Two of the great advantages for using concrete is its durability and ease of care. To protect decorative finishes applied to Wisconsin concrete, we recommend applying a high quality concrete sealer on all exterior concrete exposed to freeze/thaw cycles. Every year the sealer helps protect concrete from two things: absorbing moisture and being damaged from numerous freeze/thaw cycles.
While there are many brands of curing compounds, sealers and penetrating sealers, here are two examples:
- There are liquid, acrylic-based copolymers. They are transparent and act as a film over the surface. This type of product has been on the market for years and is widely used due to the value for the money.
- Penetrating sealers are clear, silane solutions that penetrate deeply and chemically react with cementitious surfaces. They offer the best protection from moisture penetration.
Concrete sealers will protect your decorative concrete from staining, damage and corrosion. Concrete sealers not only intensify stained or stamped concrete, they also make the surface easier to maintain and clean. To conserve your concrete sealer and preserve your beautiful surface against tough northern winters, here are a few tips to remember when caring for your exterior concrete surfaces:
- Clear snow and ice from concrete as soon as possible to minimize the effects of freeze/thaw cycles.
- Use sand as opposed to chemical de-icers with ammonium sulfate or ammonium nitrate, which will deteriorate concrete surfaces. Sand also offers increased traction on walkways and driveways.
- Do not use de-icing chemicals for the first year after your new decorative concrete surface has been installed.
- If necessary, use de-icers sparingly, to break the bond between ice and pavement. Then, clear the slush to prevent re-freezing.
- Always have protective concrete sealer applied to reduce moisture penetration for long-lasting vibrant surfaces.
Properly applied concrete sealer will also protect against the slippery surface that can occur if the sealer is over-used.