Weather, debris, salt, and other elements can wear down your concrete surfaces and render them more susceptible to damage. So, if you want to get long-lasting attractiveness and performance from concrete driveways, floors, outdoor spaces and retaining walls, it’s a good idea to properly seal your concrete.
Sealant protects your concrete from wear and tear, and also makes it easier to clean. At R&M Concrete, we serve the Tulsa area with residential and commercial concrete installations done right — including good advice on ways to clean and protect your driveway, walkway, curbs, patios, floors, and other concrete surfaces.
Since concrete sealant is so valuable, you’ll want to consider using it for your home or business space. Here’s what you need to know and how to properly add sealant for the most effective, lasting results.
What Does Sealant Do for Your Concrete?
Concrete is a durable material, but like any other material, it needs to be maintained properly. A sealant is highly effective for increasing the life of your concrete surfaces because it:
- Resists the effects of harsh Tulsa weather
- Prevents deicing products from digging into the surface and tearing it up
- Minimizes the chances for grease and oil to mar the concrete’s appearance
- Limits damage from moisture, which can otherwise get into the concrete and cause it to crack
- Makes it easier to clean concrete, bringing out its beauty
When Should You Apply Sealant?
Ideally, new concrete should be allowed to cure for a period of 28 days or more before a sealant is applied. In addition, it’s important to apply sealant in optimal conditions for the best results:
- Follow instructions on your particular choice of sealant.
- Apply sealant in dry weather, because it won’t adhere to damp concrete.
- To ensure sealant dries thoroughly, apply it when the weather will be 50 degrees or higher for at least three days.
How Do You Add Sealant?
It’s definitely worth consulting with a trustworthy concrete company for assistance with sealing your concrete, especially if you want to save time and ensure it is done properly. But it is also possible to do it yourself.
(Check our reviews to see why Tulsa area residents appreciate our services. We love providing homeowners with beautiful, lasting residential concrete driveways, patios, and retaining walls.)
Before you begin, keep in mind that there are four essential steps to applying protectant to your concrete surfaces.
1. Assemble Tools and Materials
You’ll want to gather the right tools to make the process go smoothly:
- Asphalt brush
- Paint sprayer
- Paint roller
- Putty knife
- Shop vacuum
- Protective gear
- Chemical stripper
- Concrete repair
- Concrete sealant
2. Prepare the Concrete
Before you add the protectant, you must ensure your concrete surface is ready to be sealed. Without proper preparation, the sealant might not adhere to the concrete. To ensure you’re ready to go:
- Sweep and vacuum up any loose debris.
- Remove grease, oil, paint, and stains with a degreaser or other cleanser appropriate to the stain type.
- If you have pulled up carpet or tile, scrape up any leftover adhesive with a putty knife, a stiff brush, and a citrus-based cleanser.
- Mop up and vacuum again.
- Allow concrete at least 24 hours to fully dry.
3. Remove Old Sealant
Before adding fresh sealant, it’s best to remove traces of old sealant. This allows for the best results. If you’re not sure whether the concrete was ever sealed, test it by pouring water on the surface. If it beads up, the concrete has some sealant on it. If the water quickly soaks into the surface, it’s unsealed.
- Sandblasting can be effective, but only if you are experienced doing so. If not, you are better off using chemicals, because they are less likely to damage the concrete.
- Wear protective eyewear, gloves, and clothing before using a chemical stripper.
- If you choose to use a more natural sealant remover, it’ll be more eco-friendly but be prepared to wait longer for results.
- Use the roller or paint sprayer to apply an even, thick coat of sealant remover to the concrete surface.
- Let set according to the product’s instructions.
- Use a long-handled scraper to remove the old sealant that has bubbled up.
- Clean the surface with a mixture of trisodium phosphate and water.
- Let dry for at least 24 hours.
4. Apply the Sealant
Now, you are finally ready to apply fresh sealant to your concrete surface.
- If you’re working inside, be sure there is proper ventilation to protect you from any fumes.
- To get a smooth finish, you will need to apply two thin, even coats of sealant.
- Allow at least two hours between coats.
- For an even finish, apply the second coat at right angles to the first coat.
- Don’t step on or touch the concrete until the sealant has dried.
- Drying can take as long as three days. Check your brand of sealant for specifics.
Enjoy Concrete Services from Caring, Detailed Professionals
As a homeowner or small business owner, you want your Tulsa property to maintain its attractive appearance over time, while performing at its best. That includes all your concrete surfaces — including driveways, floors, patios, and retaining walls. Whether you need concrete structures designed, installed, repaired or sealed, R&M Concrete is here to serve you with top-notch service that leaves you well satisfied with your property’s condition.
Contact us today for a free estimate on your concrete needs — and love your property.