When your patio starts looking dingy and stained, it’s definitely times for concrete sealing/cleaning. Just like with deck cleaning/sealing and roof cleaning, you need the right kind of sealant to get great results that last for years. The sealing crews should know which brand and formula is best for your concrete driveway or floor, but you should do your own research instead of just settling for a suggestion. Compare the four most widely used types of concrete sealant to decide which mixture you want spread on your concrete.
This is the thickest and most protective coating available for concrete, and it comes in both clear and colored versions so you can change the look of your surface if you want. However, that layer of epoxy can cause problems in some cases where concrete is sitting on bare dirt. The thickness and impermeability of epoxy stops moisture from evaporating and leaves it trapped in the concrete. Of course, it will keep moisture out of concrete if it can’t absorb it from the ground. This is why it’s mainly used for indoor floors and countertops, along with its propensity to turn yellow when exposed to UV rays.
Instead of laying on a thick layer of sealant over the top of the concrete, consider a product that soaks into the pores for an even tighter seal that doesn’t change the look of your concrete very much. There’s no shine or color change when using a quality sealant based on silicates and silanes. Deicing salts won’t soak in either to crumble the concrete apart. It’s the best choice for outdoor concrete when you live in an area where temperatures dip below freezing in the winter. Water trapped in concrete can cause a lot of damage, but these penetrating products allow moisture to evaporate completely while protecting the surface from wear and tear.
Pool decks are tricky to seal because the chlorine from the water eats away at most sealants. Acrylic works best in these situations because these formulas can handle chemical exposure. They don’t last under heavy foot traffic quite as long as epoxy or penetrating sealant, but these products work best for exposed aggregate paths and patios to fill in the gaps on rough textures. It also keeps water from soaking into the surface and dislodging the exposed pebbles or rock chips through the freeze-thaw cycle. Some products include a subtle color additive to enhance the look of your concrete.
Finally, don’t forget about classic polyurethane sealants for concrete. This product provides a thick layer of water and chemical resistant coating, but you can’t have any moisture in the area while the sealant is drying or it will fail and peel off. The finish won’t turn yellow due to age or sun exposure, and it has better foot traffic wear resistance than other products. It’s used for both preserving the look of concrete and staining it a new color.