Concrete driveways, patios, sidewalks, and parking areas are exposed to lots of water – its No. 1 enemy. Snow, ice, freezing weather, salts and de-icers can speed up the damage. Your outdoor concrete can change from fabulous to awful in only a couple of years. The curb appeal of your home will be ruined by cracked, spalled, and stained concrete.
You can prevent premature aging and further deterioration by sealing and strengthening your concrete driveway, pavers, patios, pool decks, and walkways. Protect your concrete driveway now, so that you do not have to replace it later!
Homeowners are well aware that the elements can wreak havoc on a concrete driveway surface causing spalling and deterioration. Oil spills, leaking engine fluids, grease, tire marks, acids, and leaf stains can do a number on the appearance alone. Concrete driveways will fail faster if, 1) the water/cement ratio may have been to high, and/or 2) the concrete surface may not have been finished properly. By protecting the concrete early on you can avoid having to replace it later.
TYPICAL COSTS FOR CONCRETE DRIVEWAYS: The average cost for new concrete is about $4 per square foot (500 sq. ft. driveway will cost $2,000) plus the additional costs of a gravel base (50 cents per sq. ft./$250), labor (around $800), materials (around $100), and removal of the old concrete driveway (anywhere from $600 to $3,000). As you can see, quite pricey!
Using a concrete driveway sealer sooner-than-later will not only save you in routine maintenance but also your wallet! Sealing your concrete driveway will help:
FREEZE THAW CYCLES: Freeze thaw usually cause the most damage. Concrete is porous and when snow and ice melt, the water penetrates into the concrete. When this absorbed water repeatedly melts and freezes, it exerts tremendous expansive force, which results in scaling, pitting, and cracking of the concrete.
However, water causes even more damage when it starts corroding reinforcing steel. Nothing can stop the expansion of rusting steel. As it expands, it cracks the concrete from the inside. This damage is often noticeable on parking structures and bridges.
CHEMICAL DE-ICING SALTS: De-icers have a destructive effect on concrete by chemical reaction. On a new driveway, you are supposed to wait at least two years before using deicers. In addition, chemical deicers also greatly increase the number of freeze/thaw cycles, amplifying their destructive effects.
CHLORINE: Chlorine is destructive to concrete – it reacts and breaks it down. If you live close to the ocean, seal your outdoor concrete against saltwater and salts carried by wind. For similar reasons, seal your concrete pool deck against splashing water and chlorine.
MOLD, MILDEW, MOSS & ALGAE: Additionally, mold, mildew, moss, and algae will often develop in shady, damp areas causing discoloration and staining. It can make the concrete surface very slippery. Spills of engine fluids and household chemical can penetrate into concrete and leave deep, hard-to-remove stains.
SPILLS & LEAKS: Oil spills, leaky engine fluids, and household chemicals can penetrate into concrete and leave deep, hard-to-remove stains.
Common sense tells you that you need a good concrete driveway sealer to protect your investment. Which type of sealer to use, however, is not always such a clear-cutdecision.
The most common driveway sealers are acrylic sealers that work by forming a thin and soft layer on the surface, just like an acrylic paint would. They are inexpensive and readily available in stores. But acrylics are the least durable types of concrete driveway sealers. The soft surface film gets worn off by vehicular traffic, foot traffic, and even heavy rains – be prepared to re-apply every year or two! Some low-end acrylics can even yellow or fade when exposed to UV rays from the sun.
A widely-sold driveway sealer is a siloxane-based sealer. Siloxane-based sealers absorb just below the surface of concrete and help repel rainwater. However, store bought sealers do not penetrate deep and ultraviolet rays from the sun break it down. To make it inexpensive for the mass market, it is highly diluted and does not last. Usually reapplied every 9 to 12 months.
Be careful when an “expert” recommends using a polyurethane or epoxy sealer on your concrete driveway or outdoor concrete. These types of sealers are expensive and more durable than acrylic sealers. Their strong surface layer provides good protection from abrasion and chemical spills, but they are more susceptible to UV rays and trap all moisture moving through the concrete.
Learn more about Concrete Sealers
Concrete is very porous and allows moisture to pass through. It pulls liquid water from the ground by wicking and lets water vapor ooze through its capillary pores. The problem with surface sealers, particularly epoxies and urethanes, is that they do not allow the concrete to “breathe” or dry out. As moisture, in the form of wicking water or water vapor, passes through the concrete, it gets trapped underneath the sealer.
This accumulating water accelerates the deterioration of the concrete. It causes efflorescence inside the concrete and white spots show up on the surface. It is also bad for the sealer – the trapped moisture, efflorescence, and vapor pressure will make the sealer bubble or peel from the surface. That's why contractors do not guarantee epoxy coatings on concrete slabs for more than five years.
Outdoor concrete (patios, is always broom-finished to make sure that the surface is safe – rough and non-slippery. The problem with film-forming sealers is that they tend to make the concrete slippery, particularly when wet.
RadonSeal supplies only the highest-quality, leading-edge concrete sealers – there are no similar or comparable sealers in stores. For maximum durability and longevity, all our sealers are penetrating concrete sealers and seal concrete internally. All our driveway sealers meet these basic criteria:
We provide the widest choice of penetrating driveway sealers to suit your most demanding commercial or residential application:
1. DRYWAY WATER-REPELLENT SEALER - Your Water-Repellent Barrier for Years To Come!
Top-grade silane/siloxane concrete sealant that penetrates up to 1/2" into concrete pores. "It's like filling the pores in concrete with silicone caulk." Can be applied to all types of concrete and masonry surfaces. Sold in 5-gallon & 2.5-gallon pails.
2. RADONSEAL DEEP-PENETRATING CONCRETE SEALER - Strengthen and Seal Concrete Permanently!
Permanently protects outdoor concrete against the damage of rainwater, groundwater, ice, spills, road salts, and chemicals. Backed by a lifetime waterproofing guarantee! Top-grade silicate sealant that penetrates up to 4" into concrete and chemicallyreacts. "It's like filling the pores in concrete with cement!" (not for colored concrete). Sold in 5-gallon & 2.5-gallon pails.
3. LASTISEAL CONCRETE STAIN & SEALER - Stain and Seal Your Concrete In One-Step!
Waterproofs and stains concrete in one step! Preserve and beautify your concrete! Backed by a 10-year waterproofing guarantee. Creates an attractive mottled look like acid-staining but without the acid! Choice of 37 colors. Matte finish. You can add gloss or protect the stain with a clear coating. Polyester concrete sealant that penetrates 2–4" into concrete. "It's like filling the pores in concrete with epoxy."
How To Repair Concrete STRESS CRACKS
Use our D-I-Y or Professional CrackWeld Crack Repair Kit for a permanent full-depth repair of cracks ranging from hairline to 1/2" wide. Strong and rigid to prevent cracks from growing wider or longer. Fast-curing. A must before concrete resurfacing.
How To Repair WIDE CRACKS, SPALLS, PITTING
Use our ElastiPoxy Joint & Crack Filler mixed with sand for a permanent repair. Apply with a trowel. A strong and rigid repair.
How To Repair EXPANSION CONTROL JOINTS, DRIVEWAY-TO-GARAGE JOINT
Use our ElastiPoxy Joint & Crack Filler. Pour mixture into the open joint until level with surface. Provides a strong surface for heavy vehicles, while allowing for the natural movement of the concrete.