A concrete driveway is an attractive and durable addition to your home. It’s also a large investment. Fortunately, a little concrete care can go a long way in preserving and protecting your investment. With the best pressure washers cleaning and sealing your driveway every few years will keep it looking great and greatly extend its service life.
Sealers help protect your driveway from the elements, making it less susceptible to damage from sun exposure, water, salt, mold and mildew. They block stains from oil or other automotive fluids and make oil-stained driveways easier to clean. Sealing also helps prevent cracks from forming by minimizing water penetration into the concrete, which can lead to freeze-thaw damage in cold climates.
Under normal conditions, water flows off of a sealed surface. If you pour some on it, it will form beads and flow off. If you pour enough on it, it’ll appear to stick and take longer to bead up.
By contrast, water will not bead up on an unsealed surface. It will simply stick and pool up until absorbed or evaporated by the concrete.
A few other methods for telling if the sealer is still good include:
- The Gloss Test
Sealed concrete has a high gloss finish. As the sealer wears away, so does the gloss level. A good way to tell if a floor has been sealed is to look at its reflection in bright light such as sunlight or from a halogen light fixture.
- Check for sealant. Concrete surfaces that have been sealed will have a smooth, glossy look to them. If you see a rough or uneven surface, it has not been sealed.
- Use a screwdriver to test the hardness of the concrete. If it cannot penetrate the surface, it has been sealed.
- Pour water on a small area of concrete and wait for 30 minutes to observe what happens to it. If the water beads up, it has been sealed; if not, then concrete hasn’t been treated with sealant yet.
- Soak the concrete with water and pour acetone on to it. If you see bubbling action, the concrete is unsealed; if there’s no bubbling action at all, then the concrete is sealed against moisture penetration.
How Many Sealant Coats Does concrete Need?
Concrete surfaces can quickly break down and start to look unattractive. Applying a sealant is a great way to restore your driveway or patio to its former glory.
But applying too many coats of sealant can be just as bad as applying too few. The following are some guidelines that will help you determine how many coats of sealant you should apply on your concrete driveway or patio.
How Strong Is Your Concrete?
The strength of your concrete is going to have an impact on the number of coats you need. If you have weak concrete, you are going to need more coats of sealant in order to protect it.
Concrete that has been freshly installed needs about a month for it to cure completely. At this point, it will be strong enough for the application of sealant. However, if you want a stronger coating that is going to last longer, then you might want to wait until your new concrete has been curing for at least three months before applying any sealant.
Find the best adjustable pressure washers from the Giraffetools collections. These guarantee you minimal effort and pressure just as you would want it, on sensitive surfaces.