Is it OK not to seal concrete driveway?

Author: Jadyn Paucek  |  Last update: Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Concrete surfaces like driveways, walkways or sidewalks, in a general sense, do not have to be sealed or protected to perform well. As a matter of fact, a concrete driveway will last for years without being sealed, but once it begins to deteriorate it can be too late to stop it.

What happens if you don't seal your concrete driveway?

A sealed concrete driveway can last much longer than an unsealed carport. Although a driveway that hasn't been sealed takes time to breakdown, its deterioration is inevitable. The primary reason concrete doesn't last as long without sealer is that it's a porous material.

What happens if you don't seal concrete?

An unsealed concrete floor is going to be more reactive and sensitive to changes in temperature. It will freeze in cold climates and expand in warm ones. This can cause crumbling, chipping, and cracking.

Do I really need to seal my concrete driveway?

Concrete performs quite adequately if it is never sealed at all, but applying a good quality sealer every few years will extend its life and keep it looking good. This is especially true if you have a stained or etched concrete driveway or patio.

Is concrete sealing necessary?

While you can expect that sort of life from your concrete, you'll likely end up replacing it sooner if you don't protect it. Without sealant, it'll suffer from discoloration, cracking or even crumbling. But when you opt to seal your concrete, you increase the chance that your concrete will last for those 25-30 years.

Curing vs. Sealing Concrete | What's the Difference?

Should concrete be sealed or unsealed?

Concrete can be described as a hard sponge that soaks up oil and water-based spills. Easily marked by tires and outdoor elements, it is important to seal the surface, so it looks beautiful year-round. The other benefit to sealing concrete is improved cleaning and maintenance.

Is driveway sealing pointless?

Not sealing your driveway leads to bitumen loss which leads to water penetrating down to the base causing it to fail which in turn causes potholes and cracks. Once the cracking and pothole cycle begins it's very difficult or impossible to stop.

Is it worth it to seal your own driveway?

Yes, it is a necessity as you need to protect your valuable asset. If you want your driveway to last, sealcoating is the way to go. Unprotected asphalt leads to cracks and potholes that can severely damage your foundation.

What time of year is best to seal concrete?

After discussing the factors you need to look for and the regional location of the project, in broad terms, Spring is in fact the best time of year to seal concrete. With its moderate temperatures and humidity levels, it tends to provide ideal conditions for the application and curing of sealers.

Can you seal concrete years later?

A: Yes! Old concrete can be sealed for the first time or resealed if it has been previously sealed with a concrete sealer. Before sealing old concrete you want to make sure you determine if the concrete has been previously sealed.

Is it too late to seal concrete?

It's Never Too Late …

Sealing your garage floor might not be possible if you have moisture in your garage. This is typically the only scenario where we don't recommend sealing right away, mainly because you should deal with the cause of the moisture first. It could be due to a plumbing leak or a drainage issue.

Does sealing concrete make it look better?

Sealing concrete also enhances its appearance, giving it a much smoother and better-looking surface, which ultimately increases the value of your property. Overall, there are numerous advantages that come with properly sealing your concrete surface - not least of which is time saved on costly repairs!

How long do you have to stay off a concrete driveway after it is sealed?

But if you want to drive on it, then you have to wait a minimum of 12 hours for it to dry and cure. If it's overcast or if rain is in the forecast, then the drying and curing process will definitely take much longer. For optimum results, we recommend that you use your driveway 48 to 72 hours after sealcoat was applied.

What is the disadvantage of concrete driveway?

The Cons of Concrete Driveways

Unlike other types of driveway materials, concrete cannot be resurfaced, repaired, or minorly patched up. Even though concrete does not begin to crack for many years, once it does it has to be removed and replaced. Also, concrete is more expensive than both gravel and asphalt.

How long should you wait to seal a new concrete driveway?

If your concrete is new, you'll need to let it cure; wait at least one month before applying sealer. Before you apply it, check the weather. Sealer needs to be applied in dry conditions because it won't adhere to damp concrete.

Is it better to spray or brush driveway sealer?

Among the two most common methods of applying driveway sealers, spraying is preferred for its consistency and uniformity. Brush application relies heavily on manual techniques, such as squeegeeing and hand painting to apply the sealer evenly.

Should I seal my concrete driveway after pressure washing?

Use Concrete Sealer After Power Washing

Think of your driveway like one big sponge. It soaks up everything! An effective pressure wash cleans the pores of your concrete. Make sure to apply concrete sealer after pressure washing.

What are the benefits of sealing a concrete driveway?

Here are some benefits you can get when using concrete sealing.
  • Repels Moisture. Concrete, though considered a long-lasting material, will get damaged from the inside if exposed to constant moisture. ...
  • Deters Color to Fade. ...
  • Prevents Cracks. ...
  • Resists Stains. ...
  • Lasts Longer. ...
  • Maintenance.

Does sealing a driveway make it smooth?

Seal coating allows for a smoother, crack-free driveway, and because smoother pavements extend pavement life by as much as 10% to 25%, you won't have to worry about replacement or repairs for a much longer period of time.

How long does sealer last on a driveway?

We recommend that you have your asphalt driveway resealed every 2-3 years at maximum. Waiting any longer could result in faster deterioration of your pavement. And doing it too often (i.e. annually) could result in chipping and flaking.

What happens if it rains after sealing driveway?

Rain can wash away all of the hard work that you put into your driveway. The sealer will be washed away by the rain if you don't wait long enough for it to dry.

What are the pros and cons of sealing concrete?

  • It improves the appearance of the concrete driveway. ...
  • It's easy to DIY. ...
  • It improves the concrete's stain-resistance. ...
  • It protects it from sunlight and moisture. ...
  • It extends the life of the concrete. ...
  • Sealed concretes are easy to maintain. ...
  • It makes the concrete slippery. ...
  • You get exposed to harsh chemicals.

How long does concrete sealing last?

Acrylic Concrete Sealers: Acrylic sealers last 1-3 years before they need to be re-coated. Epoxy Coatings: Epoxy coatings last 5-10 years before they need to be re-coated. Urethane Coatings: Urethane coatings last 5-10 years before they need to be re-coated.

Will power washing remove concrete sealer?

A strong enough power washer will blast most types of sealer off of concrete with ease. The trick is to make sure to pressure wash the entire surface area. For more sturdy sealers, it may take a few passes with the pressure washer to get it completely removed.

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