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The Facts about Sealers – A FAQ

If you’ve been thinking about improving the look or durability of your concrete but weren’t sure where to start, this article is for you. We’ll cover some of the top questions about sealers and where they’re best used. By the end of this article you’ll have more information to use when planning your home improvement project.

Q: What are concrete sealers?

A:Concrete sealers are mixtures that are applied to concrete to protect them from the elements. Concrete, while it appears to be a firm, solid surface, is actually more like a sponge. If you don’t properly seal the concrete it can deteriorate more quickly.

Q: Are there different kinds of sealers?

A: Yes, there are essentially two different types of sealers. One is a film type sealer that adheres to the top of the concrete like a film and forms a barrier to moisture and other materials. It’s primary characteristic is that it leaves a shine. The other type of sealer is the penetrating variety which absorbs into the concrete. It also protects the concrete against moisture but it does not have a shiny or glossy finish. Usually the reason for choosing one over the other is purely cosmetic.

Q: Do sealers do more than improve the look of my concrete?

A: Yes, a good quality concrete paver sealer can significantly extend the life of your concrete. When properly sealed, your concrete will repel water, oil, gasoline and other materials. It will be less susceptible to cracking, chipping and abnormal wear.

Q: Should I use different products for indoors versus outdoors?

A: Most sealers can be used indoors and outdoors. However, when using a basement concrete sealer for example, be sure that you have adequate ventilation as the fumes for some products can be quite harsh.

Q: Where is the best place to use a sealer?

A: Sealers can be used anywhere you have concrete. Garages, basements, driveways, sidewalks and patios are all ideal candidates for a good penetrating concrete sealer. Think of a sealer as the final step of installing concrete.

Q: Does it ever make sense to not use a sealer?

A: There are a few circumstances where you may not want to seal your concrete. Garden paths, stepping stones and other areas where you want to preserve the rainwater and allow it to absorb through the concrete are good candidates for leaving concrete unsealed.

Q: How do you apply concrete waterproof sealer?

A: Application is a several step process that begins with preparing the surface. You want to be sure that the concrete is completely clean. Sweep it completely and then follow up by vacuuming with a shop vac. Then mop with a vinegar and water solution. If there is any oil or grease on the concrete use a degreaser to remove it before sealing the concrete. Then, follow the directions on the product to apply. Generally it is easiest to use a roller and work in small square patches until the entire floor is covered.

Concrete sealers are a great investment. They improve the longevity of your concrete and also improve its look. Sealers are relatively inexpensive and easy to apply yourself. Why not improve the life of your concrete floor and set aside a few hours this weekend for this simple DIY project?

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