Fall is here, and we know you probably don’t want to hear this, but winter will arrive before you know it. If your driveway and patio are a little worse for wear from last winter, then you may want to get a jump on finding concrete sealing in Kansas City.
Factors such as the harsh product use, sun exposure, and more can all play a role in how your concrete looks and how long it will last. But don’t worry! Our experts at Big Red Decorative Concrete have the details you need to know about concrete sealing and how to know it’s time to add more sealant. Just keep reading to learn more.
For quick information about concrete sealing, check out our video explaining everything you need to know.
What is concrete sealing?
Concrete sealing is the method of applying a sealant to protect your concrete—basically areas exposed to freezing and thawing water. Applying a sealant to your driveway or other exterior areas helps to maintain your concrete’s integrity and avoid damage such as abrasion, stains, and corrosion. At the end of the day (especially with the hectic Kansas City winters), you should always seal your concrete. That way you don’t accumulate so much damage you wind up replacing the entire thing… no, thank you.
Okay, but what actually happens if I don’t seal my concrete?
Well, all those chemicals and harsh products begin seeping into your concrete. Plus dirt, oil from your car, and other nasty gunk can crawl their way in and turn your beautiful driveway into something that could ruin a home’s curb appeal. Honestly, it’s much easier to seal your concrete than test your limits and pay the price later.
Benefits of sealing or resealing your concrete
For some people, applying a sealant or coating may seem frivolous and unnecessary. As people who’ve been in the concrete industry for quite some time, we have to disagree. Oftentimes, when we explain why we seal our decorative concrete once we’re done, our customers are thankful for the extra step. If you’re still on the fence, here are a few reasons why you should apply a concrete sealant.
Adds longevity to your concrete
The added layer of protection helps steer away stains, cracks, and other damage that could ruin your concrete. For example, in many instances, driveways can last for decades, but they end up looking… well, not so great. However, with a sealant, you can ensure your concrete lasts for years to come without compromising its appearance. For the best results, make sure you reseal your concrete when needed.
Maintains your concrete’s color
Especially if you get decorative concrete, you want your concrete to stay rich and vibrant. A sealant works hard to fight against stains that come from oil, fertilizers, dirt, and other chemicals. As a result, your driveway and other external concrete surfaces can continue enhancing your home rather than knocking its beauty.
Strengthens your concrete
No one wants weak concrete that withers away at any sign of weather change or chemicals. Your concrete won’t last very long if it can’t handle outside forces. Fortunately, concrete sealing adds an extra layer to your concrete to protect it from ice, tire traffic, stains, and more.
Beware: Don’t pour rock salt over your sealed concrete
Whenever snow and ice comes around, it may be easy to think, “Let me grab some rock salt to pour over my driveway.” Unfortunately, this is a common mistake a lot of homeowners make. The truth is: Rock salt and sealed concrete don’t mesh.
As you know, salt chemically reduces the temperature causing ice to melt so you don’t have to worry about your car (or even yourself) sliding all over the place. While all of that may sound ideal; it’s not for your sealant. What does ice turn into when it melts? Easy, water. When there’s too much excess water mixed with salt, it begins seeping into the concrete.
Now, you have water in your concrete that’s vulnerable to the freezing and thawing process. When that water freezes again, it expands, which can slowly damage your concrete. As temperatures rise and fall, the water can freeze and melt over and over again—a cycle you definitely don’t want to happen. On top of that, with each snow day, you may be tempted to add even more salt, making matters worse. Eventually the constant expanding and shrinking will cause your sealant to fail.
So what should I use instead?
We’re definitely not telling you to let ice and snow pile up on your driveway and patio, but there are alternative solutions beyond rock salt that don’t destroy your concrete sealant. We highly recommend finding concrete-safe ice melt made with calcium chloride or magnesium chloride instead of rock salt. If you apply these salts before it snows, they will help minimize accumulation. However, they will not melt snow or ice that is already on your concrete.
However, one of the best options to go for is sand. While it won’t melt ice or snow, it does help with slipping and falling. A layer of sand can help your car roll over your driveway without sliding all over the place. Plus, it won’t damage your concrete.
Signs you need to reseal your concrete
Whenever you get new concrete poured, a professional should have sealed the concrete. In some cases, people DIY the process with lower-quality sealants. In this case, newer concrete is probably fine, though you should continue searching for signs of wear and tear. However, when your concrete starts getting older, sealant maintenance is crucial to ensure your concrete’s longevity.
You’re noticing new cracks and splits
It goes without saying that over time, concrete will crack. However, if you suddenly notice lots of cracking that seems to expand and split, you may want to consider getting the concrete sealed. That way you can stop further damage before your concrete begins breaking off.
You have stuck-on salt accumulation
Especially if you used rock salt without knowing its implications, and you have salt lingering on your driveway and patio, resealing your concrete could be a great option. Remember, rock salt will continue to go through freeze and thaw cycles, which will only cause more damage this coming winter if not treated.
There is a lot of excess moisture
Every once in a while, you may find pools of melted snow, ice, or even rain. That is okay and totally normal. However, if moisture doesn’t go away or dry as it should, then you could have an issue on your hands. Excess moisture can migrate into the concrete through cracks and open pores, and as temperatures dip below freezing, the water will freeze inside your concrete.
Stains and discoloration cover your concrete
Once your concrete has stains and splotches all over the place, it can make your home look less desirable. A concrete sealant not only helps prevent future stains and discoloration, it can also help enhance and restore your concrete for an easy (and well-deserved) upgrade.
Want some extra flair? Try out decorative concrete sealing options
While clear sealant options definitely work (and we can help you with that!), why not turn your plain concrete into something extraordinary? Especially for patios and driveways, decorative concrete can enhance durability and longevity while adding style and pristine beauty. With a concrete overlay, you can transform the outside of your home, and you’d be surprised how creative you can get. Plus, our professionals at Big Red Decorative Concrete will apply a sealant after the overlay cures to ensure you get the most out of your new concrete.
If you’re considering a concrete overlay as a base for your concrete sealing in Kansas City, here are a few options our experts love:
Sundek Classic Texture Overlay System
The Sundek Classic Texture Overlay isn’t called classic for nothing. In fact, this system was developed over 40 years ago and revolutionized the concrete repair industry. If you’re looking to expand the lifespan of your old and worn concrete, this system could be your solution. We love this system because it comes with a broad range of repair abilities and design options (and 16 Signature Finish coat colors) to truly make your floors your own. As a huge bonus, you can apply this system on:
- Pool decks
- Retail entries
- Parking garages
- And more!
Sundek Tuscan Overlay System
Just because Sundek has a classic version, doesn’t mean they’re not coming out with more new and innovative systems. The Tuscan Overlay System is a “thin-set” system that creates a gorgeous finish through hand troweling and custom staining. To kick it up a notch, you can even opt for taped or hand-carved stones, tiles, or stencils (and it looks like the real deal!).
In addition, the Tuscan Wood Plank System simulates hardwood floors without the cost of expensive wood planks. After being sealed with a High Traffic Urethane coating, you’ll find that this system is sure to last a long time.
We recommend this system for a variety of flooring needs, including:
- Pool decks
Sundek Sunstamp Overlay System
Great news! If you love the look of stamped concrete, you don’t have to start all over with completely new flooring. Believe it or not, this stamped overlay system can give you the same look without the tear out mess. With a stamped overlay, you can add style and value to your home that will keep your neighbors in awe. Boosting the look and feel of your floors is as easy as adding color, textures, and unique borders. The Sunstamp System works well for:
- Front stoops
Discover the best concrete sealing in Kansas City at Big Red Decorative Concrete
When it comes to concrete sealing, don’t you want to give your floors the best treatment possible? At Big Red Decorative Concrete, we serve businesses in the Kansas City metro area on both sides of the stateline, and our results speak for themselves!
From start to finish, we pride ourselves on having a seamless customer service experience, so all you have to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy your upgraded concrete floors.