Applying Your Sealer
March 19th, 2018

Before applying sealer to concrete, you’ll need to ensure that the concrete is in an ideal condition. In this post, we’ll cover all the possible environmental conditions that can negatively effect the end result of the sealing process. If you avoid these pitfalls in your sealing process, your concrete will look clean and beautiful for years.

Preparing your concrete

The surface must be clean and free of dirt and other particles, and chemical cleaning and power washing before sealing is recommended. Here’s our step-by-step cleaning process that will help ensure that your sealing process is successful.

First, we recommend using Crystal Simple Green to clean the surface of your concrete.  Crystal Simple Green has the power to remove any mineral deposits caused by hard water as well as removing any haziness or discoloring that will keep your sealed concrete from looking its absolute best. The less powerful version (known only as Simple Green) of this product is available at any home improvement store, though it will need to be used at a higher concentration than the Crystal variety. Contact us with any questions you might have.

  1. Dilute Crystal Simple Green to a 10:1 ratio in a plastic sprayer (parts water to one part Crystal Simple Green)
  2. Wet concrete completely
  3. Generously spray the diluted mixture on the wet concrete
  4. Let the mixture rest 10-15 minutes—try to apply between 50 and 75°F. If the surface is too hot, the mixture could evaporate.
  5. Scrub thoroughly with a stiff-bristle broom
  6. Pressure wash the concrete
  7. Let dry 24 hours (explanation below)
  8. If no haze or smokiness develops on the surface of the concrete, you’re ready to apply!

If haziness or whiteness on the surface of the concrete persists after this process, please contact us and we will help troubleshoot your issues.

Wet concrete can be a problem as well. When sealer is applied to wet or damp concrete, the result is usually cloudiness or white spots like the example below:

To avoid this clouding, allow the concrete to dry at least 24 hours after washing, as recommended above.


Weather conditions

Acrylic sealers can be temperamental in terms of temperature and direct sunlight. High temperatures and sunlight can disrupt the sealant’s drying process, and cause visible issues such as bubbling. To avoid this, apply acrylic sealers out of direct sunlight, between temperatures of 50° and 75° F.

We recommend that acrylic sealers be applied in the early morning or late evening hours in order to avoid high temperatures and direct sunlight.

Lifetime silicone sealers are more resilient to different application temperatures, and can even be applied to -20° F.


The application process

Acrylic sealers can be applied a number of ways, most commonly with a sprayer or paint roller. The advantages of these two methods of application vary from job to job, and we are available to answer specific questions about conditions you are dealing with.

Be sure that if you apply sealer with a sprayer that it is rated to withstand the solvents in the mixture without leaking or degrading. If you choose to apply sealer with a common paint roller, apply only one coat at a time and avoid back-rolling over areas that have been sealed.

As always, feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.