Over the past 3+ years, we have expanded our product offerings and services for the Richmond area. This is exciting from a business owners perspective first, but, secondly offering new products and services is a great learning opportunity. We thought that it might be worth discussing the challenges with concrete sealing.
We recently completed a concrete driveway project that entailed cleaning and sealing standard broom finished concrete with a decorative stamped concrete border and apron. When we began discussing with the homeowner why they called us to help them with their concrete driveway, we discovered that the stamped concrete was sealed just one year ago and the stamped concrete was supposed to be a shade of brown. In the photo to the right you see the stamped concrete appeared to be gray. There was little contrast between the broomed concrete and the stamped concrete.
We were at a loss at first as to what happened to the color. As a franchise, luckily, we have access to industry experts and our chemists. We conducted a few tests to determine if the concrete was sealed incorrectly or if the concrete was sealed with a color additive and perhaps the color had simply faded. We came to the conclusion the concrete had simply been cleaned and subsequently sealed incorrectly or with an inferior product. We felt terrible for the homeowner, but, reassured them that we could fix it.
Again, with the help of our franchise experts, we cleaned the driveway with the appropriate cleaners and immediately we saw some improvement in the color. The broomed concrete also appeared brand new with a few exceptions. We found once the broomed concrete was cleaned, some stains appeared. These stains were caused by leaves that were left damp on the driveway. We found that this is one of the toughest stains to remove. We spot treated and scrubbed the areas about 5 times to get these deep set stains out as best as possible.
These issues are quite common but they can be prevented by blowing the leaves off of your concrete surfaces or spraying your concrete off immediately if leaves have accumulated and were allowed to get wet. We certainly took leaf staining for granted and have learned over the years, it’s not a simple task to remove the stains. Should we see these stains during our consultation, we will be sure to let you know that we will do our best to remove the staining but we might not be able to remove it completely.
Here’s the finished project. It’s hard to believe that, that color was hiding under the previous sealer! All we applied was a paver solvent based sealer. This deepened the concrete’s color and gave it a glossy finish. As for the broomed surface, we applied a penetrating sealer that is not seen but will repel and protect the concrete from weather damage. You will see some water beading if it is wet.
We feel very fortunate that the homeowners trusted us to bring their stamped concrete back to life. They were very pleased with the end result and we learned a lot in the process. Concrete sealing is just not about applying a product. There are many factors that only a properly trained technician can identify and create a solution. If you have any questions about your concrete or paver surfaces, please give us a call today at (804) 561-6777 or feel free to email us at [email protected]