregate
One of the most versatile surfaces used on almost every property is concrete. Concrete is used for many things such as foundation purposes or for surfaces such as driveways, sidewalks, patios, porches, pool decks, garage floors, retaining walls, or landscape edging. The list goes on and on when it comes to concrete. Although concrete is a fairly hardened and durable surface, it is not free from the perils of Mother Nature. Things like water, UV rays, mold, mildew, and deicing salts can wreak havoc on concrete surfaces. These can cause issues like freeze/thaw damage from water expansion in colder climates, pitting, chipping, cracking, heaving, and overall deterioration. Colored concrete is prone to color loss and fading.
Surfaces such as indoor concrete can be sealed to protect against stains while offering a beautiful enhanced appearance. For an enhanced look with a little gloss the best sealer for indoor concrete that we have found is Masonry Saver Decorative Concrete Sealer. This versatile sealer can be used for indoor concrete surfaces such as stamped, decorative, brick, stone and other masonry surfaces. Masonry Saver Decorative Concrete Sealer protects concrete and masonry surfaces from color loss due to ultraviolet light. It also provides shielding against moisture, abrasions, and normal wear and tear.
Most concrete surfaces will last a very long time when they are properly maintained. Maintaining a concrete surface is no different than other surfaces, it just needs to be cleaned periodically and protected from the elements. Harsh weather and climate can take its toll on concrete that is not water proofed. When water and moisture are able to penetrate concrete it can cause all types of problems. Most notably, constant moisture can create mold, mildew, and algae buildup. This can break down the concrete overtime and is extremely unsightly. It can also create a slippery when wet surface, which can be dangerous.
In climates that see below freezing weather in the winter, freeze and thaw damage is very common. When moisture penetrates the concrete and freezes it expands. This can cause chipping, cracking, and heaving of the concrete literally breaking it up and ruining the structure. Repairing this type of damage can be costly. The good news is that it is avoidable with some regular maintenance. The best protection you can give any type of concrete surface is to water proof it so water and moisture cannot penetrate the surface.
A driveway is obviously an important surface when it comes to the exterior of your home. Most of us take them for granted until it comes time to make costly repairs. In areas of the country that see cold winters, salt and erosion can be a huge problem for a driveway. Salt can eat away at the surface of concrete causing chipping and erosion issues. Moisture can also penetrate the driveway and create freezing and thawing damage in as little as one harsh winter season.
To protect your driveway from salt and erosion it is best to seal it. Sealing a driveway will stop most of the damaging effects of winter weather. The sealer will repel moisture and salt so the driveway surface is not harmed. When it comes to sealing a driveway there are a few steps necessary for a successful result. When the weather is appropriate for applying a sealer prior to winter, the surface should first be cleaned. Use a quality concrete cleaner along with a pressure washer to remove dirt, grime, mold, and mildew. The concrete cleaner will help break down these contaminants including tannin stains from sticks, leaves, and acorns so the surface is completely clean prior to sealing.
Basement walls can collect moisture due to the humidity of being underground. Moisture can also seep through the walls from the outside. To keep your basement walls in good condition, it is a good idea to seal them. Basement walls can be sealed to help lock out moisture, which may lead to mold, mildew, and erosion problems. It is best to seek professional advice or do some research prior to attempting this project.
Knowing how to seal basement walls will serve you well, this information can be found online. Here are some basic guidelines to help you with sealing your basement walls. Be sure the walls have been cleaned and are free of dirt, dust, and other grime that may keep the sealer from penetrating. It is best to use water and a concrete or brick cleaner depending on what your basement walls are made of. Be sure there is proper drainage in the basement floor. If you cannot use water use a concrete cleaner and wipe the walls down to remove any contaminants. Allow the basement walls to dry for a day or two.
Concrete is a very versatile material that can be used in many applications. It is most commonly used for driveways, sidewalks, porches, and patios. It can also be used for retaining walls, landscape edging, and other areas of construction. Concrete can last a very long time if it is maintained and protected from the elements. Unprotected concrete, especially in northern areas, can be subjected to freeze and thaw damage during the colder months. This most commonly causes cracking, chipping, and heaving of the concrete
Ideally, you want to maintain the nice level clean surface that the concrete was when it was new. To stop any damaging effects it is important to maintain the concrete in several ways. First the concrete needs to be cleaned periodically. This will remove such contaminants such as dirt, grime, mold and mildew, which can cause discoloration and attract and hold damaging moisture. In between cleaning maintenance, about every couple of years, the concrete should be sealed. This will help to waterproof the concrete so moisture cannot penetrate the surface. Sealing concrete is a great way to prevent freeze and thaw damage.