Years ago there was the story that a small manufacturer had discovered the secret of producing a car that could get 80 to 100 miles per gallon of gas. Then General Motors (or Ford – depending on the version of the story) bought out that small company and buried the technology so that it wouldn’t interfere with their ongoing car sales. I am sure that this story still circulates and that there are still people who believe it to be true.
In concrete circles, there is another legend being created – the myth of the permanent concrete sealer. I have seen numerous ads touting that you “never seal your concrete again…really” and they guarantee Permanent Protection for 25 years. There are signs stating that someone sells “the ONLY permanent concrete sealer”. There is just enough truth in these ads so that they are not illegal. The sealer is permanent. What is questionable is whether this guarantees that your concrete is sealed.
The ads and the sales pitch neglects to tell you that other pores come open. Concrete is very porous with any number of pores. So if those pores are clean and open, the concrete sealer penetrates and seals. Over time and with use of the surface (i.e. driving over it) other pores come open and these pores are NOT sealed. Maintenance is required.
We all look for the easy answer, the one-time fix, but they just aren’t real. There is no oil that we can use so we will never have to change the oil in our car again. There is no nail polish that once it is on will never need to be redone. If we expect a “permanent” thing to never require maintenance, we will most likely be disappointed. The emotional equation – Disappointment equals Reality minus Expectations – holds true in concrete sealing as it does in life. More about this tomorrow.