The Pros and Cons of Sealing Concrete Driveway

There is a debate among property owners if it is important to seal concrete driveway and if so, how regular should be applied. While it is important to apply seal to your concrete driveway, how often you should do it depends on the quality of construction. Applying sealer periodically can help elongate the life of your driveway or any concrete slab such as patio, deck, sidewalk, or pool. Generally, a concrete slab will work perfectly fine if no sealer is applied, but sealing your concrete surface after every few years will prolong the lifespan and maintain its aesthetic. This is particularly important if your concrete driveway is etched or stained.

Before we cover the pros and cons of sealing the concrete driveway, let us first look at the different types of concrete sealers out there on the market. There are three major types of concrete driveway sealers – polyurethane or epoxy sealer, acrylic resin-based sealer, and penetrating sealer.

Acrylic resin-based sealer

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These kinds of concrete sealers tend to offer outstanding performance due to a thin layer of acrylic resin. They can also blend with silicone, epoxy, or polyurethane to boost the durability of your concrete surface. Within this category, you will also find sub-categories with varying levels of quality. One example of acrylic resin-based sealer is styrene acrylic, which is a bit lower-performance that tends to turn yellowing with direct sunlight. On the other side of scale, the best acrylic resin-based sealer is pure or virgin acrylic resin. This type of acrylic resin can last longer on your concrete surface.

Penetrating concrete sealers

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When it comes to penetrating concrete sealers, the product is made of a type of resins – silanes, siloxanes, and silicones – which allow it to penetrate deep into the concrete surface and form some sort of a concrete barrier that keep off oil, water, as well as other contaminants. They are usually great choice for individuals looking to protect their concrete against stains.

Polyurethane or epoxy sealers

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Epoxy concrete sealers are known for being a little bit costlier than other types of sealers. However, the high cost does not mean they are the highest quality. On the contrary, they tend to produce a thicker film on the surface of the concrete, thus can be slippery hazard. It also prevents your concrete surface from having proper aeration, which can be a major problem since it can lead to a formation of a white mist between the sealer layer and concrete.

As you can see, there are different types of concrete sealers o the market today, and knowing the main differences between them can help you choose the best concrete sealer for your new driveway.

Pros of sealing concrete driveway

  • Stain-resistant: One of the main advantages of sealing your concrete driveway is to prevent staining. Whether it is from grease, oil, paint, or any other stain that may cause unpleasant sight on your concrete, a proper sealing product could help prevent staining.
  • Repel moisture: As you may know, concrete is one of the most highly porous materials. Moisture can leak easily into it and cause some major damages to the concrete. First of all, moisture can cause development of moss or molds, which could weaken and finally breakdown your concrete driveway. But with a concrete sealer, the thin layer of the product protects against moisture.
  • Aesthetics: In recent years, colored concrete has become one of the most common and popular options for property owners. But if you want to enhance the color of your concrete surface, a sealer could help you enhance the color as well as prevent fading and make the concrete surface appear shinier.
  • Improves durability: Applying concrete sealer into your driveway can enhance durability of your structure. This is because the sealer will make the concrete resistant to all types of damages including moisture and chipping, thus elongating its lifespan. This means you cans save on repairs because your driveway will only require minimum repairs.
  • Easy to use: Another great thing about concrete sealer is that you don’t need to hire a professional to apply it for you. It is extremely easy for you to DIY the sealer on your driveway surface as long as you have all the required materials. But you can still get a professional to apply it for you.
  • Protects your driveway from sunlight: The sun is known for being among the leading enemies of concrete surfaces. It can harm your driveway just as it can harm your skin. Sun causes oxidation, which in return causes deterioration of the driveway. The sealer helps protect your concrete driveway from the ultra-violet rays that can make your driveway week.
  • Strong protection: Sealer protects your driveway against contaminants such as oil and gas that can damage the surface of the driveway. Using a sealing product that can create a strong barrier between your concrete and the surface can protect your driveway against all sorts of contaminants, allowing your driveway surface to last for years. In addition to being extremely resistant to oil and gas, most sealer products can prevent harmful chemicals from causing damage underneath your concrete driveway.

Cons of sealing concrete driveway

  • Costly to install: While there are various types of concrete sealer products on the market, they are not all made the same. And if you want the one that offers high performance and is eco-friendly, you will have to pay huge sums of money to get it. Additionally, you will have to spend on the application of the sealer as well as maintaining it once you have applied. The initial cost of sealing your concrete driveway is very high; in fact, it can be higher than the costs of maintaining the driveway. This is because you will need it.
  • Requires regular maintenance: In addition to the high installation costs, the sealers tend to fade easily if your driveway has high traffic, and thus you will have to reinstall the sealer product after a year or two in order to keep it on top form all the time. Moreover, you will also need to regularly clean the driveway concrete.

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