sealing concrete

How to seal concrete: The Ultimate Guide

It’s important for you to seal concrete properly so that it is resistant to weather exposure, grease, oil and abrasions. Concrete sealers will also bring out the sheer beauty of your concrete, and make it easier to clean. This is why it’s important that concrete sealer is applied properly.

When should you seal concrete?

If you’re thinking about using concrete sealer, it’s important that you understand what the optimum time is to use it on your surfaces. Brand-new concrete should be cured completely; this means it should be left for at least 28 days in most cases.

Concrete sealers usually need to be applied in dry conditions because damp conditions may cause haziness or loss of adhesion to occur. Air temperatures should be maintained for a minimum of 24 hours after the seal has been applied.

Sealer needs to be left to dry fully before it is exposed to traffic, be it from cars being driven on it or people walking over it. In some cases, sealer needs to be left for three days before it is exposed to heavy traffic.

How should you prepare concrete for sealing?

An important aspect of sealing concrete is to prepare it correctly before you apply the seal. Surface preparation for existing concrete is essential, as oil, grease, dirt and dust needs to be removed so the sealer is applied properly.

If sealers have been used previously, then it’s important to remove any trace of the previous sealer before using a new one, as the two sealers may not work together. One recommendation is for an etching solution to be used to etch the surface before application.

How should you seal concrete?

When sealing concrete, it’s important that the right tools are used so that you can achieve the best possible coverage and thickness of the seal to give you the best finished product.

When applying concrete seal, it can be done by using a roller method or a spray method, and this will depend on whether you are using a solvent- or water-based sealer.

Regardless of whether you’re applying the seal using a roller or spray, you should always aim to ensure you achieve maximum coverage of the concrete area.

Best practice recommends that you apply two evenly thin coats on your concrete, giving enough time between each application for both coats to dry. This helps to prevent puddles forming, which creates a seal that becomes uneven. When applying your concrete seal, it’s best to work on small sections at a time, of about 25 square feet. You should apply the seal in thin coats, and drying time is around two hours, but this does vary according to weather conditions and temperature.

What are the benefits of sealing concrete?

There are many benefits for you to seal concrete, and it’s important for you to understand what they are.

As concrete is porous, it absorbs moisture, and if the moisture doesn’t dry, then mould thrives. Concrete that is left wet for a period of time will grow mould, and this will be obvious as a result of a green discolouring on the surface of the concrete. Sealing concrete helps to stop the growth of mould.

If concrete is exposed to elements such as the weather, cracking and scaling can occur. Sealing exterior concrete can enhance the longevity and durability of the concrete, by preventing damage to it.

Concrete can often become discoloured, especially if it’s exposed to harsh weather conditions or high volumes of traffic. This impacts your concrete as well as the appeal of your home or business, as it can look dull, dingy and uninviting. Sealing your concrete can help you to maintain its colour, and protect it from the elements so that it looks as good as new for a longer period of time.

Concrete sealing is an important part of maintaining the look and performance of concrete. To do this properly, it’s important that you adhere to the process of preparing and applying the seal correctly so that you can be sure your concrete looks as good as new and doesn’t get damaged by the elements over the coming years. There are many products available when it comes to sealing concrete, and it’s important that you choose the one that will suit your specific needs. For more advice, speak to us at Logco.

 

concrete release agent

How to choose the right concrete release agent

A concrete release agent provides the barrier needed between a moulding surface and the substrate which leads to more efficient and bespoke production, particularly within the construction and precast industries. It is important to notice that selecting the right concrete release agent for the job in hand can sometimes be a many layered task in itself. With this in mind, below are some tips and hints for choosing concrete release agents for industrial purposes and construction based purposes.

1) Product research

As with any purchase it is critical to research what is out there and how these products can help you achieve your purpose. Some issues to raise with the specific choices involved in purchasing a concrete release agent may be to consider chemicals being produced in the vicinity and your organisation’s capacity to manage these chemical reactions in terms of safety and magnitude. As well as this it is also important to consider your own purpose. Depending on the substrate you have and the application processes you have capacity for, the concrete release agent you might choose will change. Most expert companies such as Logco will sell oil based, wax based and water based products, the implications of which are explained in detail below.

 

2) Water based

These are some of the industry’s newer concrete release agents such as eco-lease ws sold by Logco. Research has shown a need to move away from petroleum and oil based products and towards water based formulations. This may have positive effects for your organisation in terms of health and in terms of carbon footprint, which are not to be sniffed at. Be sure to seek expert advice on this new innovation as it is important to tailor the formula, as with any concrete release agent, to the needs of your work.

 

3) Oil based

With more established oil based concrete release products such as Logco’s general purpose release agent, there are several considerations to take into account. Should this product be quick drying? Should it be high performance? Should it be an emulsion? How best to apply one or all of these options physically i.e. by brush, roller or other method? How best to apply the oil based option logistically i.e. do we need something suited to precast industrial models or GRP or is a general solution the best bet? Some of these points are explained in a little more detail below but as with the water based options and any other purchases for industrial purposes, the best bet is to go to expert solution providers both metaphorically and physically, such as Logco.

 

4) Application method

This will depend very much on your own organisational needs, however there are some points that ring true for all industries and requirements. The best advice would be to sit down and audit all application methods that are feasible within your own requirements. If you have space and are using materials for mould and substrate that would be best suited to a specific application method, such as a sprayer, then it is of critical importance that you factor that in before the necessary purchase. In this way your own materials will be conserved and potentially clients will be happy with the result you have gained for them.

 

5) Consider industrial requirements

This is the final point as it has potential to be the most specific to you. Consider your own service requirements and agreements. Experts like Logco provide solutions for all manner of requirements, be they more general or more specific, such as mould material (a GRP mould will require a different solution to a general site area or plastic mould). Add to this, the fact that you may have your own budgetary requirements in terms of materials as well, and there is potential for a perfect storm of balancing all requirements in terms of concrete release agent. As long as, organisationally, you are aware of the balance of requirements needed from your concrete release agent you can be sure that experts such as Logco will be the best placed people to advise you on solutions that meet your own and your clients’ expectations.

Overall, a concrete release agent purchase doesn’t have to be the headache it may appear to be initially. There is a lot of information out there, but as long as you know what you are looking for in terms of results then there are experts out there who can provide all manner of solutions. As with any purchase the best bet is to inform yourself of your options via these experts and then make the best decision based on that information.