When concrete pads and patios are left to their own devices, their durability and appearance may be compromised. Sealing your concrete will help prevent nature from doing damage and revive its appearance–the best part, it’s easily DIYed! Read on to learn more about what materials are best and the step-by-step process for DIY Sealing Concrete Pads.
What are Sealants?
Concrete sealers are chemical substances used to add a layer of protection to concrete floors. The reasons for sealing a concrete pad or patio is similar to those for waxing a car, wearing sunscreen, or applying stain guard to furniture. It enhances the appearance, keeps color from fading, and protects from stains. Additionally, sealers protect against weather-related damage (i.e. too much moisture, de-icing chemicals, harsh UV rays etc.) With that being said multiple factors go into picking the correct sealant for your DIY. If you’re ever unsure of which sealant is right for your concrete pad, it’s best to call a professional for advice.
Generally, there are two main types of sealers, the first are film-forming and the second are water-repellant. Film-forming sealers come in two types–solvent-based and water-based. Solvent-based sealers are high gloss and darken concrete, while water-based sealers are low gloss and cause minimal color change. If you want your concrete to have stain protection from food, water features, or planters, a film-forming sealer would be best. However, because this type of sealer forms a film over the concrete, it may cause the surface to become slippery.
A water-repellent sealer–also sometimes called a penetrating sealer–seeps into the concrete surface and gives a matte finish. This type of sealant offers freeze/thaw protection and prevents water absorption but does not offer stain protection. Unlike film-forming sealants, water-repellent sealants do not add slippage to the surface it’s applied to.
Both film-forming and water-repellent sealers com in acrylic and epoxy varieties. Most commonly, epoxy sealers are applied to extremely high-traffic, industrial like areas. Alternatively, acrylic sealants are used for decorative purposes in more residential areas.
DIY Concrete Sealing Necessities
- Stiff Brush
- Power Washer
- Shop Vacuum
- Spray Applicator or Paint Rollers (whichever you use depends on the application method of your sealant)
- Mild Detergent
- Grease Solvent
- Sealant of Choice
The Process of DIY Concrete Sealing
- Brush the Surface – Using a stiff brush remove any weeds and moss that have grown between the spaces of the patio, you can also pull more stubborn ones by hand. Then clear the surface with a broom, ensure that all dust, dirt, and debris are gone.
- Deep Clean – Mix water and a mild detergent in a bucket, then pour the mixture onto the concrete surface. Once again, using a stiff brush scrub the surface paying special attention to any stains or grease marks. If you find that stains still remain after scrubbing, that means it’s time to break out the big guns. For stubborn stains apply a small amount of a grease solvent or muriatic acid, then power wash. A 4,000-psi machine can remove any dirt, stains, or stubborn paint drops with little to no effort.
- Dry the Surface – After removing the stains, rinse the concrete once more with clean water. Afterward, use a shop vacuum to clean up any excess water or debris. Allow the patio to air dry completely.
Before applying your sealant always check the weather. Concrete sealers need moderate temperatures for the best results. Avoid applying sealers if the outside temperature doesn’t maintain about 50 degrees for at least 3 days. Also, refrain from applying sealant if you expect any kind of precipitation during that 3-day period.
- Apply Sealant – Apply your choice of sealer by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Apply the first coat of sealant from one corner to another, working the sealer backwards. More than likely you’ll need to apply second coat but be sure the first is completely dry before doing so. When applying your second coat, do so at right angles to your first coat. This ensures you achieve a consistent and even coverage.
- Allow Dry Time – Do not walk/drive on the concrete or replace removed items until you have let the sealant dry for at least 2-3 hours. It’s best to check your sealant can for specific drying times; for some sealants drying can take as long as 3 days.
Contact JJ Kennedy For Your DIY Concrete Sealing Needs
At JJ Kennedy we have all your DIY Concrete Sealer and application needs as well as the experts that are willing to teach. If you have any questions call us today at 866-699-3835.
You can also visit us at any one of our 8 locations for Ready-Mix Concrete, Builders Supplies, Block & Material Delivery, Keystone Retaining Walls, and more: Clarion, Clarks Mills, Imperial, Indiana, Kittanning, Punxsutawney, Ridgeway, Zelienople
We have been providing concrete in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia since 1905 with the highest standards of concrete quality assurance.