What is concrete sealing?
Once concrete has been poured, it is important to seal the concrete. This ensures that the concrete is protected from extreme temperatures. It also makes it easier to clean throughout its lifetime, in the event that grease or oil is spilled on top of it. In addition, it will extend the lifespan of the concrete as it will prevent it from damage and wear more effectively than if it is left naked.
Before sealer is applied, concrete needs to cure and set. This can take up to a month before it’s ready for the sealant. This is only applicable to new pours, and older concrete can be sealed without this waiting period. Sealing concrete can be tricky, because it all depends on the weather. The best time to seal concrete is in the warmer months, because it needs to be completely dry, as the sealant won’t stick to wet concrete. It also needs to be more than 50 degrees outside to ensure that it’s warm enough to dry properly, and it needs three whole days to dry. If it rains during this time, the sealant will most likely need to be reapplied.
Alpha Concrete Coatings specializes in concrete sealing, and is commonly discussed with individuals looking at doing new pours. Our experts can advise on the best times to do the process, and ensure that it’s done properly the first time.
The process for sealing concrete
When it comes to sealing concrete, our professionals follow a simple, yet detailed process to ensure that the procedure is done correctly and efficiently. It starts by ensuring that concrete is clean and free from dirt and debris. We thoroughly sweep the surface. If your home is in a new neighborhood, this step is crucial, as the building crews create a large amount of dirt. This dirt will prevent the sealant from adhering properly.
In addition to removing dirt, it’s critical that any grease or oil stains are also removed. Once they are sealed, they won’t be able to be removed, and will be visible for the life of the concrete pour. We utilize strong degreasers to make sure that this won’t happen, and remove the stains before the sealant can be applied.
If there are cracks or blemishes in the concrete, we might go over it once with a repair sealant and allow it to dry before we seal the entire thing. This will prevent the cracks from becoming permanent, essentially sealing them off from further damage. If the cracks are large, we will determine the cause and fix it quickly, to prevent future cement from cracking in the same way.
Once the entirety has been cleaned effectively, we will apply the sealant. Different concrete will require different amounts of sealant, as some will be more pourous than others. We typically apply two thin layers to ensure that it spreads evenly, drying between each layer.
Once the sealant has been applied, it can take up to three days to dry. It’s crucial that it avoids contact with anything during this time. If it’s interior, avoid stepping on it, or moving furniture onto it. If it’s outside, like a sidewalk or concrete, don’t walk or drive on it until the drying time has passed.
The necessity of sealing concrete
Concrete is a porous material, so it will absorb stains and liquid over time. For areas with heavy rain or snow, this could prove detrimental to the life of the concrete. In addition, car oils and grease can absorb into unsealed concrete, causing them to stain more easily.
In addition, sealants typically won’t alter the appearance of your concrete, as they apply invisible. Some might give the concrete a slight sheen. Customers might opt for variations that create an intentional glossy look, and some even provide coloring. If you’re interested in different designs, we can go over all the options with you at your initial consultation.
There are different cost options—more expensive ones can extend the lifespan of the concrete, but cost-effective options still offer similar benefits. If you’re opting for designs, patterns, or colors, those might fit into the higher price range. However, when it comes to concrete, sealing them is one of the best investments, as you’ll have to replace the concrete less often. For investment purposes, it’s definitely money that will be well spent.
If you’re looking to seal a new pour concrete slab, or an older one that was never treated, contact our experts at Alpha Concrete Coating. We do the entire process for you, from cleaning to ensuring dry times. For questions about colored options, or cost, give us a call today!