Concrete Driveway Sealing

Concrete Driveways

Concrete driveways are common across the United States because they are not overly expensive, typically have a long service life, require limited maintenance, and look nice.

However, most concrete is porous and vulnerable to surface deterioration caused by frequent freeze thaw cycles and deicing salts.  This type of surface deterioration is referred to as spalling and scaling.

What Causes Spalling and Scaling?

Essentially, spalling and scaling is when the top layer of the concrete breaks down or flakes away exposing the stone aggregate underneath.  And once this deterioration begins it can be difficult to stop and impossible to reverse.  It just keeps getting worse every winter.  This type of damage typically occurs for two reasons: 1) poor quality concrete and/or improper finishing techniques, and 2) the concrete was not sealed to protect it from the elements.

However, the good news is that concrete sealants can increase the strength and extend the life of concrete to protect against.

De-icing Salts

Solvent-based snow and ice melt can also damage concrete and steel concrete reinforcements.  As salts melt snow and ice to water they enter the concrete and leave corrosive deposits and increase the number of freeze-thaw expansion cycles.  And although some claim that de-icing salts themselves do not directly cause damage, many with first hand experience would argue otherwise.  Many homeowners have complained that a driveway was blemish free in the fall and noticeably pitted and flaking in the spring.  This is especially true and more common for newer green concrete less than two years old.  See the picture below!

ConcreteDrivewaySalt Damage

Choose Sealwize Sealers to Protect Concrete Driveways

Some high quality concrete is strong enough to withstand freezing water expansion.  However, it is difficult to tell whether or not you have high quality concrete.  To be safe, you should use a deep penetrating lithium-based concrete hardener/densifier for the best long-term protection.  And for maximum protection, choose a high solids content commercial grade lithium silicate silane siloxane hybrid concrete sealant that hardens, strengthens and densifies concrete making it less absorbent and less susceptible to deterioration and contains a water repelling salt barrier that neutralizes harmful chloride ions.  For this type of protection you might expect a ridiculous price tag but you would be surprised – the cost is only slightly higher than other lower performance treatments.   Most experts would agree that you should avoid silicones, epoxies and acrylics all together because they do not allow the water vapor to escape and need to be reapplied frequently.  All three Sealwize concrete sealants are water vapor permeable and allow the concrete to breathe and release water vapor, which is critical for performance.  When applied, the Sealwize concrete sealants will not change the appearance or surface traction but the invisible barrier is noticeable every time it rains.

ConcreteDrivewaySealingOverland Park

Properly sealing concrete when it is still undamaged is critical for maintaining a healthy, unblemished driveway and will enhance the value and appearance of your property.

This article was written by G Jason Schnellbacher with Sealwize of Kansas City.  Sealwize of Kansas City is a licensed distributor and applicator of Zerovoc Technology products.  Zerovoc Technology is a manufacturer and supplier to trained professional concrete sealing contractors in the United States. To learn more about concrete sealers and water repellents visit Sealwize of Kansas City or Zerovoc Technology on the web.

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