WHAT’S THE BEST CONCRETE SEALER FOR YOUR DRIVEWAY?
Extend the life of your driveway by choosing the best concrete sealer and applying it properly
Before you begin, be aware that there are different types of concrete sealers. It helps to know the difference between an acrylic resin-based sealer, an epoxy or polyurethane sealer, and a penetrating sealer. The benefits of using a penetrating sealer over other concrete sealing methods include: 1) higher initial cost, 2) best resistance to UV rays 3) longest life expectancy 4) least maintenance required 5) no surface preparation needed. The downside is that the sealant does not cure on the surface, so it doesn’t create any level surface for mowing purposes like with other sealants. But this may not matter if your yard service cuts the grass before its time to reseal. If you do use a penetrating sealer, remember that it needs at least two hours of curing time before foot traffic can resume; hence it’s advisable to plan in advance when you need concrete sealed so as not to inconvenience yourself.
Epoxies, Polyurethanes & Acrylic Resin Sealers
When it comes to concrete sealing, you have a number of options to consider. The most popular sealers for concrete are epoxy, polyurethane, and acrylic resin sealers.
are tough sealers that penetrate deep into your concrete surface. They create a hard coating that resists chipping, cracking, or fading over time. Epoxies can be used on a variety of different surfaces including driveways, pool decks, patios, sidewalks and more.
Polyurethanes have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their reputation as an easy-to-apply option with minimal odor; they’re also often less expensive than epoxy sealers.
acrylic resin sealers
Available in both solvent- and water-based formulations, acrylic sealers are ideal for projects where easy application and economy are important. They can be used on both interior and exterior surfaces to form a thin, protective film that provides good protection against water and chloride intrusion while permitting moisture in the slab to escape. They are also UV resistant and non-yellowing. Available in a range of sheen levels, they also can be used to enhance the beauty of colored, stamped or exposed-aggregate concrete.
The level of gloss you choose should depend on your tastes, along with how and where you use your concrete. In some cases, a higher-gloss finish may even be better than a lower-gloss one. For instance, people often choose no-gloss or semi-gloss finishes for patios or slabs that are going to receive heavy foot traffic. This is because these surfaces are more durable than those with high gloss levels. But if you have a very upscale home, for instance, where you want to showcase marble or limestone pavers, then choosing a high-gloss sealer will make them stand out beautifully from your concrete surface. A good rule of thumb is to ask a concrete contractor what they would recommend before making a decision about the gloss level of the sealant.
How to Apply Driveway Sealer
When it comes to concrete driveways, preparation is key for both the concrete and you. You will have to clean and dry the concrete driveways before applying paint or sealant. Before sealing, the entire surface should be thoroughly cleaned with soap and degreaser. Any patching should be done before sealing so the sealant will stick well to the concrete.
Wear gloves, long sleeves and trousers, and eye protection when applying sealers, as sealers should not be applied directly to skin or eyes. Follow all label directions, including recommended weather and temperatures. Read the label instructions before beginning.
Sealers can be applied using a roller, sprayer, or brush, depending on the type you use. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for choosing it. The most common way to apply water-based sealers is with a roller. However, water-based sealers are better applied using a sprayer.
It’s important to cover the entire area when applying paint. Most paint is rated to cover approximately 250 square feet per gallon. In order to prevent puddles of paint, it’s best to apply two or three thin coats, waiting between each application. Once the sealer is on, ensure that it covers the entire surface.
Work in small sections rather than working in narrow strips rather than working on several larger sections at a time. Drying time is about two hours, but this can vary depending on weather conditions. The surface should be dry to the touch without any sticky feel before applying the next coat of paint in humid summer conditions.
TYPE OF MAINTENANCE
All it takes is a few months of soap and water cleaning to keep the sealer coat in great working condition. Keeping areas from wearing thin is made easier by reapplying after washing.
When using a pressure washer to clean surface dirt off of a sealed concrete driveway, it’s important to use the correct tip. When pressure cleaning concrete, use a fan nozzle (which slows down the water) or rotary nozzle approximately 12 inches from the surface. Do a discreet test area first before committing to cleaning the entire surface. On average, pressure washing a sealed driveway or patio costs $100 to $200.
Often, concrete driveways need to be resealed at different intervals. The interval depends on the product used, the weather, and the driveway’s age. As a general rule of thumb, concrete trade organizations such as Concrete Network recommend reapplying the seal coat every one to three years based on the quality of the sealant.
In hot climates or when there is little rain, you might have to reapply the sealer more often. Other factors that affect maintenance schedule include the number of trucks using your concrete driveway, whether it was pre-sealed before installation (especially if it wasn’t water-based), etc. It is important to hire concrete contractors who pay attention to EVERY DETAIL OF PROJECT