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Cleaning and Sealing your Concrete Driveway, Sidewalk, Patio or Commercial Concrete surface is an easy and inexpensive way to keep the area around your home or business looking its best. A high quality Penetrating Concrete Sealer can add 10 plus years of life to your Concrete.
Water is the main culprit for damage to Concrete because it Penetrates and expands during freezing periods. Water expands 9% in volume when it freezes, creating a force that is strong enough to break Concrete and cause flakes, pits, and cracks. Sealing Concrete limits the amount of water that the surface absorbs.
Resealing Decorative Concrete or Stamped Concrete (same thing) is one of the most misunderstood and least studied processes in our industry. In the past 20 years we’ve definently become more guarded in the recommendations we give to homeowners in reguard to resealing.
Today were much more cautious when it comes to resealing Decorative Concrete, usually recommending that the surface be stripped of all existing Sealers. That advise never goes well, as there are not many jobs as miserable as stripping sealer from Decorative or Stamped Concrete. Experience has taught us that if your not 100 perecnt sure of what type of sealer is on the surface then you should strip it. Using two different types of sealer on Stamped Concrete can cause the patio to turn milky white.
Acrylic Sealers (solvent based) applied directly over existing Acrylic Sealers can melt or reliquify the original Sealer coat. This allows the two to become one, giving a Acrylic Reseal the benefit of both cohesion and adhesion. Water-based Sealers don’t have the solvent strength to melt or reliquify the initial coat, so they only exhibit adhesion when Resealing.
A lot of questions on what the best types of Concrete Sealer are. Really depends on what type of Concrete your wanting to Seal. If you have a Stamped Concrete Patio you would want to use an acrylic type Sealer to give the Patio that wet natural look. Note of caution on this be sure to use the same type of Sealer that was originally used so you don’t get a bad reaction from using two different types of Sealers. Been there done that! If this happens you will need to strip all Sealer off the Patio and start fresh. Best to test a small area if your not sure. A great way to test and see if there is any Sealer left on the Concrete is to hose it down with water and if the Concrete soaks it up there is no Sealer. But if the water beads up on top of the Concrete that means there is still Sealer. If your wanting to Seal an Exposed Aggregate Patio or Driveway you could use and Acrylic Sealer with colored tint in the sealer. Be sure to mix this properly, because most of the tint will settle on the bottom. Then there is the standard traditional Concrete (broom finished or swirl finished Driveways). For these types of finishes you can use either a Penetrating Sealer or an Acrylic Sealer.
Let us explain the difference. Most Penetrating Sealer will Penetrate the Concrete approx. quarter inch. These type of sealers will have a chemical reaction with the lime in the Concrete, the same way an colored acid stain would react with the Concrete. Some Penetrating Sealer can last up to 10 years. Another nice thing about Penetrating Sealers is that they will not leave the Concrete looking splotchy after the application. Can use almost any type of Sealer can to apply the product.
The other type of Sealer you can use on traditional Concrete is an Acrylic Sealer. Because this type of Sealer sits on the surface of the Concrete it will normally only last a year or two. Note on these types of Sealers, they can and most of the time will leave your Concrete looking splotchy. The sealer spray can to apply this Sealer must be able to take harsh chemicals. You will probably need to visit your local Concrete supply store to buy a sprayer, the ones at Lowes or other big brand stores do not carry these sprayers.