Sealing Decorative Concrete is essential for several reasons. It acts as a protective barrier against stains, various airborne elements, and UV damage. It also enhances the color and depth of the concrete, making it more visually appealing and vibrant. Additionally, it prevents moisture intrusion, reduces the risks of cracking, spalling and freeze thaw damage.
Choose the right Sealer
The first step in sealing Decorative Concrete is selecting the right sealer. The two main types of sealers are topical and penetrating. Topical sealers are preferred for Decorative Concrete as the provide a
shield on the surface to enhance and protect the color(s). A penetrating sealer will dive deep into the concrete and provide some resistance to stains but will not provide protection for the colors(s). The best selections is a topical, acrylic, Cure & Seal for newly placed Decorative Concrete and a higher content solids, acrylic, sealer for older decorative concrete.
Prepare the Surface
Proper surface preparation is mission critical. For newly placed Decorative Concrete, the surface should be lightly power washed to remove any liquid release or release powder used in the stamping process. Once the surface is dry, the Cure & Seal can be applied per the manufacturer’s instructions. For older Decorative Concrete, washing the surface with an Eco-Friendly Cleaner is best and then let the surface have a sufficient dry time. Once the surface is dry then apply the higher solids/acrylic content sealer per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Test the Sealer
It is important to test the sealer before applying to the entire surface. Find a small test spot in a discreet area and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. This will enable you to test the sealer and ensure it is compatible with your concrete surface. Take note of the drying time, color enhancement and any other desired effects.
Take extra precautions in the drying time after washing and before sealing. Not allowing the concrete to dry will result in hazing, bubbling and the overall performance of the sealer will not meet expectations. Also be very mindful of concrete surface temperatures. Concrete, no matter the age, is always gassing off after exposure to sun and heat. It is always best to seal early in the morning, before the surface temperature is on the rise, or in the latter part of the day once the concrete surface temperature has gone through its cool down, gassing off, period.
Long Term Maintenance
To keep your Decorative Concrete surface beautified and free of stains and appearance issues, consistent washing and cleaning is a must. Do not use heavy bodied chemicals and or detergents. Eco- Friendly Cleaners are available and won’t take away from the life of the surface like detergents will. Depending on traffic, cleaning methods and sun exposure, it is best to reseal every 2-3 years.
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