How to Water Proof Exterior Concrete, Brick and Masonry
When water is able to penetrate concrete, it can cause all sorts of damage. Water and moisture absorption causes concrete to swell, which can lead to pitting, cracking, and heaving. In colder climates, freeze and thaw damage is a major concern. As water gets into the concrete and freezes it expands causing major damage if neglected.
To prevent damage of concrete, the surface should be water proofed. Water proofing concrete creates a water repellent barrier to lock out moisture. This stops all water related damage from occurring. In addition, waterproofing concrete will also prevent spills and stains from penetrating and potentially leaving permanent staining.
To water proof concrete, the surface should first be cleaned properly. Use a concrete cleaner and a high-pressure washer to remove all dirt, grime, mildew, and other contaminants. Spot treat and clean any oil or grease spots with a degreaser. Clean any irrigation rust with a rest remover. Once the concrete is clean allow it to dry for 1-2 days.
Choose a concrete sealer that best fits your needs. Some sealers penetrate into the concrete pores while others protect by forming a film on top of the surface. You may want to use a water proof sealer that leaves a gloss or wet look appearance, or you may want something that does not alter the appearance of the concrete at all.
Once the concrete is dry and ready to be water proofed, use a leaf blower or broom to remove any debris. Mask off any areas where you do not want sealer – like house siding, landscaping, etc. Use a roller or pump sprayer to apply the sealer. Try to work is small sections applying just enough water proof sealer to coat the surface. Do not over apply. Apply one to two coats according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Knowing how to water proof concrete is a great way to save money by doing the project yourself. Most water proof concrete sealers are user friendly and easy to apply. Keep your concrete surfaces looking good and lasting a lifetime with a water proof protectant.
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