Imagine spending hundreds of dollars on a shiny new iPhone, but deciding not to protect your purchase with a phone case. Or, imagine driving off the car dealership lot with a swanky and expensive new ride, but instead of full-coverage insurance, you only purchase liability.
No one wants to drop and break their phone or get in a fender bender with a brand-new car, but we all know that life happens. And if life happens when you're not protected, it could be disastrous for your wallet.
The list of investments that need protection doesn't stop at cars and phones. Houses, laptops, sofas, boats, and even your home's concrete are expensive assets that require something as little as a fabric cover to as much as a thorough insurance policy in order to give you peace of mind.
But wait... how can you protect the concrete around your home?
Sealing your concrete protects it from damage, and it's one of the most beneficial things a homeowner can do to preserve their concrete. Without a high-quality sealer on your concrete, it's like an expensive phone without a case.
Eventually, the phone will get scratched, the screen will chip, and when dropped, it could break. The same goes for concrete without sealer – over time it can break down, crack, and begin to crumble.
Here at A-1, our goal is to help you keep your concrete as beautiful and long-lasting as possible, and provide you with the resources you need to make informed decisions on concrete maintenance and repair options, including concrete sealing.
For that reason, we've created this article that will explain why it's so important to protect your investment by sealing your concrete.
What is concrete sealing?
Concrete sealing is the act of applying a product to your concrete that creates a hydrophobic water barrier which causes water and other liquids to turn into droplets on the surface. The water then quickly dries or runs off the concrete slab instead of soaking into its pores.
Concrete sealing helps protect against damage from spalling, chipping, crumbling, breaks, stains, sun exposure, salt, mold growth, and more.
There are many different types of concrete sealers ranging from high-gloss surface film sealers to sealers that protect by penetrating the surface but don't change its appearance.
Benefits of Sealing Concrete
The main benefits of sealing can be broken down into the following five categories:
- Increases durability
- Inhibits mold growth
- Adds protection from damage
- Enhances beauty and curb appeal
- Increases longevity
The following sections will discuss these benefits in more detail.
1. Increases Durability
Any concrete exposed to the elements will experience deterioration, including cracking, spalling, pitting, and discoloration. Sealing the concrete will make it much more durable and minimize the effects of weather on the concrete’s surface and sub-structure.
Read more about what cleaning and sealing can protect your concrete from.
2. Inhibits Mold Growth
Concrete is porous. This allows water to absorb into the surface and remain there for long periods of time. In shady areas where the concrete doesn't fully dry, this can lead to mold growth that can break down the concrete over time.
Properly cleaning and sealing the concrete can help prevent water absorption and mold growth that break down the surface of the concrete.
3. Adds Damage Protection
Many influences work against the integrity of your concrete. The harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays, salt put down to prevent ice build-up, oil leaks, and water penetration are part of an army attacking your concrete every day. The proper sealant can protect against all of these attacks, keeping your concrete beautiful and strong.
One of the culprits behind concrete damage are freeze-thaw cycles. Because concrete is porous, it absorbs water, and when that water freezes and expands, it breaks down the concrete in the process. This damage is repeated over and over again as the temperatures dip below and raise back above freezing.
A high-quality concrete sealer will create a hydrophobic barrier that prevents water from being absorbed in the first place. If there's no water in the concrete, it won't be able to freeze and break down the concrete from within.
4. Enhances Beauty and Curb Appeal
All of these external influences can greatly reduce the beauty of your concrete. The sun’s rays can discolor it. Oil can create a patchwork of dark stains. Mold can darken large sections. Sealing the concrete can mitigate all these influences, not only making it last longer but keeping it beautiful at the same time.
In addition, concrete must be cleaned before it is sealed. This is done with high-powered pressure washers that cut through the built-up grime and dirt on the concrete's surface. After your concrete is cleaned and sealed, its curb appeal will certainly increase.
5. Increases Longevity
Most experts say a concrete driveway should last thirty years or more, but how well it is maintained plays a big role in its longevity. Concrete sealing is one of the main maintenance practices you can do to help your concrete last as long as possible.
Should You Seal Your Concrete?
Protecting your investment by sealing your concrete with a high-quality sealer is crucial. Not only is it an important part of keeping it safe from irreversible damage, but it can also improve your home's curb appeal.
Just like you wouldn't leave your expensive gadgets without a case, or your new car without insurance, you shouldn't leave your concrete exposed to the elements and unprotected from everything from typical wear to deep cracks and surface spalling.
Here at A-1 Concrete Leveling, we've been in the business of maintaining and repairing concrete for over 30 years, and during this time, we've seen just how important it is to ensure that concrete is cleaned and sealed properly, and what the damage looks like when it's not.
If you're interested in getting your concrete sealed for any of the protective benefits listed in this article, or to achieve a certain aesthetic goal, click the link below to request a free onsite estimate with a member of the A-1 team.
Want to know more? A-1 Concrete Leveling has an extensive library of other resources like this one dedicated to answering your questions about all things concrete repair and maintenance. Check out some of these related Concrete Academy topics: