Concrete is used for a wide range of commercial and industrial applications. Most commonly, concrete is used in constructing driveways, parking lots, sidewalks, and roads. All concrete is naturally porous to varying degrees. The porosity of the concrete can be controlled using different methods during the mixing process. Porosity makes concrete susceptible to damages caused by external factors such as water retention and freeze-thaw cycles, especially if it’s not properly protected. High-quality concrete sealers are the solution to this problem because they act as a protective barrier between external elements and the paving material.
Advantages of Applying Concrete Sealers
Keeps Moisture Out
Water retention is a common occurrence for unprotected porous concrete, especially during the winter months. As snow and ice melt, the runoff water penetrates the surface of the concrete and goes through a freeze-thaw cycle.
When water freezes, it expands and this creates a tunneling effect that weakens the internal structure of the concrete and causes surface cracks. More water and debris seep through the surface and cause further internal damages such as mould and moss formations.
Concrete sealers form a protective barrier on the surface of the concrete to prevent water retention and subsequent damages.
Surface cracks in concrete act like a gateway for moisture and debris to make their way in and deteriorate the structure from the inside out. To prevent this from happening, it’s important to apply durable waterproofing systems that include high-caliber concrete sealers before the first sign of disrepair. If left untreated for too long, cracks can quickly spread throughout your property and cause expensive damages that are increasingly difficult to repair over time. It’s best to nip this problem in the bud as quickly as possible. Take pre-emptive action by applying a protective sealer coating before any damages occur.
Provides UV Protection
Ultraviolet radiation from constant or even minimal exposure to the sun over long periods of time can break down the polymers and bonding agents in concrete aggregates. This causes structural weakness, cracking, and other subsequent damages. Just like your skin, concrete surfaces require strong UV protection. UV and fade-resistant concrete sealers protect your structure from sun damage and keep it functional for longer periods of time.
Renews Appearance of Concrete
Over time, concrete topcoats can start to fade for a number of reasons, primarily constant sun exposure and usage. Fading shows the age of your concrete and can sometimes be a sign that some maintenance is required. Applying a layer of concrete sealer can help restore the appearance of your structure to its former glory and make it look new again.
Reinforces Concrete’s Durability
Concrete sealers do so much more than just protect your structure from damages caused by external elements like snow and water. They also help to reinforce the durability and stability of your structure. Concrete is already an extremely durable paving and building material on its own. But applying a layer of sealer every two to three years, can extend its lifespan by decades and increase its tension capacity.
Protects Against Stains
Grease, chemical spills, and fluid leaks from vehicles can all stain concrete driveways or parking lots. This is of particular concern for busy concrete parking lots that get a lot of vehicular traffic, auto shops, bus depots, and rest stops for truckers. Chemical compounds in these materials don’t just cause stains, but they can actually erode the concrete aggregate well below the surface of the structure and cause it to break apart.
Concrete sealers form a solid protective barrier or membrane on the surface of the concrete that protects the entire structure and prevents harmful chemicals and hazardous materials from damaging it. This also helps preserve the clean aesthetic of your concrete structure to enhance its curb appeal and make maintenance a lot easier.
Extends the Lifespan of Concrete Slabs
As mentioned, concrete is already a fairly durable and long-lasting building and paving material. In ideal conditions and with proper care, it can last a little under 20 years even without protection. Unfortunately, the world isn’t a perfect place and unexpected damages can still occur. When they do, the repairs will most likely be extensive and costly.
It’s better to protect your concrete driveway or parking lot by sealing it from the beginning. Concrete sealer enhances the appearance and functionality of your structure. And, with proper care and routine maintenance, concrete sealer can also extend the operational lifespan of your surface to 30+ years before it needs to be replaced.
Although concrete sealers are durable and resistant to a variety of abrasive and corrosive materials, they still require some level of maintenance. Some people might view this as one of the few disadvantages of concrete sealers. The reality is that without concrete sealing, your structure will be left exposed to a variety of harmful external elements. In the end, that will cost you more in clean up time and repairs than if you do the minimal amount of upkeep required for concrete sealers.
Concrete sealers are extremely low maintenance and easy to clean. All you have to do is remove dirt, snow, ice, and debris to ensure optimal performance and longevity.
Where to Get High-Quality Concrete Sealers in Toronto, Canada
IMC Distributors is proud to be the exclusive partner of ISOMAT and Nukote Coating Systems in North America bringing our clients top-of-the-line chemical-resistant, anti-abrasion, waterproofing concrete sealers. Our waterproofing slurries, mortars, and admixtures are also designed to provide maximum structural concrete protection. Check out our full line of concrete products or contact us to learn more.