Concrete is robust and can last hundreds of years without wearing off. However, the process of making concrete is delicate, and you need to take your time before applying sealant.
Three main things make concrete, and that is cement, sand or gravel and water. These three items make concrete strong, but that is after it has set and dried. It is essential to be careful when making the mixture, and it is even more important to wait for it to dry enough to prevent cracking.
One main reason why concrete cracks is because it didn’t get enough time to set or it was too dry during the curing process. Concrete sealing products are used to increase the longevity and resistance to substances that may affect the concrete. The sealer also helps in:
- Preventing cracking and pitting in new concrete.
- Reduces the occurrence of mildew or mold by decreasing the porosity of the concrete.
- Increases durability by reducing damage by water and salt.
- It enhances aesthetics by improving or maintaining the original color of the concrete.
How Long Should You Wait Before Sealing Concrete?
The curing process takes at least 28 days. During this time, the concrete will be perfectly dried, and even when it is used, it won’t crack or crumble. After this time you can go ahead and apply the sealant. However, there are some types of sealers, especially acrylic that can be used on concrete that is only two days old.
Why Should You Wait Before Sealing Concrete?
If you seal concrete before the recommended time has elapsed, you will likely destroy the potential of the concrete. Some of the effects include:
- The trapped moisture in the concrete will want to escape, and since sealant prevents anything from getting in and out the concrete will likely crack. It may start breaking from within so the effects may not be immediate, but it will show with time.
- Due to the water that wants to escape, the sealant will turn to white. This is usually very unattractive, and you will need to fix it, which will need more time and tools.
- If you are using a solvent-based sealer on concrete that hasn’t properly dried, it will fail. This is simply because solvent-based sealers have oil which doesn’t mix with water.
What Should I Use To Seal New Concrete?
The sealant you use depends on where your concrete is and your most significant concerns. If you only want to protect the concrete from external factors such as water, discoloration, and mold a penetrative sealant is best.
It soaks into the concrete up to an eighth of an inch to protect the surface from damage. It is a necessary sealant that doesn’t affect the appearance of the concrete but provides adequate protection.
If you want your concrete to last for years, it is crucial that it is done by professionals and the correct tools are used. Remember that a lot of care needs to be taken during pouring and curing before applying a sealant for the best results.