$8000 to $10,000 is the average cost to replace a concrete driveway. By using a concrete sealer on the driveway at time of installation you are essentially ensuring that you will not have to replace your concrete driveway after years of harsh deicing salt chemical usage, chlorides and freeze-thaw damage. When looking for a concrete driveway sealer the sealer you choose will depend on a variety of factors including concrete type, geographical location, and desired finish.
Stamped concrete – If you are looking to seal stamped concrete you are typically looking to enhance the colors and textures with a matte, satin or glossy finish. For this we would recommend looking for an acrylic based sealer or a silicone based sealer. Acrylics are available in either solvent based or water based varieties; water based acrylic sealers typically leave a satin finish whereas solvent based acrylic sealers typically leave a gloss finish.
Concrete – If you are looking to seal a concrete driveway you are really going to want to take into account your geographical location. If you are located in an area where deicing salts are used you are going to want to use a silane or silane/siloxane blend. If you are in a warmer climate where there are no freeze-thaw cycles and deicing salts are not used on the roadways you have a few more options. Silane/siloxane sealers are always excellent choices but are more expensive than other siliconate and acrylic based products. If you are looking for an economical options look for a concentrated silicate/siliconate blend and if you are looking for a decorative finish use an acrylic based product.
Pavers – Depending on the type of finish you are interested in you can use a silane/siloxane, acrylic or silicate/siliconate blend. If you are looking for a natural finish and/or if you are looking for deicing salt protection use a silane/siloxane product, if you are looking for a satin or high gloss finish use a water based or solvent based acrylic, and if you are looking for a natural finish and the most economical option use a silicate/siliconate blend.
Brick – Brick driveways are best sealed using a silane/siloxane blend. Because of the breathability of these sealers they will protect the bricks without any yellowing, flaking or peeling and the sealer will protect the bricks from efflorescence attacks.
After researching, testing and collecting data over the past few years we have finally comprised our list of the top concrete sealers and we have narrowed down the #1 Concrete Sealer in each category. Sealers were rated using a 5 scale system of strength, quality, durability, longevity and price. After rigorous testing and gathering results we have come to the conclusion that the sealers we are recommending will provide long lasting protection and will actually work as claimed.
#1 Decorative Sealer
With its environmentally friendly nature and higher gloss shine than your standard water based acrylics Everclear has proven to be an excellent non-yellowing decorative sealer. Standing up to harsh UV rays for a period of three years before needing a reapplication, this sealer is easily applied and reapplied right on top of the previous coat without needing to remove the previous sealer. If you are looking for LEED points on your next job, this sealer passes VOC regulations is all 50 states coming in under 100 g/L.
Our Take: It is difficult to find a good acrylic sealer that will last and hold up to sun, weathering, salt and rain. With Everclear VOX, we had no problems for three years and when it came time to reapply it was exceptionally easy.
#1 Concrete Densifier
It is very hard to distinguish the differences between concrete densifiers since they are all either sodium or lithium silicates, when polished, create a beautiful polished floor even if there was a mistake made during application. Ashford Formula has continuously proven to have a top performing densifying solution that is proven to work.
Our Take: If something is not broke, why fix it. Ashford Formula continues to be a reliable solutions for polished concrete floors with a name and brand you can trust with 60 years of proven performance.
#1 Waterproofing Sealer
With its unique proprietary formula incorporating molecular nanotechnology, Kretetek has one of the best penetrating, waterproofing sealers we have ever used. With its unique blend of silicates and siliconates, this sealer will not only densify concrete, but it will waterproof, prevent mold, mildew, efflorescence, radon and hydrostatic pressure. Its extremely versatile nature makes it an excellent choice for foundations, driveways, roof tiles, basements, sidewalks, patios and more. We were amazed with the ease of application and the natural, enhanced surface that beaded any sort of water and fluids, completely waterproofing our concrete.
Our Take: Might seem a little pricey retailing for $95.00 per gallon available at homedepot.com but since it is sold as a concentrate one gallon makes five gallons that will cover 1000 square feet. If you break down the price per gallon that is $19.00 per gallon which makes it a little easier to handle. In our opinion you cant put a price on a waterproofer that works.
When it comes to sealing, chimneys tend to be more of a forgotten application. That is until you come home one day to find the chimney leaking! Since chimneys are constantly exposed to the elements like wind driven rain, sun, snow, sleet and hail, they are at risk. In comparison to the cost of replacing a chimney, using a waterproofing sealer will pay off dividends in the long run. The best type of sealer to use on a chimney, both brick, stone or masonry based, is of a silane/siloxane chemistry. Silane/Siloxane products are penetrating and will leave no visible sheen or gloss. They are excellent at repelling water, preventing mold and mildew build up and preventing unsightly efflorescence. And the best part is after treatment you do not need to worry about your chimney ever leaking!
One of our favorite silane/siloxane products that we typically recommend on this site is the Ghostshield 8500. We love this product because it is available in an ultra concentrated formulation which saves on shipping cost and it is a lot easier to move around and manage in comparison to a five gallon bucket. The price point is also on par when broken down it comes in around $40 dollars a gallon.
Concrete driveways are susceptible to numerous problems if not sealed and left untreated. During the winter deicing salts and chlorides are used to treat roadways and bridges throughout the country. Vehicles unknowingly and knowing then track these salts into the driveway and over time the concrete begins to spall, pit and crack. By using a penetrating water repellent sealer water is kept out and all of the deleterious substances being tracked into the driveway are also kept out of the concrete. A penetrating silane/siloxane blend is the best type of sealer to use on a new or existing driveway because it is able to repel water, salts, chlorides and some even repel oil and automobile fluids like the Invisible Penetrating Concrete and Masonry Water Repellent Sealer Plus Oil Repellent. The upfront cost of sealing a driveway may initially seem steep but when compared to the price of resurfacing or replacing a driveway it is actually a small price to pay for a well protected and sealed driveway. Most silane/siloxane blended sealers leave natural finishes so they will not change or alter the appearance of the driveway. If you are not looking for an oil repellent sealer the Siloxa-Tek 8500 product is an excellent choice for deicing salt and waterproofing protection surpassing the National Cooperative Highway Research Program’s (NCHRP 244 Series II & IV) water absorption and chloride intrusion tests.
Once of the most corrosive materials concrete can come into contact with is deicing salts. Deicing salts are commonly used on roadways and by homeowners on their driveways. In order to protect concrete from these deicing salts and the spalling, cracking and pitting effects it is best to seal the concrete. Silanes, siloxanes and silane/siloxane blends are the best types of sealers to battle harmful deicing salts due to their unique penetrating, hydrophobic properties. This sealer, found at The Home Depot, is an industrial grade water and salt repellent that is guaranteed to last up to 10 years. While silanes are of a small structure they sheet water and siloxanes of a larger structure bead water, a combination of the two is going to ensure complete concrete and deicing salt protection.