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How to Achieve the Best Results When Colour Sealing your Exterior Concrete Floors

11 February 2021

If your concrete floor is freshly poured, you must let it harden or cure for at least 28 days prior to applying any protective coating. Do not forget this crucial step or your floor will not set up right, and this leads to issues such as cracking. Here is how you can achieve the best results when colour sealing your exterior concrete floors.

Prepare the Concrete Correctly

To ensure that the sealer adheres properly and reduce the risk of blisters and bubbles, you need to prepare the concrete in the correct manner. If the concrete flooring is new, let it cure for at least 28 days before applying a sealer. Dampen the concrete with a solution of one part hydrochloric acid and four parts water. Allow this solution to sit on the concrete for up to two minutes. Bubbles should no longer be forming before you rinse it off completely. This solution will etch the concrete. The concrete needs to thoroughly dry prior to you applying any sealer.

Scrub the Concrete Floor

Scrub your garage’s concrete flooring with detergent, water and a brush to remove any dirt, dust, grease, oil or other contaminants that could interfere with the adhesion of the floor coating. Use a degreaser whenever necessary during this step.

Rinse the Concrete Floor Thoroughly With Water and Leave It Damp

Use plenty of water to rinse your floor. You must remove all the degreaser when you scrub with it. It takes a lot of water to rinse it from concrete completely. Keep the floor damp for the next step.

Spread a Diluted, Hydrochloric Acid Solution All Over the Floor to Etch It

Dilute one part of hydrochloric acid with four parts of water. Spread in over all the concrete garage floor to etch it. Let it set until the bubbles stop forming.

Rinse the Acid Solution Off the Floor With Plain Water

When the acid solution has set long enough, immediately rinse it thoroughly with clean water. If you let the solution dry, the salts from it will be quite difficult to remove in the proper way to prepare for the rest of the process. If the water beads up on the floor or the profile is still smooth, repeat the acid etching and rinsing until the concrete has the texture of fine sandpaper.

Air Temperature Can Affect the Curing of a Sealer

If the air temperature is cold and the concrete is warm to hot, blisters and bubbles may form in the sealer. To prevent this, you need to plan ahead and apply sealer on a day when the concrete and the air are at moderate temperatures that are close together.

Apply Thin Coats of Sealer

Thick coats of concrete sealers are another reason for the issues of blistering and bubbling to happen. Thin coats allow the sealer to cure thoroughly all the way through its layer at the same rate. On the other hand, with thick coats, the surface cures more quickly than the underside of the sealer does.


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