Driveway Sealer for Concrete
In general, picking a sealer to use on a concrete driveway is a balance of aesthetics and performance, along with what you are willing to pay to get that performance. Keep in mind that choosing the right sealer and applying it properly will extend the life of your concrete and keep it looking great for years to come, so you should buy the best product you can afford. Here is an overview of important information you should know about driveway sealers:
Types of Concrete Driveway Sealer
How to Apply Driveway Sealers
Why you should use a sealer
Concrete, in general, doesn't have to be sealed to perform well, but the additional benefits of applying a high-quality sealer to your driveway will be worth the extra pennies per square foot the sealer will cost. Here are the reasons why:
Sealing a driveway not only extends it service life, it will also improve the appearance of decorative concrete by enhancing the color and gloss.
Applying sealer to a driveway is not difficult, and in most cases a standard residential driveway can be sealed in less than a day.
Applying a typical driveway sealer does not require expensive equipment or special skills, so a handy do-it-yourselfer can often tackle the project. Or you can hire a qualified installer to do the work for you. ( Find a Local Concrete Contractor.)
Factors to consider when choosing a driveway sealer
To simplify the selection process, I have broken down the most important factors to consider into three categories: Safety, Appearance and Performance. Just remember the acronym SAP.
Safety Tips for Sealing Driveways
Appearance of Sealed Driveways
Performance of Concrete Driveway Sealant
Before buying any driveway sealer, read the technical data sheet as well as the product label. Most suppliers will have technical data available on their websites, and it can tell you a lot about what you're getting. Key words or phrases to look for are non-yellowing, waterproofing, dust proofing, breathability and resistance to oil, grease, and acids. The product should have detailed instructions on how to apply it as well as recommendations for maintenance and re-application.
Also ask the people behind the counter at the concrete products supply store for their recommendations. Which concrete driveway sealer do they sell the most of and have the fewest number of complaints or call backs about? It's always better to spend a few extra dollars on a concrete sealer with proven performance than to go with a cheaper product that may fail early and require stripping and removal.
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Author Chris Sullivan, ConcreteNetwork.com technical expert and vice president of sales and marketing for ChemSystems Inc.