Walking or driving over a new driveway before it’s had time to cure can undo much of the hard work in your new surface.
Concrete is one of the most durable products available for use as a driveway material. It’s also among the most cost effective and customisable options. But that doesn’t mean that its protection and care should be neglected, especially if you want your driveway to hold up for years to come while exposed to the elements.
That’s where driveway sealant becomes so important.
Yet many homeowners and businesses overlook this step as an added cost and another delay in having a workable, functional concrete driveway.
Here, we’re underscoring the importance of driveway sealant and how long it really takes to get this proper protection in place.
If you want to learn more about concrete driveways, check out our resources:
1. How Much Does a Concrete Driveway Cost
2. Asphalt vs Concrete Driveways: Why Concrete Is Often the Better Choice
3. Concrete Driveway Installation
4. What Are The Most Common Types of Concrete Driveways?
5. Modern Concrete Driveway Ideas
What’s the point of driveway sealant?
Concrete is a mix of particles including sand and aggregates that are combined with water and hardened into a solid surface. Yet over time, with exposure to water, varying temperatures, and traffic of all kinds, concrete can start to show signs of literal wear and tear.
Driveway sealant is a protective coating that is added overtop of completely cured and dried concrete to keep it in top notch condition for the long term.
After all, the aggregates and materials that compose concrete can break down over time, lose their bond, and even start to fade. Sealant adds another layer that keeps these elements together while also protecting them from the damage of UV rays (and those harmful rays exist even on Melbourne’s grey and dreary days), moisture, and even chemicals. The result is a longer lasting driveway that also looks great, too.
How long should you stay off your driveway while the sealant dries?
It makes sense that many homeowners are eager to start using their new driveways. And with the standard seven days that it takes for a concrete driveway to cure completely, the last thing anyone wants to do is add another step and potential delay.
However, driveway sealant is easy to apply, added in just hours via a roller or sprayer. Once evenly applied and coated, it takes just 24 hours for the sealant to completely dry.
That means that adding just one more day to the process, you can have a driveway designed to last for decades. Just keep in mind that the process can’t take place in the rain, since the surface must be dry to start with and the goal is for it to dry without extra moisture added. It also needs to be warmer than 14°C for the sealcoating to be applied.
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How long does sealant last on a driveway surface?
Once the driveway is sealed, it isn’t a permanent solution. After all, the sealant’s job is to take the beating from the weather and traffic that it’s protecting the concrete underneath from.
So how long can you expect your sealant to last?
It can vary depending on how much wear and tear the driveway is subjected to, but on average, you will want to reseal your driveway every 2-3 years. The process is super straightforward. Your concrete professionals can apply the new coating right on top of whatever sealant is left on the concrete and, just as the first time, you only need to remain off of the surface for 24 hours to allow it to dry completely.
Can I seal my driveway if it has stains and cracks in it?
Yes, but it might be best to have these issues repaired or addressed before you have the driveway sealed in the first place. Stains, for example, can be removed or at least lessened in appearance by cleaning them with oil spot primers that are brushed into the surface. Even if the stain is not completely eliminated, this can prevent it from wearing into any new sealant that is applied afterward.
Cracks can also be a way for moisture and chemicals to get to the concrete from underneath, later comprising your driveway and the sealant. That’s why most cracks are repaired either with patching or joint sealant. This will minimise the appearance of the damage and give the sealant a smooth surface for application.
Can’t remove stubborn stains? Here’s how to clean the most stained concrete driveway
How to get ready for a driveway sealing service
There’s not much you have to do to get started.
First, you’ll need to choose a professional service that knows concrete just as well as it knows sealing so you can be confident that the job will be done properly. Be sure to inquire about how many years they have been in business and whether all of their workers are licensed and insured so you can have peace of mind.
The driveway itself just needs to be cleared of cars, toys, decorations, and any other belongings that are usually stored or parked there. You do not need to clean or wash the driveway prior to having it sealed. A professional concreting service will take the appropriate measures to prepare the surface before the sealant is applied. If your driveway is particularly dirty, you can ask about whether power washing the surface should be done in advance, but this is rarely required especially for new driveway installations.
Let Concept Concrete sealcoat your new or existing driveway
Sealcoating will prolong the life of your driveway for years and years to come, protecting it from traffic, temperatures, weather, chemicals, and everything else life throws its way. Proper installation by a professional service that offers a guarantee on their work is a great way to move forward with protecting your driveway.
And Concept Concrete offers expert team members and expert services to help customers across Melbourne protect their driveways. No matter whether you have an existing driveway or are looking for a quote for a new concrete driveway that includes sealcoating services, we’re ready to help you with your improvement project.
For more information and a free assessment, call us on 1300 366 343 or request a fast free quote online today!