Removing Concrete Sealer

A lot of decorative concrete contractors believe that removing concrete sealer is one of the most difficult and most frustrating things they have to do. Generally, the materials that are used for the removal of sealers are hazardous, as they are hard to remove and difficult to properly dispose of and usually require multiple applications.

Removal is usually related to problems that result from its application or misapplication. One problem would be “frosted” sealer. This develops when the concrete sealer loses its attachment to the concrete. When it goes through the layer of air in the bond line, which is between the concrete and the sealer, light is diffused.

There are instances when the whole surface has a “milky” color due to the excess water contained by the slab. This water accumulated under the sealer as it was installed. Sometimes, installers put sealer when the temperature is too hit for the sealer particles to properly combine and form a film.

Whatever the reason is why you need to remove the concrete sealer, you must try the less invasive methods first. If only small areas have lost their bond with the concrete, you can scrub a solvent like zylol for the sealer to be dissolved. Once it dries, a bond with the concrete could be established again, with the area not appearing white anymore. You should make sure that the proper safety equipment is used when handling strong solvents.

Some examples of the stripping agents that can be used for removing concrete sealer would be alkaline strippers, silicone-digesting materials or solvents.

It is crucial to know first what kind of stripping agent you will be using. The instructions from the manufacturer would be able to advise you on what kind of breathing apparatus and protective clothing that you need to put on while applying them. If you will be working on a slab that is indoors, make sure that the area you will be working in is ventilated properly. Also, make sure that the pilot lights and fires are turned off. You also need to check what is required by the local regulations for the proper disposal of any residue. These requirements would help you to decide if you will be using a product that can be mixed with water so that it can easily be picked up or if you will just be scraping the used up material from the slab’s surface.

Remember to always first try it in an area located in an inconspicuous place. You could then proceed in the application as directed by the manufacturer. A lot of manufacturers recommend that the solvent-based stripping agents should be brushed on and not be disturbed as they work.

These stripping agents are rarely left in place for an hour before it is removed. On the other hand, the less time-sensitive alkaline strippers can be left for several hours.

How to Apply Concrete Sealer

If you just completed a project involving the use of concrete, then to make sure that water and other materials will not seep through, you need to apply some kind of sealer. Also, there are some concrete projects that can be beautified if stained properly. Regardless of what your concrete project is – a patio, an aggregate pathway or a paver driveway, you might want to think about the advantages of staining and sealing your work.

Concrete sealers are necessary for those projects that need the material to be made impenetrable. Concrete sealers are basically finished coatings that are used as protection for concrete. They function to prevent any damage that could be caused by water, traffic, and other chemical elements. They also lessen the concrete’s porosity and prevent dirt and water from seeping through it.

To determine the amount of sealant you will need for your project, you need to first measure the dimensions (the width and length) of the area you are planning to seal. Multiply the width and the height to get the area in square feet of the space. Basically, the amount of sealant that you need would depend on the type of sealer you will be using and the porosity of your concrete. It is most advisable to check the directions of the manufacturer to make sure that you already have a sufficient amount of concrete sealer to do your project.

Step by Step – How to apply a concrete sealer

Surface Preparation

For the surface preparation, you need to make sure that the surface of the concrete is clean and has no mildew, oils, grease, dirt or any loose debris. It is also recommended to make use of a portable power washer so that you would have a deep clean. If there would be any grease, oil, dirt or petroleum residue (even if it is from other concrete cleaners), the concrete sealer would not be able to penetrate the concrete completely.

  1. Wet the surface of the concrete that you will be sealing.
  2. Apply some detergent or cleaning solution, following the directions. There are some cleaners that have bleach, which may be able to brighten the concrete’s appearance, resulting in a more attractive finish.
  3. To loosen oil and dirt, make use of a stiff brush with bristles to optimize the cleaner.
  4. With the use of the power washer, thoroughly rinse the concrete, making sure that suds and dirt and other loose debris are completely removed.
  5. Dry the concrete completely before moving on to the application of the concrete sealer.

Concrete Sealer Application

You can use a roller, a low-pressure sprayer or a brush to apply a concrete sealer. If the sprayer is used, it is advisable to use a medium nap roller for back rolling it for proper penetration to be ensured.

  1. Carefully stir the concrete sealer to make sure that it is mixed completely. Make sure that you will not be shaking the sealer as this may bring about nasty air bubbles that can ruin the final product.
  2. Apply the concrete sealer to the surface. Apply an even and thin layer that will be able to cover the surface well and not pool in any area. Allow to completely dry.
  3. Once dry, you can then apply another coat of concrete sealer. Dry again. Check if there are any additional instructions for the manufacturer. Make sure that you will be doing those as well.

Decorative Concrete Sealer

Do you have decorative concrete around your house? Were you able to give your decorative concrete and other architectural concrete that you have the finishing touch it needs? If not, then you should do so right away. By using a decorative sealer on them, you will be able to make sure that they are strengthened and protected from any harmful and damaging elements like water, weather, abrasives, and stains. Decorative concrete sealers will also protect against the sun, rain, extreme temperatures, de-icing salts, and petroleum. They can also make the cleaning of decorative concrete a lot easier. Using these sealers also helps in improving the color depth, uniformity, and appearance of your decorative concrete.

Decorative concrete sealers are basically water-based sealing and curing systems that can be used on interior or exterior, new or existing decorative, architectural or colored concrete work, which require regular maintenance that gives a low-gloss finish. These sealers are able to chemically repel water-based and oil-based substances, as well as other common contaminants, which in turn, offer protection for colored, multi-colored and decorative architectural concrete.

Decorative concrete sealers are able to increase the strength of the surface and its overall durability. They come in standard colors and custom colors. However, you need to make sure that the sealer you are using is friendly to the environment.

They are particularly used in those projects when a clear concrete sealer or a color-matched sealing and curing compounds are needed. They offer a revolutionary protective treatment that can work on all kinds of concrete, which reduces the formation of efflorescence. They also help to maintain the great appearance of decorative concrete for a long time. They seal, cure, dustproof and harden freshly poured concrete. They can also preserve the concrete’s natural look and prevent any cracking.

Before you apply a decorative concrete sealer, you need to first clean the concrete surface to make sure there are no dust, grease, oil, dirt particles or any other foreign matter. It would typically skin in around half an hour, harden in at least four hours and completely dry after one day. However, depending on the weather and type of concrete, the drying time may vary by one to eight hours. Also, before floor traffic is resumed, check if the sealer has already properly hardened.

About Concrete Pumping Professionals

There are a few different types of equipment used during this process. First, there is the trailer-mounted boom. This type of pump uses a remote-controlled arm to distribute the substance accurately and allows for high volumes to be installed at one time. Due to the large capacity output of this device, it is used for bigger construction jobs such as office buildings.

The second type of machine is the line pump. This device is either mounted on the back of a truck or can be installed onto a trailer. These require two hoses that can be made of steel or rubber. The hoses are then attached to the output port on the device and moved to the area where the liquid is going to be placed. Having a lower output ratio, this unit is used for swimming pools, sidewalks, and other smaller type applications.

For special jobs, a skid-mounted or rail mounted design can be used. By mounting the equipment to a steel plate that is set up on a frame that moves on rails this device can be moved easily from location to location without having to use a big vehicle or trailer. This type of application is most commonly used in mining and tunneling environments.

In order to operate a piece of equipment such as this, a certification must be obtained. In order to become certified a person has to take the certification test that is available online. This exam consists of six categories. The first is safety, second is grout and pea rock, the third part is a two-part section regarding line pumps both general and hi-pressure, the fourth part is a three-part section covering different booms used in the application process, the fifth deals with separate placing boom and sixth is the technical portion.

The point of the exams is to verify that the operator of the equipment fully understands all safety and required aspects of the job. The certification process has decreased accident rates in the workplace along with improving safety and is a standard for pumping contractors to have in order to procure a position in the field. In addition, there are re-certification exams that allow the operators to stay up to date regarding safety procedures and updated mechanical techniques.

As with many other professions, this field offers many venues for workers to not only obtain their license but also to share stories and information that they have gathered over time. Available on the internet are a few websites with forums that people can join to assist in improving their skills in the industry. Construction is an ever-growing field and it is good to know there is information available out there.

Concrete pumping is used in all facets of the world today from construction to home improvement. It is also something that can be made into a career by gaining experience and knowledge. Following guidelines such as a safe work environment and operating steps will not only protect the operator but will also protect everyone around them.

Stained Concrete Sealer

Stained concrete could transform an old, drab and monotonous patio, sidewalk or driveways into fabulous works of art. Stained concrete provides a great new look, which you can show off as it enhances the value and appearance of your home. Stained concrete is the best alternative to give your house a facelift without having to replace the old concrete you have.

When you decide or already have stained concrete in your house, stained concrete sealers is a must. Stained concrete sealers intended for exterior applications must be acrylic so that moisture would be able to escape from the slab. Acrylics, which are solvent-based, usually work better for outdoor use than those that are water-based. The silicone-based and penetrating sealers are more advisable for those applications in which a wet look or a shiny look is not desired. One good indoor application would consist of a coat of a solvent-based acrylic, which is followed by a water-based acrylic topcoat application. Floor maintenance can also be done through the application of some water-based acrylic waxes or sealers.

For the interior slabs, there are three kinds of sealers that can be used: epoxies, urethanes and acrylics.

Epoxy sealers are a lot harder than the acrylic sealers. The epoxy sealers, which are water-based, are able to bond well to the concrete surface and also give a clear finish. However, they are not porous so trapped moisture is not allowed to escape. Epoxies could probably well be the best choice for food preparation areas and concrete countertops. Some disadvantages of using this kind of stained concrete sealer are that they are not resistant to UV rays and reapplication requires a more elaborate preparation compared to acrylic sealers.

Although the urethane sealers are the most expensive give the finish, which is most resistant to abrasives. However, urethanes do not perfectly bond with concrete so they need to be applied on top of the applications of the water-based epoxy sealers. Reapplication could get quite expensive as well and are not UV stable.

Acrylic sealers are the most inexpensive and can easily be applied and reapplied as needed. They are also UV stable. However, acrylic sealers offer the softest surface among the three sealer types and need the most maintenance. The solvent-based acrylics are relatively softer than the water-based products. The look of colored finishes can also be enhanced by the wet look acrylics can provide.