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How to Seal your House Driveway
Sealing a concrete driveway is a simple, inexpensive and fast way to maintain the value of a home. Your concrete driveway is one of the first things people see when they drive up to your home. That is why it is a good idea to keep the concrete driveway looking as good as the day it was installed. Sealing the concrete driveway with a penetrating siloxane concrete sealer will give years of protection to the driveway. Another name for them is siloxane water repellent.
How Concrete Driveways Deteriorate
Water that penetrates and expands from freezing does most of the damage to concrete driveways. That is because the water expands 9% in volume when it freezes. This expansion can physically break the concrete bonds and cause it to flake, pit, spall and crack. Sealing the concrete reduces the amount of water absorption.
De-icing salts do damage to the concrete also. The salts attack the surface layer of concrete and the steel reinforcement inside the concrete. When de-icing salts are applied, the melted water can enter the concrete and then refreeze as the temperature drops.
Sealing the concrete with a penetrating siloxane sealer, also called a siloxane water repellent will reduce water and salt uptake and the number of freeze-thaw cycles the concrete goes through.
Penetrating Concrete Sealers
Concrete driveways are high traffic areas, with cars entering and leaving and kids using them for basketball courts. That is why your concrete driveway needs to have a penetrating sealer as opposed to a surface sealer.
A surface sealer is just that, it is applied to the surface and does not penetrate. The surface sealer will wear away rapidly from use. Every time a car pulls in or someone bounces a ball on it, a little bit of the sealer is removed. Some surface sealers can make the driveway slick and dangerous when it rains because the rough texture is covered up.
On the other hand, a siloxane sealer penetrates below the concrete surface. Siloxane sealers form a hydrophobic barrier against water and de-icing salt attack. They are commonly called siloxane water repellents. Because they are below the surface, they are protected from wear on the surface of the concrete. The natural texture of the concrete is maintained so traction and safety are not a concern. Finally, because the concrete sealer is below the surface, there is no shininess or gloss to the concrete.
Step 1. Let the Concrete Cure
Freshly poured concrete cannot be sealed. It must cure for 21-30 days prior to application of a penetrating sealer.
Step 2. Clean the Driveway
Broom off any loose debris such as dirt, mud and leaves off of the driveway. If there are any oil or grease stains, these should be removed to the best of your ability with a pressure washer.
Step 3. Allow the Concrete to Dry
Water-based siloxane sealers need to have the concrete dry for 24 hours prior to application. No rain should fall within this 24 hour time period. This will reduce the dilution of the siloxane sealer and ensure that the maximum amount gets into the concrete substrate itself.
Step 4. Spray, Roll or Brush on the Sealer
It doesn't really matter which method of application is used, but of course a roller is faster than a brush and a pump up garden sprayer is faster than a roller. No other special equipment is needed. You do not need to worry about getting it onto plants or grass. If any gets onto metal or windows, wash it off immediately with soapy water and a sponge.
Apply only enough concrete sealer that a slight whitish color is seen. Any ponding of material should be spread evenly prior to drying.
Step 5. Keep Rain and Traffic off of it for 24 hours
The sealer will dry in 1-4 hours but it is a good idea to keep cars and traffic off of the driveway for 24 hours. Application should occur when rain is not in the forecast for 24 hours after application to give the sealer plenty of time to penetrate and seal.
Once cured the siloxane sealer becomes a bonded component of the concrete driveway. A properly sealed concrete driveway will give years of protection from damage. The return on investment will be worth the time and expense of application.
This article is written by Aaron Kuertz who's with Applied Technologies Aaron is a member of the Construction Specifications Institute and has been in the waterproofing industry since 1998. Applied Technologies is a manufacturer and supplier to professional waterproofing contractors and homeowners in the United States.
For more information about concrete siloxane water repellents, visit Applied Technologies.
Arthor and Source: Aaron Kuertz
Your driveway, along with the front of your property, is a very prominent part of your landscape. It is very visual from the street. It is an entry to your home. In addition, it is the main thing people look for when coming to your home. There are a few important things to think about when undertaking a driveway design.
Many homeowners would like to know how to pour a driveway because employing professionals may incur a huge expenditure. Pouring a driveway or a patio is actually not very difficult at all and you don't even need any prior experience with landscaping. You simply need loads of patience and at least one assistant (especially if your driveway is really long) and your concrete driveway can be built in a day. Here is how to pour a driveway and set up a durable concrete slab:
First you have to measure your driveway to find how much concrete mixture you need. Don't worry if you have no idea about it. Just ask the shop-owner from whom you are buying concrete mixture, trowel and other landscaping equipments. Now, you should mark the area by installing a few tent stakes and by tying stings along with the driveway perimeter.
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