Pros and Cons of Sealing Concrete Patios

front entry st louisAlthough concrete is an economical option, it is a serious and worthwhile investment in your home, and if you’re considering sealing your patio, you might also want to consider sealing your driveway. The patio is one of the best places to use concrete. It is durable and highly versatile. However, it is not enough to rely on concrete alone. It is quite a porous paving material and it cannot be trusted in thwarting anything that could penetrate the slab. So, to help out, a concrete sealer is applied as a top layer. But, does a concrete patio really need it?

Pros: Why You Should Totally Seal a Concrete Patio

  • Enhances Colors and Adds Shine – There are many different types of sealers and there are types that darken the current color of a patio and make it appear more vibrant. It also comes in a variety of gloss levels, from flat to high gloss. You can choose the level of shine you want or what is appropriate based on design.
  • Improves Ability to Repel Moisture – A sealer closes the absorbent pores of concrete, keeping any moisture at the surface. This helps prevent spalling that is often caused by freeze-thaw cycles. It also helps prevent the growth of mold and mildew on the patio.
  • Extends the Patio’s Lifespan – A sealed surface acquires less damage, thus, making it last longer than an unsealed one. It also makes any added color fade-resistant and long-lasting.

Cons: The Downsides of Sealing the Concrete Patio

  • Makes the Surface Slippery – Most sealers, especially high-gloss types, can be quite slippery when wet. However, there is a remedy to this. Some contractors add a fine type of abrasive to the sealer to add a bit of texture. This helps make the surface slip-resistant.
  • Needs to be Reapplied Every Couple of Years – Sealers have a lifespan of two years, shorter for high-traffic patios. The surface needs to be resealed every few years to maintain its protective and aesthetic properties.
  • Additional Cost – Depending on the type of sealer required or chosen, additional charges may apply. Make sure to discuss this with your concrete contractor. Ask how much more would be added to the total cost for a concrete patio sealing.
  • May Contain Harsh Chemicals – The older types of concrete sealers contain chemicals that may be harmful to people and pets. However, there are newer types now that contain organic or eco-friendly ingredients. Make sure to ask about safer options when consulting a concrete contractor.