You’ve probably heard that your concrete surfaces must be sealed and resealed on a regular basis. But actually, there are quite a few arguments against this procedure, too! What’s the big debate about, and what are the reasons for not sealing concrete?

You could seal too soon. This might go against your instincts, but you shouldn’t seal brand-new concrete! It needs to “cure” for a while first (at least a month) because it will be very vulnerable to damage otherwise.

Sealing doesn’t fix cracks. If you have cracks in your concrete, sealing won’t do anything for those. You’ll expend money and effort on something that you might rather replace before too much longer.

Sealers fade. The seal on your concrete will fade over time, especially in high-traffic areas. This can lead to an uneven look that bothers you.

You’ll have to maintain it. Once you seal your concrete, you’ll need to reseal it every year. That can add up to another costly chore that you must remember.

Sealers can be slippery. Sealing concrete can create a slippery surface, especially when wet. The last that you want is to place a hazard in your yard where people will be walking! This danger can be particularly common around swimming pools.

Luckily, there are some ways to get around this problem. If you really want to seal your concrete, adding abrasives to the sealer mix can provide more “grip” on the surface.

Some sealers can be dangerous. Most sealers are solvent-based, and contain harsh and potentially toxic chemicals that could be dangerous to humans and pets. In fact, certain safety gear is required of anyone working with these chemicals. Safer, more environmentally-friendly sealers are available on the market, but they cost a bit more.

Sealing doesn’t change the structure of concrete. Sealing doesn’t do anything to make concrete stronger or more durable, since it only protects the surface. So if you’re already dissatisfied with your concrete structure, or feel it needs to be replaced in the near future, why waste the money on sealing it?

Of course, there are plenty of arguments for sealing your concrete! The decision should be based on a number of factors unique to your situation. If you’re trying to decide what to do with a particular hardscape feature, just give us a call. We will help you evaluate it and decide upon the course of action that is right for you.

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