Most Driveways we service are asphalt, NOT concrete. But for information purposes, here is our blog about concrete driveways. After installing a new concrete driveway, most contractors highly recommend that the driveway should be sealed. Driveway sealer helps protect and maintain the new driveway by lessening the potential for cracks and deterioration. As a result, your driveway will last much longer. Most concrete driveways will last as long as 25 years if maintained properly and cared for.
What You Need to Know About Concrete
Concrete is a blend of water, cement, and gravel or sand. The correct amount of each substance must be carefully combined. Mixing methods can result in smoother concrete. The process of mixing also assists in solidification, where the concrete is slowly hardened so it is formidable and durable.
Unsealed material is permeable and can absorb different kinds of liquids, including oil and water. These liquids can corrode and blacken the concrete. Also, the fluids can cause unsealed concrete to start rotting and breaking down slowly.
Why Should You Wait to Seal Your New Concrete Driveway?
Although it might be tempting to add a concrete sealer for the driveway right after it has been poured, this is not recommended. The concrete contains excess moisture, which will evaporate while it cures. The complete curing process usually takes about a month before the concrete is stable and ready for sealing.
If you attempt to seal the concrete sooner, a barrier would be created and the extra moisture would not evaporate properly. As a result, the freshly poured concrete driveway will not be as solid as it should be. Moreover, the concrete will be more likely to break and crack. The concrete could become sloppy, because the concrete did not settle properly.
The sealing process is very easy once the new concrete driveway has been fully cured.
The Importance of Cleaning Your Driveway Before Sealing It
It’s important to make sure that the driveway is cleaned before the sealer is used. Anything left on the driveway would be sealed onto the concrete which would result in staining and discoloration. Debris that gets sealed onto the concrete may also cause tiny cracks that could lead to bigger cracks over time. How can you prevent this? Start by sweeping your driveway with a broom or brush to remove leaves, dirt, and other gunk.
Next, clear the remaining dirt and dust from the driveway and take a garden hose & nozzle and spray off the driveway. You would want to have these cleaned if there are flecks in the concrete which have started to surface. You can use a power washer to assist the removal of stains. But make sure not to damage your concrete by using too much pressure. It’s often best to hire a professional pressure washer to clean your driveway before sealing it.
After a thorough cleaning, let any moisture on the concrete dry completely before the sealing agent is applied. It usually takes only two to four hours to dry up on a warm, sunny day.
Select The Right Sealant For Your Concrete
A variety of concrete sealants are available. Many of them have been crafted to protect your driveway from staining. Others are intended to make the concrete look better and have a glistening finish.
Using sealants manufactured by general retailers is not the best idea if you want to seal your driveway yourself. The quality of these sealants are often inferior to the ones supplied by local manufacturers.
How Sealant is Added to the Driveway
Different techniques for sealing the driveway can be used. A brush should be used to apply the sealant. It can take quite a long time to complete this process, particularly if you have a wide or long driveway.
Another way to spread sealant on a driveway is by rolling it. This technique is quicker than brushing. Rolling on the sealant also offers greater sealing coverage and a more consistent finish.
Sprinkling the sealer onto the driveway is the simplest and quickest approach to use. Spray sealing gives you the correct amount of dynamic sealant and a uniform result.
Some prefer to use a combination of these techniques.
Let the Sealant Cure and Dry Completely
It is also critical that the sealant is cured and dried for at least 24 hours before walking, driving, or parking on the driveway. You would have to check the entire driveway after the sealant is dried to see if there are any missing spots.
You can easily see any spots that were missed because the sealed section and the unsealed sections of your driveway will be slightly different colors. When any unsealed areas are detected, apply the sealing agent to them, and allow the area to cure and dry for 24 hours.
How to Maintain Your Driveway After Sealing It
It’s important to take good care of your driveway once it has been sealed. You will regularly sweep away any dirt, leaves, and rubble. You could even spray it off with your garden hose and garden nozzle.
You shouldn’t power wash a driveway though, because this can strip the sealant, causing cracks. When something other than water is spilled on the driveway, it is necessary to clean up the spill immediately to prevent it from chewing through the sealant and staining the driveway.
How often should you re-seal your driveway? It depending upon the type of sealant used. Most sealants last about two years long, but that can vary depending on the form and amount of traffic and wear on the sealants.
Do you have a new concrete driveway? To make sure it lasts a long time and continues to look great through the years, consider regularly sealing it. Make sure that you wait about a month after your new driveway is installed before attempting to seal it. Otherwise, the sealant could cause damage to your driveway instead of protecting it. But if done properly, sealing your driveway will extend its life and protect it from damages for years to come.
Does your driveway need some repair work? Will crack sealing or crack filling work better? What’s the difference between the two? Find out in our next post!
Do you need minor asphalt repair on YOUR driveway? We service all of Anne Arundel County.