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Sealing Concrete to Prevent Cold Weather Damage

With winter approaching, you’re probably doing all the tasks necessary to protect your home from the harsh, cold weather. However, there may be one thing that you’re neglecting: Sealing your concrete. While durable, your outdoor concrete is vulnerable to winter weather, with the possibility of water freezing in its pores causing long term damage.

Giving your outdoor concrete an extra layer of protection is a good idea to make sure that it lasts through the stressful winter months. If you’ve never sealed concrete before, you should find out what the process involves so that you can give your concrete the attention it needs. Sealing concrete will help to protect it from damage due to the cold winter weather and will save you big money on future repair bills.

Gather Your Materials

Like any home improvement project, sealing concrete effectively is a matter of having the right tools at your disposal. Your first step in protecting your outdoor concrete from the impending cold will be to get all the materials you’ll need to complete the job so that you can seal your concrete in a timely manner.

Primarily, you’ll need a sealer that offers protection against both moisture accumulation and extreme cold. Try to use a sealant high in acetone, as this will dry and set faster. Secondly, you’ll need an applicator. Either a sprayer or a roller will do, so pick whichever you’re more comfortable with.

As a final note, although you may be tempted, avoid using de-icing materials on your concrete, which can cause long term damage.

Pick the Right Day

When it comes to sealing concrete in preparation for the winter, timing is everything. If you want your sealant to be effective, you must pick the right day to undertake your project. On days that are too cold—under fifty degrees Fahrenheit—your sealer will take too long to set, reducing the level of your concrete’s protection.

Plan to seal your concrete on a day that is over fifty degrees with a low humidity level. Also, make sure there is no rain in the near forecast, as a sudden downpour will completely wash away your sealer and ruin your hard work. If you get the timing right, you’ll be sure to give your concrete the protection it needs to make it through the winter unscathed.

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Lay Your Sealer and Let It Set

Once you’ve gathered your materials and picked the perfect day, it’s time to lay down your sealant. Take either your roller or sprayer, and spread your sealant over your outdoor concrete fully and evenly. Make sure to hit the seams as well, as these can provide access to moisture which can freeze and cause tremendous damage.

After your sealant has been laid down, let it sit for at least a day, preferably two. This will allow the sealant to set fully and provide maximum protection. A good coat of sealant should last two to three years before it will require reapplication.

Sealing concrete before the winter months arrive will ensure that your outdoor concrete will be protected from the unforgiving cold weather, lasting and performing the way you need year after year.

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