Concrete Sealing

The Importance of masonry maintenance around the home, and how the pro's tackle it.​

I run a concrete sealing company near Cranberry P.A.. Over the years I have seen just how important preventive maintenance is to prolonging the structural integrity of masonry. To explain lets start at the ground and work our way up. I live in Pittsburgh P.A. which is a cold weather climate. This makes it even more important to seal your masonry to protect it from cold weather. These are the steps I take to make sure my customers flat work masonry last them as long as possible.

Clean The Masonry​

Before sealing the masonry must be cleaned. This is typically done by post treating with sodium hypochlorite, and soaps to kill organic growth, and loosen soft stains. I then will use a surface cleaner that I run off of my pressure washer to deep clean and lift any organic growth. After that I post treat with the same solution I pre treat with, and then water broom the masonry after allowing the solution some time to dwell. These is how we typically clean the masonry, however our techniques could change under different circumstances. For instance, if there are rust or fertilizer stains. A heavier duty cleaner will need to be used. If there was previously an acrylic sealer, a stripper will need to be used. If there is disregarded gum on the masonry hot water will need to be used, and so on and so forth.

Sealing with Acrylic Sealer​

Acrylic sealer is what we typically seal stamped and exposed aggregate with. It not only helps protect the masonry, but has cosmetic enhancing features that give a glossy wet look to the masonry. I would highly recommend you to never use this sealer on a regular finished drive way, side walk, or patio though. It only last about two years and usually begins to fail within first year, leaving an ugly scaly look behind. It looks beautiful on exposed and stamped masonry though, and you can’t tell when it begins to fail as much. Some also use this sealer on pavers as well, but more and more companies are coming out with color enhancing penetrating sealers. I believe penetrating sealers to last longer, and no stripping is needed to re apply. You want to apply acrylic sealer when the masonry is dry, and temps are cooler. If it is hot out there is a good chance the masonry will be gassing out which will cause bubbles in the coating. This happens and can be corrected by applying a thin coat of xylene. It will re activate the sealer allowing the trapped air to escape. Some spray this product on, but I find it to leave lines sometimes. I feel it is better to roll on two applications.

Sealing With Penetrating Sealers​

Penetrating sealers have no cosmetic enhancing properties besides keeping the masonry cleaner longer. They too only last about two years and since they are more for winter protection I usually seal towards fall. I want the masonry to be bone dry, and temps to be cool so that the sealer will take deeper. I think by sealing in fall my customers get more for their money. This product is more versatile and can be applied with one coat by means of spraying.

Benefits Of Sealing​

Sealing your masonry will help protect the finish from weathering as fast. It will also help repel water that can saturate your masonry, freeze, expand, and pit or crack it. Its not a guarantee it will protect it, but it does help a lot. With less water saturation you will be taking away the habitat for organic growth to grow back as fast also. Keeping your masonry cleaner longer.

Thank you for reading and if you would ever like a free estimate on pressure washing services near Cranberry PA please feel free to check us out.

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