Today we will be considering the pros and cons of a sealed concrete driveway. Concrete driveway in recent times is becoming more preferred. This preference is more so because concrete is hard and stable, plus several designs can be made with it.
Sealing your driveway’s concrete gives it a bonus fortification against grease, abrasion and weather changes. There is also a fresh beauty your driveway gives off when its concrete is sealed. However, as it has been said, “everything pleasant has a downside”. This is the same for a sealed concrete driveway. So, let’s get to its gains and drawbacks.
To seal or not to seal concrete driveway
Some engineers argue for concrete driveway sealing while others don’t give in to the opinion. True, concrete slabs do well even without a sealer, however, sealing your concrete driveway gives it increased shelf life. Below are some gains and drawbacks of sealing your concrete driveway.
Advantages of sealing concrete driveway
1. A sealed concrete driveway is protected from penetrating moisture. With a polyurethane sealer on your concrete, moisture is kept at bay. Bare concrete is susceptible to water penetration from natural rain or spillage while a sealed concrete is resistant to absorbing unnecessary moisture. This helps elongate your concrete lifespan by preventing it from water damage within.
2. A sealed concrete driveway repels stain. Sealers block the open pores on your concrete driveway that would have to absorb and retain stains on it. This implies mud stains, spillages, pigments don’t permanently stick on your driveway. Thus, leaving your driveway ever beautiful.
3. A sealed concrete driveway is more durable. Typically, anything protected against several destructive factors lasts longer so also is a block of sealed concrete. Since it is resistant to both water, stain and damage from weather changes, it lasts longer. Also, a sealed concrete has a lower need for constant repairs.
4. A sealed concrete driveway is more appealing to the eyes than a bare concrete driveway. Sealers give your concrete driveway an extra lush. They enhance your concrete beauty and design and improve its appearance.
Disadvantages of sealing concrete driveway
1. A sealed concrete driveway can be slippery. More when it rains or with spilled water on it. This is because of the reduced friction between the tires and the concrete coupled with the dealer’s gloss. However, this problem can be tackled. Engineers advise the addition of fine abrasive to the seal. This will increase the friction on your driveway’s surface.
2. A sealed concrete driveway has to be resealed at least every two years. This is because sealers lose their protective strength. This is commoner for driveways with busy traffic. Hence, it is advised that a resealing of your driveway be done biennially.
3. Not all sealers are eco-friendly. Some are made of harmful chemicals to both humans, plants and animals when ingested or inhaled. However, thankfully there are some safer sealers. Although, they are more expensive.
4. Sealers are not suitable for the newly installed concrete driveway. There has to be a waiting period of at least one month before sealing. During this period, the concrete driveway is susceptible to damages.
It is also worthy to know there are different concrete sealers and they vary in price too. There are the penetrating sealers that go into your concrete and create a chemical block to water and other damaging contaminants. Penetrating sealers often contain silicones and silanes.
There are also the acrylic resin-based sealers and epoxy sealers. Epoxy sealers are more slippery and may completely block the concrete’s pores which isn’t always of positive effect on the concrete.
How To Apply A Seal On Concrete A Driveway
Step 1. Observe the waiting period.
Following the installation of your driveway concrete, you have to wait for a 30day period before a sealer can be applied. This is called the driveway cure.
Step 2. Clean up
Follow up the first step with cleaning your concrete. Rid it off every leaf, grease, mud, debris, oil or dirt on its surface. Do this by sweeping the driveway concrete with a broom and washing it clean with a detergent or any grease-removing soap. A pressure wash will be beneficial too.
Step 3. Let The Concrete Dry
A Sealer cannot be applied on a wet surface. Applying sealer on wet concrete may dilute and dissolve the sealer’s components. This in turn reduces the amount of sealer concrete will get. It is, therefore, best to allow concrete a minimum of one day to dry before proceeding. If rain falls, wait an extra day.
Step 4. Prepare Self
Before applying sealer on driveway concrete, wear your goggles, long trousers, boots, sleeves and other protective body kits. You do not want a sealer on your face or sensitive body. Also, read brand label instructions on how to apply, caution to note and any other information given by the manufacturer.
Step 5. Use Your Spray Or Roller To Apply Sealer On The Concrete Driveway.
However, a spray does a faster job in sealer application than a roller or a brush. But for an oil-based sealer, it is preferred to apply by spraying while for a water-based sealer a roller is preferred for its application.
Also, in the case of application, wash away sealer from places you don’t want them on like your car handle, your doorknob or your windows. Ensure every corner of a concrete driveway is reached by the sealer. You can also add a layer of sealant when done to ensure full protection.
Furthermore, it is best to apply sealer on the concrete driveway during a dry season. This is so your efforts won’t be thwarted by the rain. Also, a sealer takes a cure period of 24 hours so it would stick properly to the concrete. Avoid movement across the driveway during this period too.
After sealing the concrete driveway, be cautious to maintain the driveway by cleaning with soap and water every 2 months. Also, reapply a seal every 2 years.