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When To Apply Concrete Cure And Seal?

Are you working on a small project at home, like a patio or deck? Are you wondering if you can use concrete and seal it afterward? We researched to give you detailed information. Check out when to consider applying concrete and sealing it. 

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You can apply concrete cure and seal to all projects with freshly poured concrete, such as a patio or deck, driveway or parking space, and concrete pathways. Spring is the best time to do it. Concrete needs to undergo a curing process of 14 days to a month before sealing it.

Sealing lengthens the lifespan of your concrete and protects the entire pour. It has a coating membrane that strengthens your pour and prevents abrasion or damage to your concrete.

Learning the best time to consider applying concrete cure and seal is necessary, considering how important the timing is. Stick on this page to discover more about concrete cure and seal, how to use it, and how to maintain it.

Applying Concrete Cure And Seal

Concrete cure and seal are used on a freshly poured surface to improve the curing process. It keeps moisture on the surface and within the fresh pour and helps the concrete to cure to its maximum hardness.

In general, apply concrete cure and seal any freshly poured concrete. Here are some projects or instances where you should apply concrete cure and seal:

  • When you pour a fresh concrete patio or deck
  • When you put fresh concrete on your driveway or parking area
  • When you apply fresh concrete to repair cracks on concrete flooring or broken walkways
  • When you put freshly concrete on concrete stairs or residential substrate
  • When you pour freshly concrete as stamped concrete

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Concrete Pouring & Curing Process

concrete patio rebar pour close up

Concrete is a combination of cement, water, and sand or gravel. A well-mixed concrete helps in the proper curing process and a stronger build. It also ensures smooth pouring. 

The curing process is when the freshly poured concrete should be provided with moisture, the correct temperature, and the needed time to achieve the best result. The process needs temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit and takes at least 14 days. The time depends on the certain application, which can be longer than 14 days.

Best Time To Seal Concrete

seal concrete wall large brush close up

Ensure the concrete has finished its curing and drying process before applying the concrete seal. Prematurely adding a seal can cause cracks or breaks in the concrete and cause you concrete surface to be weaker than it should be. 

Usually, wait about a month for the concrete to completely cure and dry. It is recommend to seal concrete in spring. Fall and winter are not desirable seasons to seal your concrete. Spring provides you with the moderate temperature and comfort you need to finish your sealing task.

You can reseal concrete every 2 years.

Types Of Concrete Sealers

Concrete sealers can be separated into two major types, the "wet look" and the 'dry look" sealers. The wet look or concrete film formers create a film on the concrete surface, making it look glossy and wet. They are mostly made of acrylic or rubber-based compounds. Wet look sealers create a varnished look after coating the concrete flooring. It is more affordable than dry look sealers but needs multiple re-coatings.

The other type is the dry look or penetrating sealer. This sealer penetrates the concrete and has a dry look and water repellant. Its main content is silane or siloxanes. These ingredients work to perforate pores. While it is more expensive, it has a longer lifespan.

Check out this wet-look sealer on Amazon.

How To Apply Concrete Sealer

Applying a concrete sealer is the next thing you should do after the curing process. However, you can decide to seal your concrete months after you have poured the concrete.

Tools To Prepare

coat concrete wall cement polymer waterproofing, When To Apply Concrete Cure And Seal?

After pouring fresh concrete, you have to seal the concrete. Here's the list of the tools you need to gather for sealing:

  • A sweeper
  • A garden hose and nozzle
  • A concrete sealer
  • A sprayer

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Steps To Apply

close outdoor floor cleaning high pressure

Here are the steps for a proper sealing application:

  1. Clean the concrete surface. Remove the dirt and debris with a sweep. Then, power wash the surface with a garden hose and nozzle. Spray away the remaining dirt at a distance from the surface to not damage the concrete. Let it dry for 2 to 4 hours on a sunny day.
  2. Choose your concrete sealer. You can purchase a high-quality sealer from your local hardware store. 
  3. Apply the sealer. Spraying is the fastest and easiest way to apply your sealer. Other methods are brushing or using a roller. Spraying gives you an even coating and ensures the right sealer application on the concrete surface. Apply your sealer until it starts to become light white.
  4. Cure and dry your seal. Let your seal cure and dry for 24 hours without walking on or driving over it. Afterward, check uneven surfaces or spots you miss spraying to seal the concrete. Spray it with a sealer and wait for another 24 hrs. for it to fully dry.

Check out this sprayer for concrete on Amazon.

How To Maintain Concrete

repairing driveway crack cement tube scraper

A well-maintained concrete generally results in a longer lifespan. Here are ways you can keep your concrete looking still new:

  • Regularly clean your concrete surface yearly to remove dirt, rust, and stains. Sweep off some visible dirt every once in a while.
  • Regularly check your concrete surface for any cracks or breaks. Cracks cause further issues with the subgrade. Patch a small crack with a caulk or crack sealant. It is easy to use with its squeeze tube or caulking gun.
  • Seal the concrete joints to protect the concrete from water penetrating through the joints, not allowing dirt to build up in the joints, and prevent weeds from sprouting or sprouting throughout your concrete surface.
  • It's essential to seal your concrete surface. It makes the surface water repellant and prevents dust from sinking into the concrete. It is also abrasive-resistant and UV-resistant.

Check out this concrete sealant on Amazon.

What Are The Benefits Of Concrete Cure And Seal?

Concrete cure and seal has noticeable benefits. Applying it to your freshly poured concrete project will make your work more satisfying, and you can enjoy your concrete surface generally without damage for a long time. Here are some more of its positive sides:

  • Lengthens the lifespan of your concrete
  • Moisture protection
  • Adds durability
  • Keeps the color enhancement safe
  • Simple and easy application
  • Affordability
  • It gives a fresh or revitalized look to your concrete.
  • It slows down damage from UV rays.
  • Keep stains, such as oil, dirt, or salt, from the concrete surface.

Do You Need Two Coats Of Concrete Sealer?

It is advisable to apply two coats of concrete sealer. The first coating serves as a primer. The concrete will absorb the first spray application and may leave you with an incomplete look. The second application will make the concrete surface glossy with a visible coating and even overall appearance.

What Happens If You Put Concrete Sealer On Too Thick?

Layers of concrete sealer on your concrete will gain moisture over time. This will cause it to lose its stick to the concrete and creates a white appearance that soon peels or flakes off. You can also see bubbles if you over-apply sealer, which leaves you with an unattractive surface. 

How Long Does Sealer On Concrete Last?

Different concrete sealers have different lifespans. The concrete sealer with the shortest lifespan is the acrylic topical sealant. It needs re-application every 1 to 3 years, while epoxy and urethane sealants need re-application after 5 to 10 years, depending on the traffic load of the concrete.

Summing Up

coat concrete wall cement polymer waterproofing

The best time to apply concrete cure and seal is springtime, with a moderate temperature and a bright sunny day. A temperature of more than 50 degrees Fahrenheit is required to cure the concrete properly for at least 14 days. Allow your sealing to dry for 24 hours before putting another coat for uneven spots.

Discover more about maintaining concrete in these posts:

How Long Should Concrete Cure Before Hanging A Gate?

Should A New Garage Floor Be Sealed?