The lifespan of concrete driveways, sidewalks, and patios can be greatly extended through the application of a concrete sealer. Yet with the variety of sealer options available today, many people struggle to prioritize their particular needs. If you would like to learn more about how to choose the concrete sealer most suitable for you, read on. This article will discuss two factors to take into account when making your decision.
Ensuring a safe surface should be your first concern when selecting a concrete sealer. Here safety has everything to do with the amount of traction that a particular sealer provides—both when dry and when wet. How slippery your concrete will be after sealing is determined by three key factors:
- the thickness of the sealer
- how textured the concrete is
- the presence of traction-increasing additives
In general, the thicker the layer of sealer, the lower the amount of traction. However, equally thick layers of sealer will produce different results depending on the texture of the concrete. Broom-finished concrete, for instance, will yield a greater degree of traction once sealed compared to smooth concrete.
Additives such as sand or plastic grit can help to increase the ultimate traction of a sealer. These additives are added to the top of the sealer just after it has been applied while it is still wet. Be aware, however, that such fillers tend to work free over time, meaning your concrete may lose traction down the line.
Though most commonly available concrete sealers consist of an acrylic resin base, the additional components—from silicones to epoxies to polyurethanes—can vary greatly. The particular composition of a sealer will have a large effect on its finished appearance. This is especially true where the degree of gloss is concerned.
The gloss of a particular concrete sealer is generally rated on a scale between 0 and 100. A score of zero means there will be virtually no gloss. As the number rises, so does the level of gloss. You should be able to find a concrete sealer's gloss rating conspicuously listed, either on the packaging or in the technical data section of its informational pamphlet.
Sealers also vary in terms of their color—or lack thereof. Sealers with a solvent base generally yield a darker final color. Likewise, those sealers that contain a higher percentage of solids will yield a richer, more conspicuous appearance. Be sure to investigate the solids percentage of a particular sealer before making your decision, as this will yield critical information about how your concrete will look in the end.
If you'd like further information about concrete sealers, contact a professional in the field through a website like http://www.unitstepjoliet.com.