Pressure Washing & Resealing Your Stamped Concrete? Not so fast…
Be careful thinking that pressure washing and resealing concrete will fix concrete like the one pictured here. This is a text book example of how old sealant fails and the quick and incorrect way of trying to fix it is to add more sealant. In this particular case, the homeowner repeatedly added sealant to the concrete in hopes that the newly applied sealant would cover up the failed sealant. For contractors and customers alike, we are faced with the multiple layers of sealant on stamped concrete and you never know which coat was the coat that actually failed. As stated earlier, home owners hire people that do not posses the knowledge or know how relating to the best remedy to situations poised in this particular blog.
Sealants fail for several reasons:
1. Inferior brand of sealant….customers opt to go “cheap” with watered down versions of sealant
2. The concrete was not cleaned or pressure washed properly in the first place. Normally stamped concrete has two colors. The last color is called the release color and it is usually applied in a powered form. When the concrete contractors cleaned the concrete or rinse away the excess release color they often times do a bad job. So…when the sealant is added it goes on the release vs. the actual concrete.
3. Concrete was not allowed to “cure”. After a concrete pour…it is standard to let the concrete “cure” for at least 30 days. Again, concrete contractors sometimes do not wait for proper curing. When they seal the concrete, there is still moisture in the concrete itself and eventually it rises to the top. Again, when this happens the moisture is “trapped” at between the concrete surface and the layer of sealant. Naturally it evaporates overtime BUT it leaves calcium deposits. This is where you see blotches on stamped concrete.
So….your situation could be one of many scenarios that I briefly described above if you, the homeowner, has this type of problem with your stamped or colored concrete.
If you are a contractor being asked to remedy this for a home owner, try to find out how many times the concrete was sealed or how many coats of sealant was applied. This will assist you in determining the correct course of action to remedy the white blotches or failed sealant that is a common place in our line or work.
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