Why Seal Stamped Concrete
To the untrained eye, your stamped concrete surface may look fine, save for some wear and tear – but over time all concrete can and will degrade. Really, the answer is simply this you need to protect your investment.
Sealing is recommended if your new concrete driveway has cured or whether it has been a few years since you put in the concrete. You can tell that it has been sealed due to its glossy sheen. If it looks faded and old, you may want to know how to reseal stamped concrete to make it look new again.
Your surface will be exposed to all kinds of elements such as leaves, dirt, fertilizer, pet urine, and chlorine salts. The right type of concrete sealer will keep these elements off, stop them from penetrating the surface, and prevent ugly stains. If your house is located in an area with colder climates, the chances of freeze-thaw damage will be reduced if the concrete is sealed. Freeze-thaw damage happens when the water that has been absorbed by the surface first freezes, and then expands, causing cracks in the surface that will need to be repaired with crack filler.
What the concrete sealant does in this case is stop the water from penetrating the surface, causing it to bead up. If you do not see beads on the concrete surface, you might want to seal your stamped concrete again. You also need to re-seal surfaces which see a lot of heavy traffic.
Two Clean Remnants Of Paint Grease Or Oil Stains
In case the regular cleaning did not get rid of the old paint stains on your patio, you will have to resort to another method. First, try to blast the surface with sand or dry ice to remove this. If there are other stains possibly from some grease or oil on the patio that remains stubborn when you cleaned the surface, you may have to employ a different technique to get rid of it.
Get a bucket of water and add detergent to it. Pour this detergent mixture all over your patio and get a stiff brush to scrub out the grease and oil stains. In case this too does not work for you, try to use a grease solvent instead.
In case the grease stains has already penetrated the pores of the concrete, it will be even tougher to get rid of it. For such problems, you can try applying a small amount of muriatic acid to the surface. After you are done with this, rinse off all remnants of the soapy water, grease solvent, paint residue, or muriatic acid and allow the surface to dry.
How Do You Clean A Patio Without A Pressure Washer
If you want to clean a patio without a pressure washer, youll need to opt for one of the methods above. A soapy solution can be all thats required for patio cleaning, and if youre not sure whats best, why not start with this method, as youll likely have everything you need to get on with your patio cleaning right away.
Most of us have vinegar in the store cupboard as well, so this is the cleaning remedy to try if stains remain after youve used soapy water and a stiff brush. Worried about the smell if you use vinegar? Dont be. It will disperse rapidly after youve rinsed the patio.
A specialist patio cleaner is your friend if these methods dont cut it, but always check its suitable for the material from which your patio is constructed .
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Hiring Professional Concrete Cleaners
If youve tried every product you could find to remove a stain on concrete and nothing is working, there are services available to homeowners who desire some extra strength.
Professional cleaners often used powerful chemicals like muriatic acid that break down oil stains easier than other compounds.
Your concrete driveway, garage floor, or patio will inevitably endure a few stains. Skills like knowing how to pressure wash concrete help to keep your concrete looking like it was freshly poured. The sooner youre able to spot a stain, the easier it is to remove.
Sometimes cleaning concrete is a hassle with not enough time in the day to get to it. If thats the case, apply a sealer to your concrete to fill the pores and keep stains off.
Regardless of which action you decide to take, your concrete and homes curb appeal are left in better condition than before.
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A Traditional Concrete Finish
Exposed aggregate is a finish for exterior concrete that has been around for a long time but has seen a significant resurgence in popularity over the past five years. Although technically not considered “decorative concrete”, it’s a nice look whose appeal resides in the use and exposure of fine aggregate, like sand and quartz, and medium aggregate, particularly round “pea gravel”, of varying colors, at the surface of the concrete. This “natural stone” look is enhanced upon application of clear sealer to protect the concrete, which deepens the color tones, and provides a “wet look”.
Exposed aggregate concrete is similar to “polished concrete” in this respect. The main differences are that exposed aggregate is used outside, and consists of a rough and uneven finish, for slip resistance in wet conditions, while polished concrete is used inside, and is ground flat to provide a more finished look, and to ease maintenance. A third significant difference is that exposed aggregate, because it is outside and subject to direct sunlight and harsh weather conditions, needs to be resealed more often than polished concrete. Intense UV rays from the sun, repeated wet-dry cycles, and periodic freeze-thaw conditions quickly break down even the most durable of clear sealers.
Improperly sealed, exposed aggregate concrete driveways often take on a blotchy, dull look after even just one winter. If you just reseal over this, without stripping first, it won’t go away.
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Pea Gravel Stamped Concrete Patio:
Whether you want to redo your old-designed patio or want to install a new one, it is one of the best stamped concrete design options. The project can be implemented easily. You can bring unique texture and more of an organic sensation to your patio with a pea gravel design. You can place a pair of chairs with cushions on one side of the patio to add on the extra beauty.
How Do I Apply The Sealer
This is what I use to apply the sealer. It’s the Chapin Extreme 3.5 gallon Stainless Steel Sprayer.
You need a good sprayer! If you use a cheap one, the solvents in the sealer will destroy the seals and make the sealer useless.
This sprayer has special seals that won’t get damaged when you use a solvent based sealer.
You can also get this on Amazon.
This pump up sprayer also has a very fine tip that gives you a nice evenly sprayed surface. Other sprayers tips just spray out too much sealer and you end up with an uneven look and too much sealer on the surface.
We clean out the sprayer after each use with the same solvent that’s in the sealer and you can re-use it over and over again for years.
Just dump in 8 – 10 oz after you empty out any left over sealer, pump it up and spray it out. Repeat one more time and your sprayer, and the tip, is clean.
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What To Use For Cleaning A Concrete Patio Floor
The method you use for cleaning your patio will depend on how heavily stained or soiled it is. A mild soap or vinegar solution, hose and a stiff broom are what most people use to clean hardscapes.
Heavily soiled or stained patio will need a pressure washer machine for a fast and effortless cleaning. But the machine requires a skill to prevent damaging your surfaces.
Patios in humid areas badly suffer mold and algae infestations and a household cleaner such as vinegar, baking soda or bleach may be used for cleaning the fungus. Concrete patios should be kept dry to prevent future growth of mold, algae or moss.
When using bleach or vinegar to clean your outdoor areas, it is good to be aware that these household chemicals has a potential to kill plants and weeds. Bleach specifically can also be harmful to other living organisms including yourself.
When Is It Time To Reseal A Concrete Patio
Even when properly applied to a clean well-profiled surface, a sealer will wear away over time. The average service life is three to five years, depending on foot traffic, weather, and other exposure conditions. Resealing a concrete patio on a regular basis will help to preserve its color and resilience.
There are several ways you can tell when a patio needs a new coat of sealer. Has the surface lost its sheen? Does water soak in rather than bead up on top? Is the finish beginning to show signs of wear? If the answer to all of these questions is yes, its time to reseal.
Often all you need to do is to give the concrete patio a good soap and water cleaning, followed by a light reapplication of the same sealer used initially. However, if you are switching to a different brand or type of sealer, most manufacturers recommend removing all traces of previously used sealers because the products may not be compatible. Never apply a solvent-based sealer over a water-based product because the solvent can eat away or soften the existing water-based sealer. For more information, read our guide to cleaning and sealing exterior decorative concrete.
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How To Clean Concrete Steps
Cleaning concrete steps is easy! First, sweep and rinse them down to remove all debris. Then create a paste using a mix of Tide Oxi or Oxi Cleanyou can ignore the ratios on the box and instead put a scoop into the bucket and add water slowly until the mixture resembles the thickness of peanut butter. Use a hand brush and scrub the steps, then rinse with a hose.
So, now that you know how to clean concrete, what do you do with your concrete once its clean? You can do what I did and paint your concrete with this easy DIY concrete painted rug! Its super easyand super cute! Enjoy!
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How To Clean Your Patio With Bleach
Cleaning your patio with bleach provides a little extra oomph over soapy water. Bleach gets into all the dirty cracks and helps to improve the appearance of your patio slabs dramatically. It can help you get rid of moss, algae and weeds.
Cleaning a patio with bleach is easy once you know how, but it can be dangerous. First, youll need to make sure that theres no run-off of the bleach onto any surrounding plant life. Plants that come into contact with bleach will die.
Second, bleach isnt suitable for man-made concrete slabs only natural paving stones. Bleach will fade artificial slabs over time. Lastly, youll need to wear protective clothing to stop the bleach from getting on your skin.
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How Do Sealers Improve Patio Appearance
In addition to protecting colored concrete patios from fading, a sealer can also enhance and intensify the color. Depending on the type of sealer you apply, your options range from a natural matte finish to a high-gloss sheen.
Chemically reactive sealers are nearly invisible because they penetrate into the concrete, making them great choices for concrete patios that are stamped to replicate weathered stone. Water-based acrylic resin sealers will provide greater color enhancement and a low-gloss satin finish. And solvent-based acrylic sealers and epoxies will give concrete a high-gloss wet look and significantly deepen the color. There are also sealers specifically formulated to enhance the beauty of natural stone in exposed aggregate concrete .
Here are several examples of stamped and stained concrete patios that were enhanced by the application of a sealer:Tiered Concrete Patio Mimics Grouted Stone
What About Sealed Or Stamped Concrete
Most professionals recommend not using anything besides water and a little soap for sealed or stamped concrete. The purpose of sealing concrete is protect it and make it easier to clean. Our DIY concrete patio cleaner should not be used on sealed concrete. Double check with the person who installed your sealed concrete or a local professional if you have this special type of concrete to see what they suggest.
This DIY in our post today will be best for regular concrete surfaces.
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Finishing Touches For Retrofitting
After the concrete has had time to dry and cure, the installation can be finished. This includes removing any protective wrapping from the drains that was in place to prevent damage to the drain.
You can also take this time to test the drain to ensure everything is properly connected and working accordingly. Once it has been determined that everything is in working order, you can continue on with setting up your facility. This includes adding any protective floor coatings, like epoxies, and moving in facility equipment.
The most critical element to this entire process is taking your time to ensure that everything is done properly.
If you have any questions about the installation process or would like to learn more about how slot drain systems can benefit your facility, contact one of our drainage experts today.
FoodSafe Drains contains numerous articles for food and beverage facilities researching the best types of drain systems for their applications.
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My Recommendation For The Best High Gloss Sealer Is:
This acrylic high gloss sealer will give your stamped concrete a very shiny look.
This is a low maintenance sealer that is easy to re-coat.
You can also use this sealer for garage floors, concrete floors, pavers and concrete previously sealed with solvent based acrylic sealers.
You can apply this sealer by pump up sprayer or roll it on.
Use the Chapin Stainless Steel Sprayer to apply it with.
Will Sealing The Concrete Make It Slippery?
A penetrating sealer doesnt leave any kind of film on the surface, so it wont make your concrete any more slippery than before you sealed it other than the water beading up on the surface.
A topical sealer leaves a very thin film of sealer on the surface and could make it slightly slipperier when it gets wet.
If this is a concern, just add a non-slip additive to the sealer when you apply it to help make the surface less slippery.
These are the 3 basic types of topicalstamped concrete sealers
Acrylic film forming sealers are the easiest to apply. They can be used on interior or exterior stamped concrete.
Acrylic sealers provide good protection against water and chemical damage. They are UV resistant, non yellowing, fast drying, and come in high or low gloss levels.
Acrylics offer a softer surface and are usually the least expansive.
Urethane film forming sealers go on about twice as thick as the acrylic sealer and provides excellent protection against chemicals and abrasives.
See how I do it HERE.
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Removing Fertilizer Stains From A Concrete Patio
Fertilizer from your lawn or planters can leave stains on concrete. The ingredients in fertilizer penetrate and react with the cement, causing a permanent color change. Try using a clear white vinegar, diluted 50:50 with water to bring out the stains. Test in a small area first and be aware that the acid may etch or change the profile of the concrete in the areas you clean.
Apply Two Coats Of Concrete Sealer
Seal the patio with two coats of MasonrySaver® Decorative Concrete Sealer per label directions. The sealer can be applied using a brush and roller or by spraying with a garden variety pump-up type sprayer. Avoid puddling or ponding of the product. Allow adequate time between coats for the sealer to completely dry before applying the second coat. The sealer must be applied within four hours. After four hours of cure time, the sealer is too hard to bond to. Allow a minimum of four hours before subjecting the surface to foot traffic. Full cure of the sealer is achieved within three to four days.
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Stamped Concrete Sealer Stripper
Strip a Stamped Concrete Sealer
Stamped concrete sealers will alter the appearance by giving a wet look and or shine.
Unfortunately, Stamped Concrete Sealers sometimes fail by discoloring and turning milky white or yellow in color and will need to be chemically stripped to fix.
The main ingredient of a Stamped Concrete Sealer Stripper, Methylene Chloride has now been banned for consumer use in the US. The good news is that there are other options that will work. The main difference is a longer dwell time to activate.
Here are the main reasons as to why you will need to strip an old sealer from your Stamped Concrete:
- A Stamped Concrete Sealers can fail by turning white from moisture trapped under the sealer.
- The Stamped Concrete Sealers used was a cheap brand causing the acrylic in the sealer to turn white from the sun.
- A buildup of too many applications of sealer through the years.
- A chemical reaction from pool chemicals nearby