10 Dec How to Clear Seal Concrete Pattern Imprinted Stamped Concrete Driveways and Patios
There are an awful lot of people who either have had patterned/stamped concrete laid on their driveway or patio and are totally unaware that if not cleaned and sealed every 2 – 2.5 years then it is going to fade and more worryingly start to flake, chip and or break up depending on the quality of the installation. The work required to be done by a professional is not too expensive and this being done when required you should have a fantastic looking drive for 25 – 30 years plus. The other option is if you are willing and able you can do the work yourself and I will explain what is necessary later in the blog.
LET ME MAKE ONE THING CLEAR AT THIS POINT. YOU SHOULD ONLY USE SOLVENT BASED SEALERS ON IMPRINTED/STAMPED CONCRETE. WATER BASED SEALERS DO NOT WORK AND CAUSE ALL SORTS OF ISSUES.
I have mentioned in previous blogs that we would suggest a good jet wash with preferably a commercial machine but if which is likely you haven’t got one then a domestic machine will do a good job. I feel I need to mention that unfortunately in this area of business there are a lot of knock a door characters who will lean on you to do the work and it will be guaranteed till they leave the address. Make sure you can qualify their work and ask for phone numbers of people who they have done work for.
Once you have done the jet washing and the surface is dry and the temperature of the day is good and that there is no rain forecast for the rest of the day you can proceed with the Sealing process.
May we just comment at this moment that there is no physical difference between these two products when it comes to how slippy it may be. They are the same. The slippiness comes from over sealing and/or leaving too much product on the surface. No substrate should have slippiness issues if applied correctly and to the instructions supplied. If on substrates like imprinted concrete or to an extent block paving you can add our Anti-Slip component that will add a considerable deterrent to the slippiness especially when wet.
There may be remedial work needed on the driveway or patio that requires either our Crack Repair Kit or Our Surface Repair Kits. These products I have spoken about in earlier blogs that you will find on our website www.swiss-seal.co.uk
We have got to mention that if you are re-sealing any of the substrates in our sealer range be extremely careful that you test the surface with a product called Xylene to make sure that our range of sealers will adhere with no reaction like chicken skinning or discolouration and peeling. This can happen if alternative sealers like water based, or silicone-based sealers have been used previously. There is little comment about this but it can cause a whole load of problems if a reaction takes place.
You will need the following materials that are necessary for the application process:
- Applicators – Soft Bristled Brush, Broom – You can use a soft bristled wooden brush not acrylic bristles they will melt. This is the cheapest way, but we find that it can be streaky and wasteful.
Roller Kit Complete – This is the best option, a little bit dearer but with the bucket and roller it is much easier to apply and gives an even coating.
Light Pressure Sprayer – This is the most expensive option, but it is much easier on the body when applied and if cleaned will last for many years when sealing is required at later dates.
Paint Brush 100mm – This is necessary for the edges that may cause you problems with the other applicators. You would use this first around the edges and in tight areas.
- Sealer – The sealer you would need to purchase is Our High Solids Imprinted Sealer/Renovator which there is a choice of Gloss (Wet Look) or Matt (Dull). If you feel the surface has been slippy at times, when wet for instance or frosty then we can add in an Anti-Slip which will give it a sandpapery surface that is not visible but will give texture to the area and make it very much less slippy. Our sealer will cover 3 square metres per litre and it comes in 5 litres, 10 litres, 20 litres and 25 litres
- Gloves, Goggles and Face Mask – These are necessary to protect you from splashes or spillages that may end up on your skin which can burn or in your eyes which would need immediate washing out. The face mask is to protect you against the solvent in the sealer which is quite pungent and can cause breathing issues but outside in the open environment there is little to worry about.
Now we are ready to re-seal our driveway or patio. The process is on our website on this link Clear.Imprinted.Concrete.Cleaning.Sealing.Process (swiss-seal.co.uk) but I will also explain the application below.
- Paint Brush 100mm – The best way of keeping the area to be sealed free from mistakes like brushing onto a wall or door or splashing flower beds and such like is to use the paint brush all around the edge of the sealing area possibly 4 – 6 inches into the area to be sealed then
- Broom or Brush – Simply open the container that you have chosen based on your square meter area needed to be sealed. Pour into a bucket or similar with enough depth to submerge the bristles on the brush. Pull the brush out and with a back and forward motion brush the solution onto the surface. Make sure you spread it as evenly as you can, then move to the next section. Repeat this process till the area is fully covered with the sealer.
- Roller Kit Complete – Pour the sealer into the 15-litre shuttle which is part of the kit, make sure there is enough sealer to cover the roller head. Then attach the extendable handle to the metal frame and screw the roller in place in the head. Submerge the roller into the sealer and pull out onto the surface soaked. Then with a back-and-forth movement you can see that you are spreading the solution around. When the roller loses its moisture repeat the process till the whole area is sealed
- Light Pressure Sprayer – This as mentioned is the dearest form of application but by far the easiest. Simply unscrew the plunger of the 8-litre sprayer and fill to 2/3 of the bottle. Then replace the plunger and tighten then plunge the plunger 20 – 30 times to pressurize the unit. When this id done point the nozzle of the sprayer at 45’ to the surface area about 400mm – 450mm above the ground and press the trigger. The sealer will come out in a fan shape, and you just move along as you see it cover the surface. Repeat the process till area sealed
- Then leave to dry. We suggest 4 hours to walk on and 24 hours to drive on. Make sure that during the 4-hour period you keep all traffic off the surface including pets. Possibly tape off the area because it is amazing how many times a postman or leafleteer will unknowingly walk all over it
ISSUES YOU MAY HAVE ATFER SEALING – What this section refers to are issues that can happen if the procedure is not followed to the letter. You will have no problems if you do it as it says and we will explain why:
Blooming – This occurs when either the concrete block is not perfectly dry or that it has rained during the curing period of 10 – 14 hours. This is more annoying than damaging because there is remedy to it. It is called Bloom Remover. Follow the link for more of an explanation and application details basically the sealer will turn white and look damaged or faded.
Salt Issues – This is a situation that happens if the sealing process is done too soon. We recommend that all substrates are left 6 – 8 weeks before sealing to allow any natural salts to escape and wash away naturally. It is fair to say that a number of these products may be kept outside at the merchants of stone suppliers and already be washed through, but this just makes sure it has. Again, to get rid of the issue we turn to Bloom Remover.
AFTERCARE – There is very little you need to do with regards to aftercare. Every so often it would not be a bad idea to jet wash the surface, not too strong. This will remove moss. Algae and other loose impediments that are sat on the surface of the sealed area. Remember that every 2 years or so re-seal the surface with Our High Solids Imprinted Sealer/Renovator or better still Our Coloured High Solids Imprinted Sealer/Renovator
I have added several blogs bespoke to individual substrates to understand and apply the relevant sealer that substrate (Natural Stone. Indian Stone. Block Paving, Man-Made paving, Slate and Granite. Brick and Stone) needed to be used.
They are available on our website www.swiss-seal.co.uk.
REMEMBER THERE ARE OPTIONS TO ADD COLOUR TO MOST OF THE ABOVE MATERIALS IF THEY ARE FADING AND LIFELESS