The sealing of masonry and concrete can be a very important aspect of your project- although most customers are not aware of this process, and most do not choose to make this application. Let’s go over a few types of sealing applications.
In the past, exposed aggregate concrete was perhaps 30% of all concrete out there in North Texas. This is concrete that has that rock pebble look; you do not see any smooth gray concrete. Often when having this type of concrete completed it may not turn out the way you might hope, this could be because the pebbles do not give very thick coverage and a lot of the grayish concrete may show through. Sealing exposed aggregate with a special sealant that is designed especially for this type of concrete will turn it into a very nice looking slab. The sealant has a brown tint that makes the grayish background go away completely and the pebbles will have a look that brings out their natural colors. Also when we pour new exposed aggregate next to existing exposed aggregate it will never match, both sections of the concrete, old and new may look nice- but will look very different. When sealing this, the sealant along with the special tint will help blend the two sections of concrete and help the older section of concrete look new again. Talking about older concrete only, if you have an exposed concrete patio or driveway and want to spruce it up, we can power wash it! We will apply the special exposed aggregate sealant, and your concrete will look almost new and sometimes better than it did when it actually was.
When pouring stamped concrete or staining concrete, we always seal the concrete. Often I will see a project completed that was stamped or stained that is only a year old and it’s dull and not colorful at all. This happens when a contractor does not use the proper sealant, it’s so important to seal stamped concrete and stained concrete with the proper sealant. There are many sealants out there that contractors will purchase at a big box store and at first it looks great, and on certain surfaces, the sealant may even last, but not on stamped or stained concrete. Special, industrial strength sealants should always be used, these are non-toxic, they are safe, and should always be used when applying to stamped or stained concrete. When using these types of sealants, the look that makes your concrete just pop with beauty should last years. If there is a lot of foot travel daily, the sealant should not need a new application for at least 7-8 years.
Just like so many items within custom concrete work, if cheap materials are used, you as the customer will not know- it’ll look the same, but in a very short time, your project will loose it’s luster fairly quickly and then you really pay the price. If the estimate was much lower than others, use caution, cheap materials are probably figured into the mix.