Published Sunday 24th of November 2013 // Updated Thursday 23rd of February 2017
If you have decided to use a concrete sealing product on the concrete protecting your home, then you have made an excellent choice. However, it will not be at its most effective with a simple application. In order for the concrete sealer to either bond to optimal strength, or penetrate to optimal depth, you need to make sure the surface of the concrete is clean and ready for application.
If your concrete has been newly poured, make sure to wait until it has fully cured. The curing process, if done correctly, typically takes around thirty days to properly dry and set to its full strength. An improper curing process, or the application of a concrete sealer before the concrete has set, can be disastrous to the longevity of the material. However, if you treat your concrete with a sealing product after thirty days, depending on your specific project, you should be perfectly fine in applying a concrete sealer to the material.
However, if you have never treated your concrete with a concrete sealer, or if you need to reapply a sealer after a number of years, it is important that you properly clean the concrete surface you are working with. The best way to clean an exterior slab is by power washing also known as pressure washing. Power washing is a lot easier than acid etching, which may also be necessary depending on the situation of your concrete, and it will ensure that your concrete surface is cleared of debris, dirt, and dust that can get in the way of the concrete sealers proper function.
Once the slab has been power washed, there will no longer be particles in the way to prevent a surface sealer from bonding. Surface sealers rely on a strong adhesive bond with the surface of the concrete substrate. Debris and dirt can get in the way of the bond, leading to inadequate protection and future problems. If the concrete is still dirty after powerwashing, use a concrete cleaner and etcher like the Hydro-Etch 1000.