How To Properly Seal Concrete: A Step-By-Step Guide
Sealing your concrete surfaces is critical when it comes to preserving and strengthening your concrete structures. Concrete surfaces, especially those exposed to the elements, can take in water, and this has the effect of damaging the concrete. Water freezes and liquefies over time, which can cause cracks on your walls. When this happens, the surface weakens, and your structure becomes structurally unsound. The solution to this is to seal your concrete surfaces, thus making them completely waterproof. If you want to seal concrete surfaces, here are the steps that you should take.
Clean The Surface
Before you can work on any surface, the first step you should take is to clean the area where you will apply sealant. This is because you don’t want to lock in the dirt, oil, or grime within the concrete surface. The best way to do this is to use a stiff brush and carefully clean away any material that may be coating the surface. This includes any sealant that may have been applied before.
If you need to waterproof your surface, there is a chance that it may already have some moisture in it. If possible, you can take steps to remove this moisture before you waterproof your surface. This is the reason why it is recommended that you only waterproof concrete surfaces (outdoor surfaces) during the sunny season when the sun will have removed most of the excess moisture. If there is mold or other stains on the wall, it is a good idea to remove this as well before sealing the surface.
Repair Small Faults
If your concrete surface has small imperfections, it may be wise to first fix these problems. Such minor repairs might involve fixing existing cracks and similar problems. When you carry out such repairs, ensure that you give the surface enough time to dry. Applying sealant on wet concrete is not a good idea as the sealant will not be as effective as it could be. These wet patches are likely to lead to water seepage and undo any good work that you have done.
If there are bumps or uneven points on your wall, ensure that these are sanded down in order to make the surface as smooth as possible. This increases the adherence of the sealant.
Once your surface is ready, you can then go ahead and apply sealant on the surface. To do this, there are two approaches that you can take. You can use a spray tool to apply the sealant to the surface. Another way of doing this is to use a roller to apply the sealant. You should be aware that depending on the type of sealant that you are applying, you may also need to apply a primer. Your concrete sealant is likely to come with instructions on how to apply it, including if you need primer.
Allow The Surface To Dry
After you have applied the sealant, you will need to let the surface dry completely before using it. Now, this may not be a problem with walls, but if you are applying the sealant on a concrete floor, then this applies. Do not use the floor for at least 24 hours to allow the sealant to bond completely with the surface.