Concrete goes through a lot of wear and tear as it is supposed to be able to withstand tons. This is why it’s common for driveways to need to be replaced every 10 years. One thing you can do to make sure your driveway lasts is to seal it. Concrete driveways can be sealed immediately after installation and it’s recommended to do this every 3 – 5 years as severe weather can break down the sealant. You can have a concrete professional seal your driveway for you. Of if you prefer to do it yourself, that’s also an option as sealer can be picked up at any home improvement store. There are four different kinds of sealer that you can use.
Penetrating sealers penetrate the capillaries of concrete and react chemically with it. This is good to use for exterior concrete like driveways and goes on invisible, so it won’t change the appearance of your driveway. Penetrating sealer is breathable and allows moisture vapor to escape.
Acrylic sealers form a protective film on the surface of the concrete. They are good to use if you don’t want a long wait time as they often dry within an hour. These sealers are available in a range of sheen and enhance the color. These provide good protection but usually wear faster than polyurethanes.
Like acrylic, polyurethanes forms a protective film on the concrete and is available in a range of sheen. However, the film is nearly twice as thick as acrylic. The finish is transparent and non-yellowing. Most are moisture intolerant until they cure so there shouldn’t be water on the surface of the concrete when you apply sealer.
Epoxies also form a protective film. They are available in clear or pigmented if you want to add color. When used they have a glossy finish. They offer excellent water repellent properties, but some are impermeable and can trap moisture in. Choosing a sealer will depend on your environment and the look you are going for. Sometimes it’s best to talk to a professional before applying the sealant as they can give an educated opinion tailored to your driveway.