Sealing your decorative concrete is an important part of the installation process for several reasons:
- As concrete is a porous material it can absorb stain-causing contaminants if it is not sealed. By sealing your concrete, a protective layer can help to keep the concrete clean and looking new for longer.
- Sealing can protect concrete from weather exposure.
- An outdoor sealer might help to bring out the colour of your decorative concrete and enhance its aesthetic appeal.
This short list shows why an outdoor sealer should be applied as your decorative concrete is installed. Surprisingly, not every concrete installer offers sealing as a standard part of their service. Therefore, you should never assume your decorative concrete has been properly sealed after it has been poured. Before you choose an installer, it’s important you ask them if sealing is all part of the service. While you’re at it, it might be a good idea to enquire about other key components of the installation, including:
- Will you use plastic between the ground and the concrete?
- What sort of steel reinforcement and steel mesh do you use?
- Do you use the recommended membrane method when curing decorative concrete?
- Where will the control joints be placed?
- Will you still pour on a hot and windy day? (The answer should be NO, but steps can be taken if a pour is time-critical)
- May I please see recent customer references, and some of the work you’ve completed?
Your decorative concrete should have a big and positive impact on the appearance of your home. For this to happen, it has to be installed correctly in every respect, including the use of an outdoor sealer. You have every right to be picky when choosing an installer who will do a complete job. Reputable suppliers of decorative concrete might be able to help you in this respect by recommending good installers in your area. It’s in the best interests of your concrete supplier to ensure their product looks its best once it is installed, so they will probably be very fussy about who they recommend to carry out the project.
Sealing your decorative concrete while it is being installed should not be a one-off. Resealing every two years is recommended, depending on traffic and resulting abrasion. Sealing every step of the way, either during installation or in the years ahead, will help to maximise the impact that decorative concrete can have on a property. When you see the end result, and the wow factor decorative concrete can provide, then sealing with a high quality outdoor sealer, and taking the time to find the right installer, is well worth it.