For the top rated driveway & patio concrete sealers! And the best cure & seals and decorative concrete sealers available, it has to be surfkoat! Perfect for broom finished driveways as well as aggregate.
Investing in Protection from the sun and other weather conditions is crucial in keeping the look and strength of your concrete driveway or patio where it needs to be.
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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:
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.
The most common types of film-forming driveway sealers are acrylic-resin based. Acrylic sealers provide the best performance characteristics for the cost, and they often are blended with epoxies, polyurethanes or silicones to improve performance, durability and water resistance. Acrylics, themselves, are also available in different forms, with some types delivering better performance than others. Styrene acrylic, for example, is a lower-performance acrylic resin that may yellow and degrade when exposed to direct sunlight. The best type of acrylic is a virgin or pure acrylic resin. These sealers will last longer than styrene acrylics, with no yellowing.
Other types of topical sealers for driveways are polyurethanes, epoxies and penetrating resins. Generally, epoxy or polyurethane sealers cost considerably more than acrylics and they tend to be higher build, and thus more slippery. They also don't allow for moisture vapor to move out of the concrete. It's important that sealers used on exterior concrete allow the passage of both air and moisture. If a sealer does not allow for this movement, especially moisture, white hazing or fogging can occur between the sealer and concrete.
Penetrating sealers are made of specialty resins (silicones, siloxanes and silanes) that penetrate into the concrete and form a chemical barrier to water, oil and other common contaminants.
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.
Buying tips 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.
Editorial Credit: Chris Sullivan, of www.ConcreteNetwork.com