Taking care of your concrete
Why should I seal my concrete?
The sealing of 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 is 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 refreezing can make the surface spall which is where small pieces of the concrete pop off the surface.
The sealing process also fills the pores on the surface to creates a barrier so dirt, oil, grease and other pollutants 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 help keep the gloss look.
Exposed aggregate concrete benefits from sealing by protecting the concrete surrounding the stones – if it is allowed to wear down it can no longer hold the stones in place. This can result in “bald” spots. The sealer will also give the concrete a glossy look and bring out the colour of the stones which was intended when exposed aggregate was developed.
Recently smooth troweled “architectural” concrete is becoming more popular around Vancouver. The smooth flat surface, much like stamped concrete is more susceptible to damage and it is not possible to hide. Even water dripping off a gutter will quickly wear the surface to expose the rough sand and aggregate below the surface.
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 application.
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, troweled and even exposed aggregate. Because the additive is clear it has little affect on the final look of the surface, but it will feel rough to the touch. Anti-slip is especially important on sloped areas or on pool decks.
Can I use salt on my driveway?
We don’t advise using salt on your driveway. If possible clear away snow before it can be compacted to form ice. Play sand can then 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.
Our concrete repair and sealing service areas