Why should I seal my concrete?
The sealing of your concrete is important for a number of reasons. Most importantly for protection before
permanent damage can occur resulting in expensive removal and replacement of your concrete.
Concrete is a porous material and in Winter unsealed concrete will allow water to enter and subject it to
more freeze / thaw cycles. This problem can be compounded by salt used on the roads being brought onto
your driveway by your vehicles. As it warms up the water is able to penetrate deeper into the concrete and
on refreezing can make the surface spall where small pieces of concrete pop off the surface.
Spalling on stamped concrete
The sealing process also fills the pores on the surface and creates a barrier so dirt, oil, grease and other
chemicals are less likely to stain the concrete. Of course any spills should be cleaned up as quickly as possible
to help prevent staining.
If you have stamped concrete it is especially important to seal your concrete on a regular basis. The coloured
decorative layer is very thin and relatively delicate. The sealer is the only thing giving it protection from wear
and the elements. Sealing will also intensify the colours and keep the shine on the concrete.
Exposed aggregate concrete benefits from sealing by protecting the concrete around the stones - if it is allowed
to wear it can no longer hold the stones in place and they come away which results in "bald" spots on the surface.
The sealer will also give the concrete a glossy "wet" look and bring out the colour in the stones which was
intended when exposed aggregate was developed.
Recently, smooth trowelled "architectural" concrete is becoming more popular. The smooth flat surface much like
stamped concrete is more susceptible to damage and is not possible to hide. Even water dripping in one spot such
as from a drip edge will quickly wear the surface and expose the rough sand and aggregate below.
How often should I seal my concrete?
In general concrete should be sealed every 2 to 4 years depending on the amount of exposure and wear it receives.
This also depends on the type of sealer used - penetrating sealers tend to need less frequent applications.
Will the concrete be slippery after sealing?
When applying sealer we always add an anti-slip additive during application on smooth surfaces such as stamped
concrete, smooth trowelled and even exposed aggregate. Because the additive is clear it does not affect the final
look of the sealed surface. Anti-slip is especially important for sloped areas and on pool decks.
Can I use salt on my driveway?
We don't advise using salt on your concrete. If possible clear away the snow before it can be compacted to form ice.
Play sand can be broadcast over the ground for traction and can be washed into the garden when the weather improves.
If you have to use deicers please make sure to follow the instructions on the packaging for safe use.
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