The Importance of Sealing & Finishing Concrete
by TRP Ready Mix on July 8, 2020
How this crucial step can change everything about your project
If you own a home or a building, it is almost guaranteed that you have used concrete in the construction. Being the most common man-made material in the world, as well as being one of the strongest, there would be no foundations for buildings, no bridges, no sidewalks, just to name a few.
We often do not take the appropriate steps and measures to protect the investment made in concrete long term. While it is a strong and durable, it is a fallacy to believe that it does not need protection. Without protection, concrete will not be that durable. Cracked sidewalks, crumbling bridges and leaky foundations are just some of the examples of how things can go sideways.
The most cost-effective way to protect concrete is to seal it the moment it has finished curing. Without sealer, the concrete will be vulnerable to damage, costing significant amounts of money to repair. In this article, we explore the reasons for sealing and the benefits that sealer can offer.
What Does it Mean to Seal and Finish Concrete?
Once concrete is cured, sealing should be part of the process. If you do not seal your concrete, you leave it vulnerable to the elements, which can cause significant damage over time. Concrete is a significant financial investment that you want to protect. Sealer helps to cover up the small holes of concrete slab. If dirt gets into a finished concrete form that is sealed, it makes it easy to clean simply by sweeping or mopping. It also adds durability, enhances appearance, prevents mold and it is a cost-efficient way to keep your concrete lasting far longer than it ever would without sealer.
The Importance of Not Skipping This Step
Skipping the sealing process can lead to significant problems down the road. Between cracks, mold and mildew and making the surface weaker and more prone to damage, it’s a given that this is a necessary step. Below, we list some of the benefits of sealing your concrete.
Protects Concrete from Damage
Concrete is exposed to the elements. From the heat of the blazing sun to hard rains, ice and snow. Even oil spills and stains can occur, depending on the area it is laid in. All of these scenarios can damage your concrete, therefore it’s important to protect it with a sealer. Concrete sealer will lock out moisture, lessening damage that comes from freezing and thawing.
Increases Life Expectancy
Keeping your concrete looking great is one thing. Keeping it functional is another. When your exterior concrete is repeatedly exposed to the harsh elements, it gets weakened. Cracking and scaling problems can occur. By sealing your concrete, you are enhancing its durability, which in turn, prevents damage from occurring.
Helps Maintain Its Colour
Sealing your concrete adds appeal to the surface. If you have added colour to your concrete, sealant would absolutely be recommended. Discolouration can occur in the sun and elements, making your concrete look dingy and/or old
Easier Cleaning and Maintenance
Dirt and liquids can stay on the surface. If you seal your surface, this can prevent staining. Sealing can also make sweeping and mopping far easier, allowing you to keep your concrete in good shape.
Protects Against Harsh Weather
There are several tiny gaps in concrete that allow water to flow inside the material. When this happens, the frozen water scrapes off little flakes from the top of the surface. Add de-icing salt into the equation and you have a recipe for serious damage. If the cracks get larger when left untreated, disintegration will lead to severe damage.
Concrete is solid and strong, yes, but it is also porous due to the entrapped air that’s part of the mixing process. This means it absorbs moisture. Moisture, especially freezing and thawing, can easily crack concrete. But cracking also causes another problem if not corrected. Mold and mildew. This can also lead to discoloration. By sealing it, you inhibit the possibility of mold growth, ensuring that your concrete looks better, longer.
Concrete sealers come in a range of finishes, making them look polished and finished. They add the right amount of shine to make it look classier and new for much longer.
Gives You a Smoother Surface
Sealer gives your concrete a shine or finish that makes it look far more appealing to the eye.
Protect Your Investment for Years of Enjoyment
The type of sealer you apply determines the time of reapplication. Topical and integral sealers last longer than decorative sealers, hence reapplication will come sooner. Your best bet is to contact your local concrete supplier to go over the options best suited to you.