Concrete driveways should be sealed immediately after install, but often times they aren’t which results in staining, deterioration, and a mold growth. Surface abrasion, water, snow and ice, irrigation systems, pets, and foot traffic all contribute to staining and deterioration. If a driveway sealer hasn’t been applied to your driveway, cleaning and sealing to prevent further damage can easily be done in just a few steps.

Step 1: Clean the Concrete

First, you want to clean the concrete and remove any surface stains. In most cases, the use of a pressure washer alone, or pressure washing with a mild cleaner will do the trick. If you have oil or rust stains, or other types of deep stains, you should treat each stain with the appropriate cleaner. For example, oil stains should use a degreaser, and rust stains should use a rust remover. If a cleaner was removed, be sure to pressure wash the driveway after the cleaner has been used to remove any surface residue that may have been left behind by the cleaner.

Step 2: Let the Concrete Dry

It is important to let the concrete dry for 24-48 hours before sealing with a driveway sealer. This step is perhaps one of the most important steps, and is often overlooked. If water gets trapped below the surface, or is present during the time of application, you could run into issues with both sealers and coatings. Sealers could repel off the water, and coatings could experience issues with delamination.

Step 3: Choose a Sealer

When it comes to choosing a driveway sealer you have a few options.

The first option is a penetrating driveway sealer and the second option is a coating. Penetrating sealers are designed to protect the surface of the concrete without changing the appearance. They work entirely below the surface and will not change the look or color.

Under the category of penetrating driveway sealers you have densifiers and water repellents. Densifiers form a hardened crystalline barrier within the pores that will help to increase the strength and density of the concrete. Water repellents form a hydrophobic barrier within the pores that will repel water and liquids off the surface, and reduce absorption by up to 85-95%.

While densifiers are great for reducing deterioration caused by strength related issues, water repellent driveway sealers are what offer the most benefit when it comes to freeze thaw and salt damage, staining, and the growth of mold and mildew.

<<insert listings for penetrating sealers, SX5000, SX5000 WB and SC25>>

If you are looking to enhance or color your driveway, a coating is the best option for you. Coatings penetrate in order to bond, but their real benefit comes from the surface film left behind. They will enhance dull or faded surfaces by darkening the color, and they will leave behind a visible, protective low to high gloss film. The visible film left behind will help to put a protective layer between the concrete and what the concrete is exposed to on the surface. The downside to coatings is that unlike driveway sealers, which last up to 10 years, driveway coatings need to be maintained every 2-3 years. Maintenance is as easy as applying a fresh coat to a clean and dry surface, but it still requires maintenance.

 

FEATURED PRODUCTS

Armor SX5000 Penetrating Silane Siloxane Concrete Sealer and Masonry Water Repellent (5 GAL)

Armor SX5000 WB Penetrating Silane Siloxane Concrete Sealer and Masonry Water Repellent (5 GAL)

Armor SC25 Siliconate Water Repellent Concrete Sealer with Salt Guard (5 GAL)