Not a very jazzy title today but apt. People can re-seal their own stamped decorative concrete patios with just a little bit of knowledge (or have them done by someone else but done properly). If you are re-sealing your stamped colored concrete, the first thing you should do is clean the concrete. And not just power wash it. Power washing blows off the dirt that is on the surface but does not touch the oily residue that accumulates on surfaces from the air. Imagine painting an interior kitchen wall without washing it. The sealer needs a clean, dry surface to adhere to. Use a cleaner and you will achieve better long-term results. I like to tell people that it is like washing your clothes with no laundry detergent. The cleaner breaks down the dirt and oily residue and lifts it up and off of the concrete to give you a better surface for the sealer, Many people will short-cut this step because “it looks clean”. Don’t be deceived by looks.
Allow the surface to completely dry. Here is another area where looks can be deceiving. It looks dry on the surface after a couple of hours so let’s seal it. Many installers can offer better pricing if they get the job done quickly However, if there is still moisture inside the concrete and you put an acrylic sealer on top of it, as the weather heats up, the moisture will come out of the concrete and leave a haze or fog trapped between the concrete and the sealer. This will dull out the color and make an unattractive appearance. It is recommended to allow the surface to dry for at least 8 hours.
Sealer application should be done in thin coats. This is another area where many installers short-cut the process in order to offer a cheaper price and still make money. They apply one thick coat of sealer and leave. Manufacturers recommend two thin coats at least 12 hours apart for maximum strength and endurance. If you keep the sealer in good shape on your stamped decorative concrete one coat of sealer every 18 to 24 months will be enough. However, it you have let a long period of time go by, two coats are necessary. Perhaps even three coats if the concrete is really dry and porous.
Quality maintenance of the sealer is the key to long-term happiness with your stamped, colored concrete patio, driveway, entry, screened-in porch, etc. If the stamped concrete is inside and protected such as in a screened-in porch, the sealer will have a longer life because it is not exposed to the extremes of the outside temperatures.
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