Can I Put Driveway Sealer On Concrete?

As a property owner, you’ll probably do everything you possibly can to protect your investment. Unfortunately, a lot of homeowners often overlook the significance of driveway sealing. Concrete driveways, especially those in climates that encounter freeze and thaw cycles, can greatly benefit from topical and penetrative sealants that not only repel water, mold, salt, and oil but also reinforce the surface. 

Note that concrete is simply a mixture of cement, water, and sand, or gravel and it should be carefully mixed using the appropriate quantities of each material. The mixing process allows for easy pouring and smoothening of concrete. It also aids with the curing process; where the concrete slowly hardens to become strong and solid.

An unsealed concrete driveway is porous and is capable of absorbing different liquids like oil and water. The concrete then becomes stained and discolored, depending on the liquid that has been absorbed. Also, the absorbed liquids will cause the concrete to slowly start deteriorating and breaking down, which eventually results in cracks on the driveway. That said, sealing your concrete driveway is a maintenance practice that should not be overlooked. 

Process of sealing

After your concrete driveway has completely cured, you can proceed to cover it with a sealer. The process of sealing is quite straightforward. Here is a step by step guide on how to get the job done.

Clean up the concrete driveway

You have to ensure that your driveway is thoroughly cleaned before applying a sealant. Any dirt or debris left behind will get sealed into the concrete and that could result in discolorations and staining. Debris might also result in tiny cracks, which get bigger and bigger over time. 

To properly clean your driveway, begin by using a broom to sweep off dirt leaves and other tiny debris. Next, use a garden pipe and nozzle to spray the driveway with water to get rid of the remaining dirt and dust. In case there are a few stains on the concrete, get rid of them at this stage. You could use a pressure washer to eliminate the stains, but you’ll need to be extra careful to avoid causing any damage to your concrete driveway.

After cleaning your driveway, allow time for any water left on the concrete surface to completely dry up. Normally, on bright and sunny days, it takes about 2 to 4 hours for the driveway to fully dry.

Select the appropriate concrete sealant

There are numerous kinds of concrete sealers available on the market. While some are specially designed to protect against discoloration and staining, others have been designed to improve the overall look of the concrete driveway by giving it a beautiful glossy finish. Also available are penetrating sealers that comprise a blend of materials that work together to offer several benefits like a high-gloss finish and stain protection.

If you intend to conduct the driveway sealing yourself, stay away from general retailer sealers. These particular products might not be as effective as those that you can be obtained from your local contractor.

Cover your driveway with the sealer

There are a number of application techniques that can be used in driveway sealing. First, you could take a brush and simply paint the sealant on the driveway. This method, however, takes quite long to complete particularly if you have a long or large driveway.

The second method involves rolling the sealer onto your driveway. Rolling the sealant provides better sealer coverage and an even finish. It is also much faster compared to brushing. The fastest and easiest method, however, is spraying the sealant onto your driveway. Apart from providing an even finish, this method allows you to use the right quantity of sealer.

Irrespective of the method you settle for, you should continue applying the sealer until it begins turning to a light white color. The color denotes a nice coating of the sealer, which means that your concrete driveway is well protected.

Allow time for the sealer to completely dry and cure

The sealant should be allowed to fully dry and cure for about 24 hours before you can drive or walk over it. After the sealer has dried, you’ll want to check your entire driveway to ensure that there are no missed spots. Locating any missed spots is easy as there will be a huge color difference to the sealed parts. In case you come across any unsealed parts, apply the sealer and allow those areas to dry up and cure for at least 24 hours before use.

Aftercare and maintenance

After getting your driveway sealed, you’ll need to conduct various care and maintenance practices. The first is sweeping off ant leaves, debris, and dirt regularly. You could even use a garden hose and nozzle to spray off your driveway. You should, however, not power wash your driveway; this could remove the sealer. Power washing a sealed driveway also increases the chances of ending up with driveway cracks. 

Also, if you accidentally spill anything that’s not water onto the driveway, clean it up immediately to stop it from eating through the sealer and eventually discoloring your driveway.

Based on the type of sealer used, you might need to apply it periodically. Many sealants last for approximately two years. This time, however, varies depending on the kind of sealer used and the quantity of traffic on the driveway.

Advantages of sealing concrete

There are several advantages of sealing your concrete driveway. They include:

  • It enhances the overall appearance of your driveway; it provides a nice gloss finish
  • It improves concrete’s stain resistance
  • It protects the concrete from the direct heat of the sun
  • It prolongs the life of the driveway; given that sealing aids in repelling harsh stressors from the surroundings, it eventually prolongs the life of your driveway
  • Sealed driveways are easier to maintain; sealed concrete driveways are easier to clean compared to unsealed driveways
  • It is easy to do-it-yourself; you do not need to hire a professional to get the job done

Tammy Slater

Tammy Slater is the founder of arew.org, a home and garden blog that provides inspiration and resources for homeowners and renters alike. A self-taught DIYer, Tammy loves nothing more than tackling a new project in her own home. When she's not blogging or spending time with her family, you can usually find her rooting around in the garden or at the hardware store.

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