I've just laid my new driveway and I want to seal it. What do I do?
This is the type of question I'm regularly asked, and the answer is quite simple.
Let's start with some basic principles...
Concrete is a porous material and over time, water, chemicals, oils etc. build up and eventually begin to discolour the surface. Settling and heavy traffic may cause cracking and other types of damage. Eventually your new driveway starts to look old...
With careful preparation and the application of Base Coatings 311 Driveway Sealer, you'll keep your driveway looking like new, for years.
So let's begin...
Step 1 - Curing the concrete:
Once your driveway has been installed, you need to wait up to a month for it to cure. In this time, the water in the concrete will completely evaporate and the concrete is then ready to be prepared for sealing. If you seal it too early, when it's still wet, the water won't be able to evaporate from the concrete and the sealer will turn a milky white colour - no good!
Step 2 - Preparing the concrete:
Grab a broom and give the driveway a good sweep to remove any excess dirt, mud and leaves that may be lying on it. Then, using a pressure sprayer, wash down the driveway to remove any oils or grease spots that may have accumulated over the month. Any moulds, lichen or fungal growth should be treated with a suitable algicide...
Let it dry. 24 hours should be enough time, in normal conditions... any water in the concerte prior to sealing may cause the sealer to become cloudy or milky in appearance - not what you looking for!
To check the dryness, conduct a water test by laying some cling film over the driveway (generally a small piece of household cling film will do, use about half a metre) in the sun. If there's no condensation on the cling film after an hour you're good to go.
Step 3 - Applying Base Coatings 311 Driveway Sealer:
Always follow the instructions on the tin for best results!
For new concrete; apply 2 coats direct from the pail using a 230mm wide, 15mm nap solvent resistant roller on a short pole. Base Coatings 311 Driveway Sealer is a solvent-based product and a normal paint roller may dissolve, make sure you use a solvent-resistant roller!
Dip the roller into the pail and, using long, steady strokes, roll the sealer onto the concrete. Avoid overworking the sealer (don't push it too hard!). Do not pour sealer over the surface and attempt to flood the area or allow to pool. Remember to keep the lid on the pail whilst rolling. Also, avoid applying sealer in hot temperatures (above 30°C) as this may lead to the sealer drying too quickly before it gets absorbed into the concrete. Remember, you're trying to evenly "wet-out" the concrete to allow enough sealer to penetrate the concrete...
Allow the first layer to cure for 3 hours minimum before applying the 2nd coat. We do recommend allowing the first coat to cure overnight then applying the 2nd coat the next day. This will allow the first coat to cure correctly. The 2nd coat will slow the first coat from curing if applied too early.
A deeper, more lustrous finish may be achieved by applying a 3rd coat if desired. However 2 coats is normally sufficient to achieve the 'wet-look' hi-gloss finish associated with Base Coatings 311 Driveway Sealer.
Looking after your newly sealed driveway:
Keep foot traffic off the final coat for at least 6 hours and vehicular traffic should be avoided for 48hours. Base 311 Driveway Sealer will be fully cured and hard in 3 days...
Re-apply Base 311 Driveway Sealer every 2 years to maintain the condition of your driveway.
Helpful tips: Heavy vehicles with hot tyres may cause damage on sealed driveways. Also avoid the use of harsh detergents and chemicals on the sealed driveway.