Owing to its incredible strength and durability, concrete is one of the most widely used paving materials. But this is not to say that the material doesn't need protection. When the surface of concrete paving is exposed to the elements, such as rain, snow, UV light, and salts, it may suffer from cracking, scaling, and other concrete problems. This may compromise the structural soundness of the paved structure.
Concrete sealing is designed to protect concrete surfaces from the elements, thus preventing costly damage to the concrete and increasing its durability. Whether you are considering a DIY concrete sealing project or simply want to know what the project involves, you've come to the right place.
Here's a look at the essential steps involved in concrete sealing.
Cleaning the Concrete Surface
Concrete paving tends to accumulate a lot of dust, dirt, and grime over time. The first step of the concrete sealing process is to ensure that the concrete surface is free of any buildup of foreign material, such as dust, oil, grease, and so on.
A fast and effective way to clean your concrete is to wash it with a pressure washer and special concrete cleaners. If you don't own a pressure washer, you can hire one from a local home improvement store. You also don't have to use store-bought concrete cleaners if you have enough household cleaning detergent.
Make sure you set the pressure washer at a gentle water pressure setting so that you don't damage the concrete paving with the force of the water. If you don't feel confident operating a pressure washer, you can use a hard-bristled brush to scrub the dirt off your concrete surface.
If you are looking to seal concrete that has been sealed before, you will need to remove any existing sealer from the surface. There are various methods of removing the sealer from the concrete surface. You can apply chemical sealer strippers or employ mechanical removal techniques, such as sanding, grinding, and blasting. The choice is yours.
Applying an Etching Solution
For the new sealer to work effectively, it needs to infiltrate the pores of the concrete a little bit. Applying some etching solution on the concrete should help to open up the concrete for fresh sealer application.
Applying the Concrete Sealer
There is a variety of concrete sealers on the market. For the best results, it is important that you choose the correct one for your project. Using a sprayer, roller or other sealer applicators, apply the first layer of sealer on your entire paving.
Allow the sealer to fully dry before applying the second layer of sealer in the opposite direction. Wait until the second coat fully dries to use the concrete paving.
Aside from protecting concrete, concrete sealers help to improve the aesthetics of concrete surfaces. This is essential to increasing the kerb appeal and value of properties. Sealing concrete is recommended for freshly poured concrete that has cured and after every few years, as part of routine maintenance. If you need help with your concrete sealing project, don't hesitate to seek out a concrete sealing service like Robert Guy & Sons Pty Ltd.