Sealing Different Types of Concrete Surfaces

This post was most recently updated on May 10th, 2024

I am Scott Paul, a leading exterior paver restoration contractor and business owner with over 30 years of experience in sealing and protecting. For info about who I am, please read my full bio here.

Update Sealing Different Concrete Surfaces

I appreciate you visiting Concrete Sealer Review for 2024, your source for the latest tips and trends for your concrete and brick paver sealers. It is essential to know how to approach a concrete sealer project. In this updated article, I will give suggestions for sealing different types of concrete surfaces. If you have any suggestions or have any questions, please comment below.


Different types of concrete surfaces to be sealed.

Decorative Concrete – This is any concrete surface that is not simply a means of construction but is also altered to enhance its beauty. The concrete is also transformed into a decorative piece while still serving as an integral part of the building process, such as floors, walls, driveways, or patios. 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.

Stamped Concrete is concrete that is altered to look like another material, such as brick, stone, slate, flagstone, tile, and wood. The concrete is normally patterned, textured, or embossed to achieve this look. In addition, a base color is used along with an accent color. Stamped concrete is generally used for driveways, patios, sidewalks, pool decks, and flooring.

Acid Stains – Acid stain on concrete is not a paint or coating but rather a coloring process that involves a chemical reaction. Acids and salts react with the concrete minerals to create a color change. Acid stain can be used to enhance both interior and exterior concrete surfaces. Once the color change has occurred, the surface can be sealed to protect the finish.

Pavers – Concrete pavers, more commonly known as “pavers,” are a special dry mix of pre-cast concrete designed to interlock. Pavers are generally used in exterior hardscape applications. The interlocking pavers are installed on a compacted bed of sand. Sand is also used to create joints much like mortar joints in brickwork. A paver sealer can be applied to lock in the sand joints and harden the entire structure.

Exposed Aggregate – This type of concrete finish is achieved by increasing the amount of aggregate (stone) in the concrete mix before it is poured. Once partially set, a surface retarder is sprayed on. This allows the concrete underneath to harden but not the surface. Once the underneath concrete is hardened, the top layer of concrete is washed away, exposing the internal aggregates of the concrete mix. Exposed aggregate hides stains, cracks, and overall weathering much better than regular concrete due to the busyness of the appearance. Yet exposed aggregate is a very aesthetically pleasing finish. Older exposed aggregate surfaces can look as good as the day they were poured.

Poured Concrete – A composite mix of cement and other materials like fly ash, slag, limestone, water, and chemicals. It is mixed to meet the needs of a desired concrete slab or other surfaces. It is typically brought in and poured using a cement truck. Depending on the job, concrete can take on many shapes, sizes, and functionalities. Forms are set to help the concrete take its shape while a sub-base of granular fill or road base is used. Once poured, the concrete surface is smoothed, leveled, and finished to the desired look. Poured concrete is commonly used for driveways, sidewalks, patios, pool decks, foundations, and retaining walls.

Brick Walls – Brick walls are constructed using bricks and mortar. This type of brick wall construction is commonly referred to as masonry construction. The bricks are usually made of concrete, ceramic, or calcium silicate. Bricks are coated with a cement mix called mortar and stacked on top of one another in layers to create a wall or some other type of building structure. Brick walls can be used for the construction of entire buildings or houses. They are also commonly used for chimney construction, foundations, and more.

Different Types of Concrete Sealers Video


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Scott Paul ~ Restoring Concrete Since 1993 Owner
As an article and comment contributor to the site, Scott has been around the pressure washing industry since attending college. In 1993 he started his first company called Oakland Pressure Wash specializing in exterior pressure washing and deck staining. That company evolved into OPW L.L.C. shortly thereafter concentrating more on exterior wood and deck restoration. Scott and his Deck Cleaning Michigan company have restored over 10,000 decks in the Metro Detroit area since the early years. He has become an authority in the deck restoration industry and has contributed to numerous wood restoration forums and informative sites. All the products he suggests through this site are sold through online sites and in retail stores, allowing the consumer to choose their own means of purchase. Scott’s eCommerce sites do sell many top brands he endorses and if you appreciate any of the help he has offered then feel free to purchase from one of them.

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Cindi
Cindi
5 years ago

how frequently does a stamped concrete patio need to be re-sealed?

Cindi
Cindi
5 years ago

Thank you!

mike antonio
mike antonio
6 years ago

I have stamped concrete it was sealed when installed 6 years ago. I would like to reseal it again not sure what to use since I do not know what was used the first time. What can I use to be safe.

Frank Gibbs
Frank Gibbs
9 years ago

What sealer is recommended for an interior exposed brick wall in a 1910 Philadelphia row home? I am looking to provide a wet look with a matte finish while allowing the brick to breathe and preventing dusting?

jim herbert
jim herbert
9 years ago

Have a river gravel lanai that needed some stones replaced and restored. They replaced the stones with a dark concrete material, assuring me they could wash the top off with muriatic acid. They could not. Then they used different products to remove the unsightly black mess. It worked eventually, but now the areas treated are no longer black…they are white!!! What can be done to correct this sorry mess??? Help!

Lou Spevetz
Lou Spevetz
9 years ago

Just bought some cement statues that are very white (White cement not applied color) and would like to seal them to retain the white color. What do I use?

Bob
Bob
10 years ago

What sealer do you recommend for maintenance of exposed aggregate concrete with a stain/stamp border (integral color) that is mostly used for foot traffic? This is located near the Oregon ocean. The concrete was placed last year.

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