Find out more about Cement Sealer
How to Use Cement Sealer on a Concrete Driveway
Cement sealer, often referred to as concrete sealer, is a product that is used to seal and protect all types of concrete. Sealants are often used to create a bond that will protect against moisture, mold and gases on concrete driveways, floors, basement walls, and other concrete projects. However, in this article we are going to be discussing how to use a cement sealer on a concrete driveway to extend the life of the driveway.
Before applying any kind of cement sealer, it is always necessary to prepare the surface of the concrete driveway so that a good adhesion occurs and that the cement sealer lasts for at least 3 to 5 years. This process begins with making sure that the cements surface is as clean as possible.
Using an ordinary broom, go over the surface of the driveway and sweep away any kind of debris. The debris might include dirt, grass, leaves and rocks. You don’t want anything left that could potentially get into the cement sealer.
If you are dealing with automotive fluids such as oil, grease or antifreeze, you will have to go to the store and purchase something called trisodium phosphate. Create a mixture using 1 part of trisodium phosphate and 3 parts of water. Apply the mixture to the driveway and using any type of brush, scrub the fluids and then rinse with a hose.
When you need to remove any kind of mold or mildew that may have developed on the cement due to moisture build up, mix ordinary household bleach with water in a ratio of 1 part bleach to 3 parts water. Apply the bleach mixture in the same manner as described above and scrub to remove mold or mildew. Make sure to thoroughly rinse the surface afterwards to remove all traces of the bleach mixture before moving on to apply the cement sealer.
Lastly, if you have any cracks or holes in your cement driveway, make sure to fill and patch them with your choice of cement patching. Get as smooth of a surface as you can with cement patching mixture.
Let the entire driveway dry for at least 24 hours without being used before you start the actual process of sealing the driveway with cement sealer.
Applying Cement Sealer
Now that we have prepared the driveway, we can move on to actually applying the cement sealer. There are a couple of different methods of applying sealer that you could use, each of them works well so it will be a matter of personal preference which one you choose.
The first is to apply the cement sealer using a paint roller and paint tray just like you would do if you were painting a wall. The second method is to use a paint or garden sprayer to apply the cement sealer and then go over it quick with a roller to make sure you have an even coating. After the first coat is completely dry, you might want to apply a second coat as well.
The only step left in applying the cement sealer is to let the driveway sit for at least another 24 hours before using it.
Floor Sealer Tips
Choosing a cement floor sealer is not a one-size-fits-all process. There are different types of sealers; some work well for exterior uses while some are bound for indoor application. You first need to know which sealer works best for your environment and for what you are going to seal.
A micro-top surface can be applied with solvent-based acrylic cement floor sealer. When using solvenated sealer products, one should be very careful and make sure there is no open ignition source, no pilot lights, nobody smoking within the vicinity, and there should be adequate ventilation when working.
When using a cement floor sealer outside, it should be all about UV stability. You might want to use a sealer which has the ability to stand up to the test of time and to a lot of UV exposure. On interior surfaces, there are environments in which you will need a high build coating instead of a sealer to be able to build a thick film build to really hold up over the test of time.
The last thing you would want to happen to your beautiful floors is for sealers to wear through and start degrading the underlying color. The logic here is to apply a coat or two of epoxy using a lint free roller.
There is a wide variety of cement floor sealers which would get the job done. There are two basic types, surface film sealers and penetrating sealers. Surface film sealers are lustrous and could sometimes be slippery, and can be used as attractive finishes especially in interior rooms. Penetrating sealers, on the other hand, seep into the porous surface and is therefore effective in keeping water from pouring through.
Before proceeding to sealing your floor with a cement floor sealer, determine which type is best suited for the surface you will be using it on with the help of your floor manufacturer.
How to Seal Your Basement Floor
Sealing your basement floor is essential to prevent moisture from seeping through and causing gradual damage to pipes, floorings, and to goods stored in the basement. Choosing the best cement sealer basement and applying it correctly would be a big help in keeping the walls and floors of your basement dry. If the basement cement sealer is a colored one, it can also be a good way to beautify the basement. If you plan on installing wood, tiles, or carpets to your basement floor, cement sealers are necessary to help keep moisture away.
Here are the steps to sealing your basement floor using a cement sealer basement .
(1) Scrub, scrape, and sweep off any debris on the basement floor. Tape a plastic bag on the floor using duct tape and leave it overnight. If the plastic bag is damp in the morning, then you must use a sealer first before painting.
(2) Use a concrete patching compound to patch any areas bearing cracks and holes. For large holes, use mesh and concrete.
(3) Apply the cement sealer basement using a lint free roller. Apply continuous motion so that your floor would be kept wet and glistening. Use a large brush for sealing corners. Allow the basement cement sealer to dry completely.
(4) Once the sealer dries, use lint free rollers to apply epoxy-based paint. Use a brush for painting corners. After applying the first coat, let it dry for 24 to 48 hours and apply the second coat after the first coats dries completely. Third coats are not necessary but can be applied if needed.
(5) A good suggestion for added texture can be done by sprinkling colored latex chips on a still-wet second coat. This can prevent the surface of the pain from being too slippery.
Remember to keep your basement adequately ventilated during the sealing, and also during the painting process.
How to pick the best basement sealer?
Besides having cracks and gaps appearing on a basement, development of mold and mildew which further weakens the floors and walls of the basements can be very troublesome. While cracks and gaps can appear relatively after a long period of the basement’s construction, moisture problems can appear early if the no basement sealer is used.
The sealer to be used for the basement depends on the basements floors and walls materials. Since cement or concrete is the most common material on basements, its best to look into the sealers applicable for cement. The two common cement sealers available are Polysiloxane-blend sealer and silicate basement sealer. While commonly known to be long-lasting and UV repellant, a Polysiloxane-blend sealer is considered inferior to silicate basement sealer.
While both forms a barrier that resists water to eliminate faster formation of mold and mildew, the former’s barrier are permeable to vapor and other gases. The latter also penetrates deeper into the concrete, with up to 4 inches compared to the ¾ inches of the former. By reacting with the alkali and lime present in the cement, the silicate basements sealers create a permanent seal; that do not only fill in the cracks but strengthen the materials as well. In addition it can also withstand relatively high water pressure. Polysiloxane-blend sealer finished basement can’t be effectively painted because of the chemical involved. On the other hand, silicate based sealer can easily be painted and applied to different surfaces as well, like porous bricks, and limestone.
The walls and foundations of the basement must be water-proofed during the construction and must be finished with basement sealer to prevent any possible moisture collection. In order to pick the best sealer to be used one must know the type of sealers available. The basement sealer to be used must be basement specific to attain maximum effectiveness.
How do cement sealants protect the driveways?
Sealants in general protect a substrate from the environment by creating a layer of solid material over and around it, thus seals it corrosion, erosion or any deterioration possible. Cement sealants are used to protect the cement from the natural elements along with other particles that may cause damage to the cement layer.
Cement surfaces are rare in most inner households, but a common thing for the driveways. In almost all cases, the driveways’ surface suffers from the pressure exerted by the house vehicles’ many times a day. Thus, using cement sealants are always imperative for the homeowner. These sealants may be costly but using them can be cheaper than having to go through frequent repairs on the driveways.
The cement sealants have three different functions. It can serve as gap filler, a physical barrier and a sealer. As gap filler, it can easily patch any mistakes or imperfections on the cement finish of the driveways. By doing so it maintains, the uniformity of the surface eliminating unwanted humps on different places. As a solid finish, it can also serve as a barrier against natural elements or any material that can cause any damage to the cement. And of course the sealing properties are the best function; by sealing or eliminating the contact of cement to the environment its relative lifespan is lengthened since the deterioration process will be likely slowed. However, cleaning and eliminating particles that may speed up deterioration of cement must be done before applying the cement sealants.
Knowing and understanding the different functions of these sealants may help the homeowner in deciding the best cements sealants to be used in his driveways. The sealants having different formulations may be applied wrongly to incompatible cement finish. As a result, it may not be effective or efficient. Therefore, it is important that one makes informed decisions.
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