If you have recently had a concrete driveway installed on your property, then you should seal the new construction to prevent damage. Sealing stops water from penetrating the pores of the concrete and freezing when the weather turns cold. Since the freezing water can expand and cause cracks to form, sealing can help to prevent a great deal of damage. If you decide to complete the sealing yourself, then you will want the coating to look smooth when you are done. Keep reading to learn about a few sealing application and tool buying tips that will produce a smooth surface.
Choosing The Right Time To Seal First
Before you start thinking about sealing, you will need to make sure the concrete has cured for the right amount of time. Acrylic-resin sealers can be added to the concrete after two or three days when you are able to stand on the concrete without creating marks. Other types of sealers, like silane, siloxane, resin, and polyurethane materials will require a full 28 days of curing before the sealer can be added.
Once curing is completed and you choose the type of sealant you desire, you will need to pick the right application tool. High volume airless sprayers, pump up sprayers, rollers, lamb's wool applicators, and t-bars are all common tools that can be used. The tool you need will depend on the type of sealer you are adding.
Picking Water And Solvent Sealer Tools
If your sealer is a thinner, water-based material like an acrylic or a solvent sealer, then either an airless sprayer or a pump sprayer can be used. Airless sprayers are machines that force sealers out of a spray nozzle at a high speed. The spray comes out with a great deal of pressure as well. For example, paint sprayers are a type of airless sprayer that can be used for concrete sealers, and these devices create a 3,000 psi spray. The speed and pressure can help you to complete the sealing job quickly. However, the device can create a great deal of overspray that may end up on your grass. This can be an expensive waste of the product.
To reduce waste, you can use a pump sprayer instead. This sprayer releases sealer through a nozzle under pressure as well. However, the contents of the sprayer compartment will be pressurized with a hand pump. You will need to do some work to pressurize the sealer. The sprayer is cheaper, does not produce overspray, and you can move slower since less of the sealer is released from the nozzle at one time.
Choosing Resin And Polyurethane Tools
If you decide to place a resin or polyurethane sealer on your concrete driveway, then the sealer will be too thick to put into a sprayer. A roller, t-bar, or a lamb's wool applicator will need to be used instead. Rollers with a thick nap can be used to apply some thick sealers. However, they may leave bubbles behind as the roller pulls back up from the concrete. You may need to try the roller in a small section of the driveway to see if bubbles are left behind.
If you see bubbles, then either a lamb's wool spreader or a t-bar tool will be needed. A lamb's wool applicator is a wool rag attached over a wood block that sits on the end of a long handle. Light pressure should be used with the tool to apply the sealer. A t-bar looks a lot like a squeegee used to place sealer on an asphalt driveway. This device is pulled across the driveway to leave a thin layer of the sealant behind.
Once the right tool is purchased and you start adding the sealer, work horizontally across the driveway and add the sealer in strips. Each time you make a pass, overlap every strip by about two inches. The overlapped edges will blend together. This will prevent obvious lines from appearing in the sealer on the edges of each strip of sealer. For more information, contact a business such as Claggett & Sons Inc.