The Importance of Sealing Stamped Concrete
October 11, 2016
It is important to protect your investment, and it doesn’t matter if you are planning to install a beautiful new stamped concrete walkway, patio or pool deck or if you have an existing one. Choosing the right sealer will help keep your stamped concrete to look great for a long time. It can also bring an existing stamped surface back to life. Concrete sealing is like wearing sunscreen, spraying Scotchgard on your shirt or applying wax to your car. A concrete sealer improves the look of stamped concrete by preventing the fading caused by ultraviolet light and guard it against harmful chemicals and stains.
We recommend that you apply concrete sealer after installing new concrete and then every 2-3 years. Sealing a stamped concrete will give it a glossy sheen and vibrant color. You can choose from a range of different gloss levels. They are available from no-gloss to high-gloss. You can even further enhance the color of the concrete with a tinted sealer. Furthermore, efflorescence can be prevented by applying a sealer. Efflorescence is whitish, powdery residue that builds up on the concrete’s surface. There are slip-resistant sealers which are perfect for pool decks.
Another benefit of applying a sealer is it protects the stamped concrete from stains. Your stamped walkway, pool deck or patio will be subjected to a lot of things that can leave marks and stains such as chlorine, chemicals, salt, dirt, leaves, pet urine, fertilizer, and more. By applying the right sealer, you can protect your stamped concrete from these. The sealer will prevent these things from penetrating the concrete’s surface which could leave unsightly stains otherwise.
For people who live in cold areas, another reason to seal your stamped concrete is that it will protect it from freeze-thaw damage. This type of damage can cause the concrete’s surface to crack and form flaking. It happens when water seeps into the surface of the concrete and expands as it freezes. With a correctly applied sealer, water will not sink into the concrete and should only bead up on the concrete’s surface. If you notice that this is not the case, then you should reseal your stamped concrete. Regular resealing will be required in high traffic areas.
In short, applying a sealer is enhancing and protecting a newly installed or existing stamped concrete. You can extend the service life of concrete further by proper sealing/resealing. Always make sure that the concrete contractor you are using seals your walkway, pool deck or patio with the right products and at the right time. Most contractors recommend applying a film-forming or penetrating sealer outdoors and going for a more natural, matte finish. It is also important that you only use sealers that allow both air and moisture to flow for exterior concrete installations. New stamped concrete should be sealed after it has cured. Most concrete contractors wait for seven to fourteen days before sealing the concrete. However, the official curing time is twenty-eight days.