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.
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.
Many homeowners today are looking for ways to increase the longevity of their property and exterior surfaces. With home costs down, and the costs of materials and home repairs up, it only makes sense to maintain what you own. Proper maintenance will not only increase curb appeal but can add value to your home as well.
When it comes to protecting your concrete driveway, nothing can be more beneficial to its longevity than a concrete sealer. Concrete sealers provide protection from weather exposure, moisture, oil stains, tannin stains, deicing salts, and will protect from freeze/thaw damage. They enhance the natural beauty of the concrete and make it easier to clean and maintain in the future.
Preparing an existing concrete driveway for a sealer is vitally important. It is best to wash the surface with a pressure washer and a high-quality concrete cleaner. Dirt, mold, mildew, and all unsightly stains should be removed prior to applying a driveway sealer. If there are remnants of an old concrete sealer, it should be removed using a concrete sealer stripper prior to sealing.