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The Consequences of Not Sealing and Finishing Your Concrete

Concrete Finishing

There are many intricate steps involved in pouring a concrete slab, but one that is often overlooked by inexperienced installers is the concrete finishing stage. Failure to seal the surface may result in these unfortunate consequences.

Staining

Concrete driveways are often the biggest victims of unsightly stains. The culprit is usually parked cars that are steadily leaking oil. Because people often position their vehicles in roughly the same spot, a small stain can grow into something much more noticeable over time.

A sealer acts as a barrier between the concrete’s pores and the environment. When oil leaks, it sits on the surface of this barrier, rather than absorbing into the concrete. A quick once over with a gardening hose can usually take care of spills and dirt in a flash, making maintenance much easier and more effective. The ability to prevent stains can keep the slab looking pristine much longer.

Fading

Whether you opted for natural or colored concrete, you may be disappointed if the brightness of the surface begins to fade. Discoloration and deterioration can occur from a few different causes:

  • Sunlight
  • Dirt
  • Salt

UV rays from the sun are the most common source of fading concrete, but it’s not the only one. A layer of dirt can make your concrete look dingy, and removing it is difficult to do without a sealer to keep it from penetrating deep down.

In the wintertime, you may choose to pour road salt onto your driveway or sidewalk to keep it from becoming too slick. The combination of salt and ice may cause the color to break down. Properly finishing the surface can protect it from this situation.

Cracking

A concrete contractor could tell you numerous factors that may cause concrete to crack, including improper mixing, installation and drying time. Leaving the finished slab untreated is another source of unnecessary fractures.

Water from humidity and occasional rainfall can easily penetrate the slab’s porous surface. This fluctuation in moisture content can wreak havoc with the stability of the material. The unfortunate result is visible cracks. Not only are these ugly to look at, but they can become a safety hazard if they get out of control. Sealers can regulate the amount of moisture that leeches through.

Professional concrete contractors understand the importance of this crucial step and have the experience to select the appropriate type of sealer for the job. To ensure your slab is poured and sealed correctly from the start, contact Hamilton Concrete to arrange your installation. We’re Dane County’s premier source for quality concrete work.

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