When to Seal New Concrete after Installation
The most common way to preserve the appearance of new concrete is to seal it. Sealing new concrete will protect the surface from a multitude of stains and damage causing elements. It is a great way to prolong the life of all types of concrete surfaces like driveways, sidewalks, patios, and pool decks.
Sealed concrete cleans up nicer and is easier to maintain. Spills and tannin stains cannot penetrate the concrete surface when it has a protective coating on it. Water is also not easily absorbed into the concrete, which shields it from water and freeze/thaw damage.
There are many types of concrete sealers. Some will not alter the look of the concrete while others can enhance or change the look completely. Many people ask when to seal new concrete. To answer this correctly really depends on the type of concrete sealer being used.
If a “cure and seal” type sealer is being used, it can be applied immediately after the finishing application. This sealer will provide a durable finish and immediate protection. The advantage to sealing new concrete with a cure and seal is that the concrete does not have time to get dirty or stained.
If a cure and seal is not being used, then you should allow the concrete to cure for 2-4 weeks. The industry standard is 28 days but that depends on the climate and mix of concrete. It is important to wait and not to seal new concrete too soon. Trapping moisture in the surface will likely lead to a premature failure of the sealer.
If you wait too long to apply sealer, the concrete will have to be cleaned and degreased. Another issue is that if you decide to use a clear sealer, it will show any stains that may have occurred. Basically, you should wait at least a month but not much longer, unless you are using a cure and seal, then you can seal new concrete as soon as the bead water is gone.
If you have a question on this article, please ask in comments.