Sealer protects concrete from the elements and makes it easier to clean off deicing salts, oil or grease. But you need to apply it properly. Follow these step-by-step instructions for the perfect application.
When should you apply it?
If your concrete is new, you'll need to let it cure -- wait at least one month before applying sealer. Before applying, check the weather. Sealer needs to be applied in dry conditions because it won't adhere to damp concrete. The temperature also needs to stay above 50°F during application and drying time (up to three days).
Prep the surface
Clean the concrete
1.First, thoroughly sweep the surface of all dirt and debris.
2. Remove any grease, oil, mastic or paint, choosing your cleaner based on the stains that you have. For instance, a degreaser is used to remove grease or oil. If you've pulled up carpet or tile, any residual mastic needs to be removed; use a putty knife and a stiff brush to scrape off as much as you can, then apply a citrus-based cleaner, such as orange blossom, to remove the mastic.
Apply your selected cleaner and follow the manufacturer's instructions.
It’s important to remove stains during this step-if your floor isn’t cleaned properly,they will show through your new sealer.
3. After the stains have been removed, mop with floor cleaner and water. Use a shop vacuum to clean up any remaining water and debris. Allow it to dry for 24 hours.
4. Any cracks or pitting will need to be filled in before applying the sealer. Apply the concrete repair sealant to the affected area and smooth over with a putty knife. Follow the manufacturer's directions regarding dry time.
Apply the sealant
Now that you've cleaned the surface and removed any old sealer, it's time to apply the new sealer. Depending on how porous your concrete is, a gallon of sealer will cover 250-500 square feet.
1. Apply two thin coats to ensure a smooth and even finish. Apply the first coat and wait at least two hours before applying the second. Check your sealant can for specific drying times.
If you’are sealing in interior concretefloor,make sure that you have plenty of ventilation.
2. For consistent coverage, paint the second coat at right angles to your first coat.
3. Make sure that you don't step on or drive over your new sealant until it's completely dry. Check the sealant can for specific drying times. Drying can take as long as three days.