The Application of Brick and Concrete Sealer

To give your masonry a great look at protect it from the elements you should use masonry sealer. There are several different types of sealer that you can use and once you choose the correct one you have to apply it correctly in order to get the best results. For a guide to finding the right sealer you can read Using Sealer to Prolong Your Brick and Concrete. The most important thing is to follow the directions that are on the sealer.

Typically the surface that you will be sealing, no matter what type of surface it is, will have to be clean and dry. You may have to pressure wash it using soap and water or with a type of degreasing chemical. Other times you have to just sweep it off using a broom. If you clean the surface using water you have to make sure that the surface is completely dry before you apply the sealer. If it happens to rain you have to wait until the surface is dry to apply the sealer. Applying the sealer when the surface is still wet, even a little moisture, is the main reason why sealers do not do their intended job. Making sure that the surface is clean and dry will insure that the sealer give you the desired results.

If there is visible efflorescence it needs to be removed from the surface before you apply the sealer. Efflorescence is a white chalky coating on either masonry or concrete that will occur as the salt leaks out of the cement when it is drying. If there is still efflorescence on the surface the sealer will not hold as well. You can clean off the efflorescence using a diluted mixture of muriatic acid. However many sealers on the market today require that the acid be neutralized using a 50/50 mix of water and neutralizer. Ammonia is a common neutralizer that works well with removing efflorescence.

You will also need to test the sheen of the sealer on a less visible area before you apply the sealer to the entire surface. Let it completely dry and then see if the sheen is the one that you desire. You can also make sure that is dries and adheres correctly.

Generally the sealer can be applied with a brush, spray, or with a roller. For some types of sealer you can use a pump garden sprayer, as well as a few paint sprayers. You must read the directions, as some sealers only need to be one coat while others require more than one coat to do the job.

You can find sealers at many hardware stores, but a good idea, to find the best sealer for your masonry is to find stores that are specific to carrying products for masonry. Each type of sealer will have specific uses, methods of application, application restrictions for things such as weather and temperature, and safety precautions. Once you have pinpointed the exact sealer you need for your specific type of masonry read the instructions about that sealer’s various recommendations.