Decorative concrete provides lovely surfaces for patios. It can display different hues and textures that evoke sandstone or slate pavers and other natural substances. While concrete provides resilient ground cover, it does need help in the form of protective sealants which can go over new and existing concrete. Consider the following tips when exploring your sealing options.
Sealing Existing Patios
You may already know the joys of a decorative concrete patio, having cherished one for years. In fact, you may so love your concrete patio's design that you don't want a remodel. However, all cement eventually shows signs of wear and tear. Foot traffic, barbecues, tables and chairs, scorching sun, and spilled food and drink take a toll. They can wear out, fade, scratch, and stain the surface.
Resealing the concrete, though — with a clear or tinted sealant — creates a new lustrous finish with added exposure-protection. You may wonder how you can tell if the old sealant has worn away. Clues include a faded sheen, a weathered look, or else water that soaks in rather than beads on top.
Why Seal New Decorative Concrete?
Many sealants for exterior concrete contain UV filters and stain repellents that help to protect it from fading and stains. If you live in a cold alpine climate, unsealed, porous concrete can absorb water which can then freeze and cause cracks in the concrete. A sealant will block moisture, solar radiation, and protect the surface from abrasion and scratches.
On a patio, the surface needs to retain traction and offer safe grounding even after rainfall. While stamped concrete displays textures that help to create a non-slip and safer patio, a sealant can help matters more. Contractors can apply one with non-slip additives, giving the cement a sheen at the same time.
Types of Sealants for Outdoor Concrete
Your contractor can advise on the type of sealant to spread across your concrete. Some types penetrate and soak into the surface while others form a hard coating over the top. Often acrylic sealants — either water or solvent-based — are used for exterior decorative concrete. They dry relatively quickly and create a protective cover that preserves the concrete's colour. You'll also have sheen-level options, ranging from matte to glossy.
Thus, concrete sealing will help both new and existing patios, protecting them from wear and tear with a lustrous new finish. You'll prolong the flooring's life, and you can make it safer at the same time.