"They had just
moved to the Outer Banks from, Buffalo, N.Y. and had bought a house
at Cliffs of Colington in Kill Devil Hills. They needed a driveway and
I was more than happy to assist them with choices of mix, design, driveway
size and shapes, and joint cuts. I mentioned how important it was to
seal all concrete areas, and they agreed.
driveway is the best example of how much a little extra money can do
for you. Their driveway looks great, and it is so shiny! For next to
nothing you not only protect but also preserve the longevity of your
concrete surfaces. Concrete that is cared for will last 50 years or
more and will continue to look good."
Why you should
Concrete is one
of the most common building materials in the world. It is a man made
product containing cement, sand, gravel and water, but the simplicity
Whether it be slabs,
blocks, walls, roofs, piers, beams, pipe, etc., concrete is extremely
vulnerable to the industrial society of today. Sulfuric acid is the
most damaging to concrete. Automobiles spread sulfuric acid when mixed
with water. These products are constantly being spilled in our concrete
and absorbed by it through its pores.
When placed, concrete
begins the hydration process (transition from a fluid state to a solid
one). The water begins to evaporate leaving behind millions of little
holes known as pores. If you look at concrete under a microscope it
would look like a natural sponge. Often the pores create hairline cracks
inside the concrete. The faster the hydration process, the weaker your
On the contrary,
if you intentionally slow the hydration process down by retarding the
moisture's escape from the top surface through sealing, your concrete
will cure to a much denser, stronger, harder surface.
If not sealed,
concrete pores are exposed to a chain reaction of absorption of water
from rainfall, and moisture in the air. As this migration is taking
place, many other destructive pollutants are also being absorbed into
the concrete (random odors, sulfate, salts, lime and all kinds of contaminates),
and some of them are held captive in the pores of your concrete, creating
algae, mildew and moss are present on concrete because of the moisture
in it. Moisture is the cause these plants and bacteria survive. If the
moisture is eliminated by sealing the concrete, you have eliminated
a place for these pollutants to exist.
On the other end
is the alkali problem. Alkali is made up of a combination of elements
including hydrogen, lithium, sodium, potassium, rubidium, cesium and
francium, all chemical elements which are present in the earth's crust.
Because alkali is soluble in water, once the concrete gets wet this
becomes a destructive solution.
When seal is applied,
alkali converts into a gel that hardens and fills the pores, protecting
your concrete from harmful chemicals.
Simply put, concrete
sealing 1) preserves the life of concrete in high moisture; 2) lightens
old weathered concrete, seals and preserves it; 3) provides a non-slip
surface; 4) stops concrete dusting; 5) allows for low maintenance cleaning;
6) aids concrete curing providing a stronger surface; 7) stops alkali
problems; 8) retards the capillary seepage; 9) aids the paint and floor
Times-October 5, 1999