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Curing and Sealing

Concrete Sealers provide improved resistance to weather, water, stains, and abrasives. Sealers also offer resistance to rain, sun, freezing temperatures, petroleum, and deicing salts. Concrete sealers make clean up easier.

All concrete sealers should be applied to concrete that is clean and dry. All stains, grease, oil, dust, and dirt should be removed prior to application of the sealer.

One type of sealer that helps cure the concrete is a water-emulsion acrylic concrete cure and seal designed to help cure the concrete and provide a sealer.

Some sealers appear “milky white” in the container and when first applied, leaves a bluish cast on the concrete for easy visual identification of coverage. The white color is added to help in the application process, but does fade over time. If you do not want to have the white color for a few week there are clear cure and sealers available.

On fresh concrete, the sealer you select should do double duty as a cure and a sealer. On existing concrete, the sealer you select should seal the concrete and provide a medium or high sheen.

Surface preparation before applying the sealer to existing concrete is extremely important. All unsightly marks, stains, dirt, and dust must be removed or they will be amplified by the transparent sheen finish. Also, if a sealer is being applied over a different brand sealer, most manufacturers advise that the concrete be cleaned so that all traces of previously used sealers have been removed.

Whichever brand sealer you use-from your local Home Depot or Lowe’s, or a pro contractor supply house-follow the specific instructions for the product you select in both preparation and application of the product.

Sealing Joints

Sealing Control Joints that have been tooled with a groover or sawcut seves three purposes:

  • It gives the concrete a neat appearance
  • It keeps dirt, small rocks, and other debris out of the joints
  • It minimizes water intrusion to the sub grade through the joint
  • Joint sealants can be used of driveways, walkways, patios, pool decks, and parking areas.
  • A good product is an elastomeric self leveling polyurethane sealant. This type of product is self leveling, excellent weatherability, easy to install with a caulk gun, expands and contracts with joint movement, excellent adhesion, and doesn’t have to be tooled when installed.

Note: The depth of the sealant should be ½ the width of the joint. The maximum depth is 3/8″ and the minimum depth is ¼”.