Reasons for Sealing the Concrete Around Your Home
You may wonder whether to seal the concrete around your home and whether it's worthwhile. A sealant will help protect the surface from wear, tear and spills. Consider the following reasons for undertaking concrete sealing.
Concrete is relatively porous, which means it can absorb food, liquids and oil spills and possibly stain as a result. Especially around a BBQ area on a patio, concrete is susceptible to blemishes. Driveways can also suffer a similar fate.
A sealant will help to prevent stains. They come in two basic varieties. Topical sealers form a protective coating on top of the concrete. Whether it's smooth, stamped, stencilled or filled with aggregates, a topical sealant will block the pores and help to protect the paving.
Another possibility is a penetrating sealer. These react with the concrete to stop the tiny pores from absorbing substances. They help to block stains, but possibly not as much as some topical products. However, the specific effect depends on the sealant's makeup. Your contractor can advise you on what's best for your paving.
Sealants can also enhance the colour of concrete. Acrylic topical sealants can be either solvent or water-based. Solvent-based acrylic sealers create a glossy film that enriches the pavement's colour to create a lustrous, wet look. A non-slip additive can be added to make it safer.
Some topical sealants also have added pigments to decorate grey concrete. So if you have a drab driveway, for example, you could seal it with a dusky-red hue to mimic the red earth look. These coloured sealants are better than paint, as they react with the concrete to create a natural look. On the other hand, paint covers the paving and hides its characteristics so it looks more artificial. Plus, paint can flake, whereas even topical sealant is absorbed to some degree into the concrete.
Penetrating sealants are helpful at stopping moisture from infiltrating into concrete. So, if you have an area in the shade and it receives a lot of moisture, a penetrating can shield it from moisture and mould damage. Penetrating sealants also allow concrete to breathe. They allow any moisture inside and underneath the paving to evaporate. If moisture can't escape in this way, the pavement can develop a white haze over the surface.
Thus, concrete sealing is a worthwhile home improvement project. It will prolong the life of your paving, protecting it from stains and moisture. Plus, it can enhance its colour and appearance.