A Guide to Sealing Concrete Driveways
Whether you're having a beautiful new concrete driveway poured or you already have one, it's important that you protect and maintain your investment. A good sealer will keep your driveway looking great for many years, or rejuvenate an existing surface. Sealing a concrete driveway can be compared to waxing your car, wearing sunscreen or spraying Scotchgard™ on your favorite shirt.
Driveway sealer will:
- Improve your driveway's appearance
- Keep UV rays from causing it to fade
- Protect it from stains
- And more!
TYPES OF DRIVEWAY SEALERS
Whether your driveway is gray concrete, colored concrete or has a stamped pattern, sealing after the concrete has cured and every few years after is recommended as part of the maintenance routine. A sealed concrete driveway will have a rich color and glossy sheen if desired.
Here are some popular driveway sealer options:
- Sealers are available in many different gloss levels, ranging from no-gloss to high-gloss.
- A tinted sealer can even be used that will further enhance the color of your driveway.
- Slip resistant sealers are also available.
Experts recommend using a penetrating sealer outdoors because it sinks down into the concrete and has a more natural, matte finish. It is very important that sealers used on exterior concrete allow both air and moisture to pass through.
|DryWay Concrete Driveway Sealer
This penetrating sealant will shed rainwater and oil spills, protect against deicing salts, reduce efflorescence and last up to 10 years.
|Heavy Duty Oil & Stain Protector
Protect your driveway from most common contaminants including oil, grease, water, salts and deicing chemicals.
|High Gloss Stamped Concrete Sealer
This sealer is ideal for vehicular areas such as driveways. Use it to provide a UV shield, enhance the beauty, and protect the surface.
MORE REASONS TO SEAL YOUR DRIVEWAY
- Prevent efflorescence. For colored concrete driveways, a sealer will help prevent efflorescence, which is a white powdery residue that can form on the surface.
- Stain protection. Your driveway will be subjected to many things in the great outdoors that can leave unsightly stains on the surface – leaves, dirt, fertilizer, pet urine, oil, tire tracks and much more. The right sealer will keep all of the above from penetrating the surface of the concrete and leaving an unsightly stain.
- Reduce the chance of freeze thaw damage. Freeze thaw damage can cause cracks or surface flaking and is caused by water penetrating the surface of the concrete and then expanding as it freezes. A sealer will keep water from sinking into the driveway. Water will bead on the surface if your sealer is doing its job. When this no longer happens it is time to reseal your driveway. High traffic areas will likely need resealing on a frequent basis.
In short, a sealer will enhance and protect your new or existing driveway. When properly sealed and/or resealed the service life of concrete is greatly extended. Make sure that the contractor you hire seals your driveway with the appropriate product and at the appropriate time. A driveway sealer should be applied after the freshly poured concrete has cured. Most contractors find success waiting 7 to 14 days, but the official time for curing is 28 days.
If you are having a patio poured at the same time, it should also be sealed. On the other hand, if you're resealing your existing driveway it can be more cost effective to seal your patio too. Learn more about sealing concrete patios.
HOW DO I MAINTAIN A CONCRETE DRIVEWAY?
Concrete driveways are very durable and require minimal maintenance. However, decorative concrete, such as colored or textured concrete, will need to be
maintained to continue to look good for years and years.Maintenance requirements for decorative concrete driveways include simply cleaning the surface thoroughly once a year with a pressure washer. Then the surface should be sealed. The best way to protect your concrete from moisture penetration, freeze-thaw conditions, color fading, deicing chemicals and abrasion, etc is to seal your driveway periodically.
It is best to discuss what type of sealer to use with your concrete contractor. Some contractors offer routine maintenance schedules to care for your concrete. This is beneficial so that the maintenance of your concrete will automatically be taken care of, which reduces the risks of you forgetting or avoiding the process. You can use the list of decorative concrete contractors at ConcreteNetwork.com to find a local contractor to ask about the proper sealer products and techniques for your area.
Get more information about maintaining decorative concrete, including stamped concrete, stained concrete, integrally colored driveways, exposed aggregate surfaces, stenciled concrete, engraved concrete, and more.