Sealing concrete is essential to help protect it from the elements. It can also make the color of your concrete pop and add a beautiful finish to your project.
Understanding the dos and don’ts of concrete top-coat sealing in The Woodlands is essential to avoid common mistakes that can ruin your finished product. Here are four things to keep in mind:
Not Preparing the Surface Properly
Concrete surfaces need to be appropriately cleaned before sealing. Dirt, chemicals, moss, grime, and other debris must be removed from the surface before a sealer can generate the protective layer it is meant to provide. Cracks and holes must also be repaired before applying a sealer.
This step is particularly critical if you use a solvent- or oil-based acrylic sealer, which needs a dry surface to penetrate and create the coating. If the surface is still damp, the air temperature is too hot, or you are sealing on a windy day, you will experience rapid evaporation, which prevents the sealer from adhering to the surface.
Penetrating sealers soak into the concrete and form a chemical barrier that protects against water, grease, and oil stains without becoming slippery. But they do not have color options and won’t create a shiny coating. This type of sealer should be used on concrete patios, sidewalks, and driveways where a slip-and-fall risk is significant.
Not Allowing Enough Time for the Surface to Dry
Whether for a driveway, patio, or countertop, concrete requires proper sealing to protect it from damage and keep it looking its best for several years. Unfortunately, some contractors make common mistakes during concrete top-coat sealing in The Woodlands, leaving the surface in poor condition.
These mistakes often involve using the wrong products, misapplying them, or not allowing enough time for the surface to dry. To avoid these problems, always work with a professional contractor that provides expert concrete surface crack repair and stain removal services, high-quality products, and careful application.
Another common mistake is applying the sealer too thickly. This can lead to a milky or white appearance and trap moisture beneath the coating. This is most commonly a problem when water-based sealers are applied over a surface that hasn’t completely cured. To avoid this, always follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for how much sealer to use per square foot. Also, avoid spraying or rolling the concrete early in the morning when dew may be present.
Not Using the Right Sealer
Sealers create a protective layer that prevents dirt, water, oils, minerals, and other elements from infiltrating and damaging concrete surfaces. But if you use the wrong product or misapply it, the results can be disastrous.
Technical mistakes with sealer selection and application include choosing an inappropriate type of product or selecting the right one but failing to consider the project’s specific requirements and conditions. These can lead to whitening, fogging, discoloration, and other problems.
Another common mistake involves not following the manufacturer’s recommendations. This can cause a blotchy appearance, blistering, and marks on the surface. Using the same person throughout the spraying process is essential, as changing people in the middle of a job can affect the mil consistency and roller or spray pattern.
Not Using the Right Equipment
Concrete sealers use harsh chemicals, and protecting yourself while working with them is essential. This includes wearing gloves, eye protection, and a mask if needed. This will help prevent any chemical burns or irritation to your eyes, and it will also help ensure that the concrete is sealed correctly.
Another mistake many contractors make is not curing the concrete properly before applying a concrete top-coat sealing in The Woodlands. This is especially important for decorative concrete, as it must be fixed to maintain its appearance. Many manufacturers recommend using a curing compound or cure/sealer product before applying your final sealer coat.
Other common mistakes include using the wrong type of sealer for a particular project and underapplying the sealer. This can result in a white haze or streaking. Additionally, if you use an epoxy or polyurethane sealer, it will not be able to breathe, and this can cause problems like fogging up, whitening, and penetration and adhesion failures.