Concrete driveways are a popular choice for homeowners. In addition to the unique design and color choices that allow for great customization, these driveways are valued for their strength and durability. Although concrete driveways require a lot less maintenance than other options, the question of whether or not they need to be sealed is often debated.
Here is a look at everything you need to consider when deciding whether to seal your concrete driveway.
Pros And Cons of Concrete Driveway Sealing
Although sealing a concrete driveway can help extend its lifespan and keep it looking like new, it is important to note that doing so is not necessary. Concrete is durable on its own and does not need to be sealed in order to enjoy its benefits, However, many homeowners opt to seal their driveway because it can enhance its longevity and appearance.
The Benefits Of Sealing A Concrete Driveway
Here is a look at the top reasons homeowners choose to seal their concrete driveway.
It Repels Moisture
One of the biggest reasons people seal a concrete driveway is the fact that it can repel moisture. Driveways are regularly exposed to moisture from rain, and bare concrete will absorb this moisture. Over time, this can damage the concrete, particularly if the moisture freezes after it has soaked into the driveway. Sealer will create a barrier that prevents moisture from getting into the pores of the concrete and causing this type of damage.
It Prevents Stains
Driveways are exposed to a broad range of materials, whether it is organic material falling from trees or animal waste. Over time, these substances can stain concrete and leave it with ugly marks that are difficult or impossible to remove. Sealing concrete means that these substances will not soak into it and stain it, preserving the look of the driveway.
It Extends The Life Of Concrete
In areas that experience cold temperatures, sealed concrete is less likely to fade, crumble or chip, which extends its overall lifespan. This means homeowners will not have to spend money replacing their driveway as often as they would if it was unsealed.
It Offers UV Protection
Sealer doesn’t just protect driveways from damage caused by water; it can also protect concrete from ultraviolet radiation. UV rays from the sun can break down concrete’s polymers and bonds, which weakens it and can cause it to eventually deteriorate. A sealant that is designed to block UV rays can keep this problem in check.
The Drawbacks Of Sealing A Concrete Driveway
Although there are a lot of benefits for homeowners who seal their concrete driveways, it is important to consider some of the potential disadvantages before making a decision.
It Can Make Your Driveway Slippery
The beautiful sheen that sealers give driveways can make them slicker, particularly after rainfall. For driveways that will be walked across often, it is important to keep this in mind and consider choosing a sealer made with an abrasive additive to form a nonskid surface. It may be necessary to sacrifice a bit of gloss in order to gain a safer surface.
It Is An Additional Expense For Homeowners
Sealing a driveway is an additional expense for homeowners. Although it is not as expensive as replacing a driveway, it could cost in the range of $100 to $200 to seal a 20-by-24-foot driveway. The cost of sealing the driveway will depend on the quality of the sealant that is used. It is also important to keep in mind that this is a recurring expense as sealants need to be reapplied every couple of years.
It Can Be Time-Consuming
Because driveway sealers only last for a few years before they start wearing off, they need to be reapplied. For homeowners who are tackling this project on their own, this can be time-consuming.
It May Pose An Environmental Hazard
The harsh solvents contained in sealers are dangerous for people as well as their pets and the environment. Therefore, it is important to wear safety gear while applying the sealer and avoid inhaling it. It will also be necessary to take precautions to prevent these chemicals from making their way into nearby landscaping, where they could kill plants and grass.
Professional Driveway Sealing
For homeowners who want to enjoy the benefits of driveway sealing, most of the drawbacks can be avoided by hiring professionals to carry out the work. Although this is more expensive than doing it on your own, it means there will be no need to worry about taking safety precautions and spending time on the work. Professionals can also ensure the right sealer is used to address concerns about ending up with a slippery surface.
Types Of Concrete Sealers
Keep in mind that there are different types of concrete sealers that offer different qualities and suit different budgets. It is important to choose the right sealer for your objectives.
Acrylic Resin Sealers
Sealers that provide a film of acrylic resin are a good value. Some options may be blended with polyurethane, silicone, or epoxy to make it last longer.
Epoxy Or Polyurethane Sealers
These sealers are more expensive than the acrylic varieties, and although they provide an appealing finish, they also create a thicker layer that can be slippery and may prevent the concrete from breathing moisture out.
A penetrating sealer is made of a specialty resin that can penetrate the concrete and create a chemical barrier to water, oil and other contaminants. These are the ideal sealers for cases where you need to protect the surface from stains.
Sealers also come in a range of gloss, or shine, levels. Homeowners can choose anything from a no-gloss or matte sealer to satin, semi-gloss, gloss, or high-gloss varieties. A scale of 1 to 100 is used to indicate the amount of gloss in a sealer, with 100 being the highest level of gloss available.
Get In Touch With The Driveway Professionals
Reach out to the driveway professionals at Dirt Connections for help with all of your residential concrete projects. We offer everything from simple driveway repairs and sealing to leveling, widening and replacement. Our team has the expertise and equipment needed to get your concrete paving project done efficiently and affordably.
Dirt Connections was started with one goal in mind: providing quality residential and commercial construction services to clients on time and on budget. Reach out for more information on how we can support your next project.
For your convenience our estimates are free and by appointment. Call 703-940-9949 for a free estimate today!