You might already have a concrete driveway. Maybe you’re getting a new one. Over time, concrete can chip and crack. You might be wondering how to keep it looking its best. It is important to stop cracks before they happen, explains an experienced building company in London, MPC Contractors Limited. Many homeowners consider sealing their concrete driveways. Is this a good idea?
Should I Seal My Concrete Driveway?
Most homeowners should seal their concrete driveways. This is because concrete is subject to freeze-thaw cycles. According to Concrete Network, a freeze-thaw cycle can occur nearly anywhere. This even includes parts of Florida and other warm climates.
It is a good idea to seal your concrete driveway. This prevents damage. It ensures your driveway looks its best long-term. Sealing your driveway is a simple task but makes a big difference.
How to Seal a Concrete Driveway
First, you should clean your driveway. Use a broom and a pressure washer. You want to start with a fresh, clean driveway. Let the driveway dry for 24 hours.
Then, apply the sealer. You may spray, roll, or brush it on. A garden sprayer is the quickest option. According to Do It Yourself, you should prevent pooling. Spread the sealer evenly.
You should then let the sealer set in for 24 hours. Avoid using the driveway during that timeframe. Also, make sure it stays dry. Keep an eye on the forecast in case of rain or snow.
These directions work for most sealers. Be sure to read the directions on the sealer. Different sealers may vary slightly in directions.
How Much Does It Cost to Seal a Concrete Driveway?
Sealer costs $0.15 to $2.50 per square foot. Higher quality sealers cost more. In most cases, they are worth the investment. The more expensive sealers last the longest. If possible, choose a high-quality sealer to ensure it lasts.
If you are sealing your driveway, you might choose to seal your patio at the same time. This is a cost-effective option that will save you time too.
Types of Concrete Sealer
These are the types of concrete sealer you can choose from:
- Acrylic resin-based sealers
- Epoxy or polyurethane sealers
- Penetrating sealers
Sealers also have certain levels of gloss. These range from 1 to 100. 100 means that the sealer has the highest level of gloss.
According to The Spruce, these are the gloss levels of types of sealers:
- Solvent-based sealers: 80-100 gloss level
- Water-based sealers: 50-80 gloss level
- Penetrating sealers: 0 gloss level
Should You Hire a Professional to Seal Your Concrete Driveway?
You can seal your concrete driveway yourself. It is a simple process. Be sure to follow the directions on the sealer. In most cases, you do not need to hire a professional. Hiring a professional will cost more. This is because you will be paying for labor too.
If you do hire a professional, here are a few tips:
- Ask plenty of questions about the process.
- Compare rates.
- Look at online reviews.
- Ask for references.
If you have experience with do-it-yourself projects, you can handle this. If you have concerns, you might choose to hire a professional.
When to Apply Concrete Sealer
Concrete sealer can be applied when the concrete is cured. This is often 28 days after the concrete is installed.
You should apply concrete sealer when the weather is dry. Water should not touch the sealer for 24 hours.
How Long Does Concrete Sealer Last?
It depends on the sealer you use. You should look at the product details for the sealer you use. Some sealers last only 1 to 3 years. Others last more than 10 years. Reactive chemical sealers last the longest. Acrylic-resin sealers last the shortest length of time. Be sure to re-apply as needed.
Does Sealer Make Concrete Slippery?
Concrete sealer has little effect on traction. Some types of sealers are designed to provide more traction. Sealers don’t make concrete slippery.
What Can Happen If You Don’t Seal Your Concrete Driveway?
Concrete is porous. This means that it can absorb liquid. The following can cause damage and discoloration:
Sealing your concrete prevents fading too. A sealer can enhance the color. Tinted sealers can change the color if you want a color change.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace Concrete?
If your concrete is damaged, you will have to replace it. This can be expensive. It costs an average of $8 per square foot to replace concrete. This is a lot more than the cost of sealing your driveway.
It is important to seal your concrete driveway. This simple task can prevent damage and discoloration. It can keep your concrete driveway in good shape. Most homeowners can do this themselves. It is a simple task that has a long-term effect on your driveway. It is much more affordable than replacing your entire driveway.