Concrete is a very strong and durable building material. However, concrete can quickly break down if it’s not properly cared for or maintained. The driveway concrete you installed just last year could be looking pretty shabby this coming Spring, but there are concrete sealer products out there that will help your concrete to look better than new!
Before we get into concrete sealer options and our favorite concrete penetrating sealers, let’s cover: 1) What causes concrete to break down? 2) How do you know when concrete needs to be resealed? 3) Why use concrete waterproofing anyway?
What Causes Concrete to Break Down?
The surface of concrete is subject to damage from the elements such as sun, rain and snow. Water which the concrete is exposed to can seep into concrete and cause serious damage like spalling and efflorescence.
Spalling flaking and deterioration of concrete is caused by the sun and rain eroding (wearing away) the surface. This can be avoided by regularly applying driveway concrete sealers that contain ultraviolet resistant additives.
Concrete driveway sealers will also help to repel efflorescence which occurs when water, minerals or salts flow out of the concrete block. As efflorescence dries it appears as a white powdery substance on driveway surfaces.
How Do You Know When Concrete Needs to be Resealed?
The best way to find out if your driveway needs resealing is by walking across it in your bare feet during the Spring or Summer. If you can feel a gritty texture then it is time to reseal your driveway concrete.
Why Use Concrete Sealing Products Anyway?
Many driveway concrete sealers also waterproof concrete driveway surfaces, helping to prevent efflorescence and spalling from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Quality driveway sealing products will help keep your driveway strong, durable and looking good.
Concrete Driveway Sealer Options:
Choosing driveway sealers can be confusing, especially when you compare driveway concrete sealers vs driveway waterproofing sealers. Many people immediately think of using a driveway waterproofing product for sealing driveway surfaces, but it’s best to use a driveway concrete sealer product instead.
Concrete driveway sealers will penetrate the surface of your driveway and fill in any small cracks. They also create a film on top of your driveway which protects it from damage caused by weather, foot traffic and vehicular use. This is exactly what you want for driveway sealing!
In contrast, driveway waterproofing products don’t penetrate into driveway surfaces, instead they sit on top, creating a layer of protection. While driveway waterproofing is great for water sealing driveway surfaces to prevent erosion, you’ll need driveway concrete sealers (or driveway stone sealers) if you want to protect your driveway from foot traffic and vehicular use which can cause damage.
Concrete Sealing Options
One concrete sealer product option is a penetrating concrete sealer. A penetrating concrete sealer forms chemical bond with the concrete which provides protection from water damage, resists spalling, resists staining and helps prevent efflorescence. Concrete sealing options are typically used to protect against curb damage, freeze-thaw damage, salt degradation and chemical spills. It’s always best to check with your local concrete contractor or masonry professional before selecting a concrete sealer to make sure you’re using the right concrete sealer for the job at hand!
One concrete sealing option that we wanted to highlight today is not really a concrete sealant – but still works extremely well as one! This great time-saving solution for concrete sealer is concrete stain! Concrete stains are water-based concrete dye products that penetrate concrete surfaces to enhance the concrete’s natural color.
Why use concrete waterproofing?
Concrete waterproofing is used to seal concrete and make concrete more resistant to damage. It’s important not only for concrete driveways, but concrete patios and concrete pool decks too! Concrete waterproofing also protects concrete surfaces against freeze-thaw damage and salt degradation.
Now, back to our article… it’s important to protect concrete from degradation so you don’t have to spend money redoing your concrete every couple of years. If you’ve got a concrete driveway or patio that looks old and dirty, applying a concrete stain can completely change its look! Staining concrete requires very little labor but it could end up saving you thousands in repair costs if you’re not using one of these great time-saving solutions for concrete sealer!
Concrete Patio Before & After Stain Application – What A Difference Stain Makes!
If your brand new concrete driveway or patio is already looking old and dirty, concrete staining products are a great option to make it look like new again.
Concrete stains do tend to fade over time (especially in hot climates), so you’ll probably want to reseal concrete every 1-3 years, depending on how often you use your concrete surfaces. Concrete sealer options are available in many different forms including concrete penetrating sealers, concrete waterproofing, concrete densifiers and concrete gloss enhancers which can all be used with different concrete applications including concrete driveways & concrete patios.
So now that you know what causes concrete degradation and how do you know when concrete needs to be resealed, hopefully you’re ready to start shopping for concrete sealer products!
How do I prepare concrete before sealing? To ensure that the concrete sealer product bonds correctly with concrete surfaces we recommend pressure washing the concrete surface thoroughly to remove all dirt and grime before applying the concrete sealer. The concrete can be applied with a simple pump sprayer.
Best Concrete Sealing Products:
Below we’ve included driveway concrete sealers that are easy to apply and remove excess water from driveway surfaces. All three driveway concrete sealers below have a low VOC rating, which means they’re safer for the environment and nicer for your nose!
SealThane is a driveway concrete sealer that will protect your driveway from foot traffic and vehicular use and provide enhancement. It can also be used on top of decorative flake for garage floors. It also offers a low VOC formula that can be used indoors or outdoors in all types of climates.
This driveway concrete sealer protects driveway surfaces from UV rays, rain, snow and weather damage. This product will not crack or peel which makes it great for sealing cracks in driveway concrete too!
Another driveway concrete sealer that penetrates driveway surfaces to protect them from water, UV rays and weather damage is Seal Rx. It contains an elastomeric (stretchy) additive which makes it great for driveway sealing large surfaces like driveways.
The final driveway concrete sealer is Seal Rx HD Concrete, Stone, and Tile Sealer which will protect driveway surfaces from water, oil, dirt and many chemicals. This driveway concrete sealer contains a high build additive that adheres better to driveway surfaces.
While these are our favorite driveway concrete sealers here at The Paver Sealer Store, be sure to do your own research on driveway sealing products to find the perfect one for you.
Some driveway concrete sealers will work better on driveway surfaces, while others may be better for your garage or driveway stone.
Would you rather have concrete professionals do this work instead of doing it yourself? Not a problem – get in touch with us today at 813-308-9202 for a contractor recommendation or Request a callback by filling out our contact form.