Concrete sealing is the process of applying a protective layer to your concrete surface to enhance its appearance, performance, and overall lifespan. Since concrete is a porous material, sealing it can help reduce water absorption, prevent any stains from seeping into the surface, and lessen the impact of abrasion and wear.
There are many aspects to know about concrete sealers, and in this post you’ll learn about concrete sealing tips like the process for applying a sealer, methods for application, and the benefits of regular sealing.
The Process for Concrete Sealing
Following an established process for concrete sealing will let you achieve the proper adhesion and coverage you need, resulting in a long-lasting solution.
Here is a general process to follow:
- Prepare the surface – Start by removing all dirt, debris, water, plant life, and anything else in the way. You may need a pressure washer, scrub brush, degreaser, cleaning supplies, and other tools to address all aspects needing to be removed.
- Repair any cracks – Once you have thoroughly cleaned the surface, use a concrete crack filler to fill any cracks or a fast-set mortar to repair any holes. Give these products time to fully cure before proceeding. Our recommended filler product is the UNIQUE® Pourable Concrete Crack Filler.
- Select your sealer – We might be a little biased here, but one of our favorite concrete sealing tips is to use the UNIQUE® Concrete Sealer. With this sealer, you’ll get a ready-to-use formula that is breathable, UV-resistant, environmentally friendly, and suited for varied locations.
- Consider outside factors – Before application, you will want to make sure the weather is appropriate for curing. So check the forecast for any rain, snow, or extreme heat, and avoid applying it at those times. Additionally, you will want to mask off any nearby objects or materials that are not intended to get sealed.
- Apply the sealer to the surface – You can use one of three concrete sealing methods: spraying, rolling, or brushing, which we will discuss in a section to follow. The concrete sealing method of choice will depend on the location of the project, the type of sealer used, and, of course, your comfort using the tools.
- Allow for drying time – One of our best concrete sealing tips is to allow ample time for the sealer to cure and dry before allowing any traffic onto the cement surface. If your sealer requires multiple coats, let each layer fully dry before starting a new one. Typically, each coat takes 12-24 hours to cure completely, and the final coat should get 24-48 hours to cure before the surface can resume receiving traffic.
- Optional: add extra coats – Depending on your sealer and application, you might need to apply multiple coats to achieve your desired level of protection. Be sure to consider this in the time you have set aside for the project. Another one of our concrete sealing tips is to apply the second coat in the opposite direction of the first coat to ensure the best coverage and adhesion.
- Clean up your materials – After you apply all coats, clean any tools used in the process to prevent the sealer from hardening on them. It is important to properly dispose of any materials according to regulations as well.
- Maintain the area – Extend the life of your concrete by regularly practicing maintenance. This means periodically cleaning the surface to remove dirt and avoiding the use of harsh chemicals that can wear down the sealer. Then, be sure to regularly seal the surface in order to achieve long-lasting benefits.
Choosing the Most Appropriate Concrete Sealing Method
There are three main concrete sealing methods. Application can be performed using a roller, low-pressure sprayer, or brush. Let’s look at each.
- Roller – Roller application is a concrete sealing method that works best for water-based acrylic, solvent-based acrylic, and certain penetrating sealers. When using the roller method, you would dip the roller in the sealer and roll it evenly onto the concrete surface with overlapping strokes. Since rollers are typically large, this method is appropriate for covering bigger surface areas.
- Sprayer – Spray application also works for water-based acrylic, solvent-based acrylic, and certain penetrating sealers. When using this concrete sealing method, you will want to spray the sealer evenly across the surface using a low-pressure sealer. This process is most effective when you work in small sections. Using a spray application method helps achieve a thin, uniform coat as long as you do not overspray.
- Brush – Use the brush application for water-based acrylic and certain penetrating sealers. This concrete sealing method is best completed with a high-quality brush. You will want to dip the brush into your concrete sealer and evenly apply it to the surface. Be sure to use long brush strokes and brush out any streaks and puddles to achieve an even finish.
Exploring the Benefits of Concrete Sealing
As discussed above, concrete sealing is great for creating a barrier against any contaminants or anything else that can impact the longevity of your concrete surface. With its water-repelling and appearance-enhancing properties, concrete sealing will keep your surface looking great and functioning at its best. Advantages include:
- Water repellence – Concrete sealing coats your surface to repel water and other forms of moisture. Keeping water out of your concrete prevents damage from freeze-thaw cycles.
- UV protection – Sealers that add UV protection prevent fading and discoloration. They also help reduce degradation due to sunlight.
- Enhanced durability – Concrete sealing works to increase the overall strength of your cement, giving it the power to withstand wear and tear from traffic of all kinds.
- Stain resistance – Adding a concrete sealer can prevent oil and grease from penetrating your surface. This reduces the chances of stained concrete, especially in areas where there are a lot of oil-based products used or heavy traffic is present.
- Easy cleaning – Sealed concrete is easier to clean since there is less potential for dirt and other contaminants to stick to it.
- Enhanced appearance – Concrete that is sealed will have an even finish that is either matte or glossy depending on the sealer you choose.
Use a Reliable Sealer to Achieve the Best Results
One of the best concrete sealing tips we can offer is to use a reliable sealer. The UNIQUE® Concrete Sealer is a penetrating, non-yellowing, acrylic sealer that protects your surface from harsh elements and contaminants. Use our concrete sealer to bring new life to your aged pavement or give your new concrete a beautiful, protective finish.
Our sealer comes with the following benefits:
- Ready-to-use formula
- Simple application with a spray or roller
- Reduction in porosity
- Excellent adhesion to pavement surfaces
- UV resistance
- Breathable composition
- Slip resistance (even when wet)
- Non-hazardous formulation
- Environmentally friendly composition
Get in Touch with Our Team for More Concrete Sealing Tips
Whether you are working on a driveway, sidewalk, or concrete patio, we have the products you need to get through the entire concrete sealing process.
Get in touch with our team if you have additional questions about concrete sealing methods or products to use. We look forward to hearing from you!