Common Problems When Applying Concrete Driveway Sealer
Applying concrete driveway sealer every couple of years is a key part of ensuring that your driveways are properly maintained. However, the application process is not always as easy as it seems – there are some common issues that can arise. If you don’t know how to rectify the problem, this can cause a lot of frustration. To help avoid this, let’s look at some of the most common problems that homeowners can face when applying concrete driveway sealer.
It is often common to see your sealer bubbling or notice the presence of bubbles in your sealer. The cause for this issue is simple – over-application of the sealer. When you apply too thick a layer of your concrete driveway sealer, the air trapped in the surface cannot escape, resulting in the presence of bubbles.
Another cause for bubbling in hot weather. If the concrete is being sealed under direct sunlight, the sealer surface can dry before the solvent has evaporated. The trapped solvent will continue to try to evaporate, resulting in the formation of bubbles. This is why it is recommended that you apply a concrete driveway sealer on a cooler day or when your driveway is not receiving direct sunlight.
Peeling and Flaking
If you improperly apply a solvent-based sealer, you risk ‘blushing’ or whitening of the sealer. This happens due to two reasons.
The first is if you are applying a sealer to wet concrete. In this situation, the sealer will be trapped under the water and will not bond to the concrete surface.
The second cause is if too thick a layer of the sealer is applied. Heavy application, or a build-up of sealer over the years, results in water being trapped under the surface of the sealer. Over time, the sealer no longer adheres to the concrete. This results in the sealer appearing white to the eye.
Over time, the ‘blushing’ sealer will peel or flake from the surface of the concrete. In order to avoid this issue, make sure that the sealer is applied properly and that you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when applying.
If the sealer you are using has been manufactured using an acrylic polymer, it likely will not provide great chemical and stain resistance. This means that there is a greater risk of your sealer being stained from the action of oil, fertilizer, debris like leaves, the force of your tires, etc.
In order to avoid this, opt for epoxy or urethane-based sealer. Furthermore, make sure that you are using a sealer that is meant for outdoor use before applying it to your driveway.
Blotchy and Dark Concrete
If you’re using an acrylic sealer, keep in mind that it will likely darken the concrete and impart a glossy, ‘wet’ look to the surface. It will deepen the true color of your concrete and bring out the grain, similar to the action that varnish has on wood. If you want the color of your concrete to remain the same even after using the sealer, make sure that the concrete driveway sealer that you are using is a penetrating, water-repellent sealer. Alternatively, do a small test application in order to determine whether or not the color change will be acceptable for you.
If you are concerned about your ability to apply concrete driveway sealer without damaging the look of the concrete, contact Xpedite Coatings at (713)365-0444 today. We are available to answer any questions that you might have or help guide you on how to properly apply a concrete sealer.