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  • SEALING CONCRETE PATIOS Date:2018/7/3 Read:2134

    Even though concrete patios aren’t exposed to vehicle traffic or deicing salts, like concrete driveways are, they still take plenty of punishment. Backyard barbecues, outdoor campfires, heavy foot traffic, and unrelenting sunshine can cause patios to fade, discolor, and abrade if you leave them unprotected. A good sealer can keep new concrete patios looking great for many years to come and even improve the appearance of existing patios, especially if they are topically colored. If sealing isn’t already a routine part of your concrete patio maintenance plan, here’s what you need to know to get started.

    Why Is Applying Sealer Important?

    The reasons for sealing a concrete patio are similar to those for waxing a car, wearing sunscreen, or applying stain repellent to new carpeting. It’s done to enhance the appearance, keep the color from fading due to sun exposure, and protect it from stains and moisture absorption.

    If your patio is located in a region of the country subject to freeze-thaw cycles, applying sealer will reduce the chance of freeze-thaw damage - the ugly surface spalling and scaling that can occur after water is absorbed into concrete and expands when it freezes. Although concrete patios aren’t typically exposed to deicing salts, which can aggravate the problem, they are still porous and will absorb water if left unsealed.

    For stamped concrete patios, which are typically enhanced by surface-applied color.  a sealer will help prevent the color from fading over time due to sun exposure, foot traffic, and abrasion. Sealers will also help prevent discoloration caused by common outdoor stains such as dirt, leaves, lawn chemicals, food spills, and residue from fire pits. Many concrete sealers intended for outdoor use contain UV protectants and stain repellents that will virtually eliminate fading and make the concrete easier to clean and maintain.

    How Do I Choose the Best Sealer for My Patio Project?

    The primary type of sealer used on decorative concrete patios and other exterior flatwork is a solvent- or water-based acrylic. Acrylic sealers are easy to apply, economical, and well-suited for outdoor use because they are UV resistant, non-yellowing and breathable, which means they provide good water repellence while allowing moisture vapor within the slab to escape. If you don't want a sheen on the patio surface and prefer a natural look, a penetrating sealer is an alternative that provides good protection against outdoor exposure conditions without forming a surface film.

    The first and most important consideration when choosing a sealer is whether the product is compatible with the decorative concrete patio surface you plan to apply it to. The type of finish you want to achieve (such as matte vs. high gloss) comes in a close second. you should evaluate when choosing a sealer appropriate for your project and budget.