You aren’t required to seal your concrete driveway, but there are many benefits to sealing it. Sealing your driveway can help to preserve the look of the concrete, protect your driveway against deterioration and staining, and extend the service life of your driveway. Here are just a few of the many ways in which concrete sealers can protect your driveway:
- Concrete densifier sealers can help to increase the strength and density of the concrete, and help to reduce deterioration caused by surface abrasion. Concrete densifiers can also help to reduce surface dusting.
- Concrete water repellent sealers can help to reduce damage caused by surface abrasion including salt damage, freeze-thaw damage, cracking, spalling, and pitting. They can also help to reduce the growth of mold and mildew, and the formation of efflorescence, as well as reduce staining caused by exposure to water from irrigation systems.
- Water repellent concrete sealers and acrylic concrete sealers can help to reduce staining and hot tire pickup.
Ready to research concrete driveway sealers? View our article on the Best Concrete Driveway Sealers.
Types of Concrete Driveway Sealers
There are a few types of sealers that can be used to seal your concrete driveway. Which sealer is best for your driveway will depend on why you want to seal your driveway, or what you want to protect your driveway against.
- Concrete Densifiers: Concrete densifiers are used to increase the strength and density of your concrete driveway. They help to reduce concrete dusting and deterioration caused by surface abrasion. Is your driveway old and porous? Is it starting to chip up and dust? If so, a densifier would help to solve these common driveway issues.
- Water Repellent Sealers: Water repellent saelers do just that, repel water. If you have issues with rain and snow, or staining from irrigation, a water repellent sealer will help to stop damage and deterioration caused from those. Cracking, spalling, pitting, mold and mildew, and efflorescence are also reduces. Water repellent sealers are the most popular type of concrete driveway sealer. In many cases, both a concrete densifier and water repellent sealer will be used. First, you apply the concrete densifier and then, 7-10 days later, the water repellent sealer. This helps to provide protection above and below the surface.
- Acrylic Concrete Sealers: Concrete densifiers and water repellent sealers won’t change the look or color of the concrete. They don’t leave behind a surface film or coating, and the concrete will look exactly as it did before being sealed. Acrylic sealers work much differently. Acrylic sealers will leave behind a visible surface film (low to high gloss), and they will enhance the concrete by darkening the surface. Acrylic sealers can be applied in clear, or color options. Acrylic sealers provide complete surface protection because they take the abuse and protect the concrete.
How to Apply a Concrete Driveway Sealer
It is fairly easy to apply a sealer to a concrete driveway.
- Make sure the concrete driveway is clean of any stains or old sealers. Once the concrete is clean, give it at least 24 hours to dry.
- Using a roller or pump sprayer, apply the sealer. Let dry.
That is a very brief summary of how to apply a driveway sealer. There will of course be some changes depending on the type of sealer used. There will also be a few factors to take into consideration. For more information on applying concrete sealers, view our How To Apply a Concrete Sealer article.