Home FAQs General Concrete Knowledge I had a new concrete driveway poured a week ago. How long should sealing take?
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I had a new concrete driveway poured a week ago. How long should sealing take?
Q:I had a new concrete driveway poured a week ago. My contractor applied some sealer at the time of pouring. He also recommended re-sealing my driveway after a week. I have lots of leaves falling from trees, in some places wet leaves left some stains on concrete. Temperature is about 40 degrees during day and still above freezing at night. Should I reseal it now? We expect some more rain & light snow in next few days. Do I need to clean up these "leaves stains"?
A: I would not recommend re-sealing your driveway for at least 30 days, and then only when you get a day with temperatures above 50 degrees, and when your concrete is completely dry on the surface. Concrete placed in the fall needs at least 30 days to air-dry before a surface sealer is applied to minimize the amount of excess water retained in the concrete. The risk of sealing prior to 30 days at this time of year is that the sealer will hold moisture inside the concrete (usually a very good thing) when the temperature drops below freezing. In this case, the excess water is likely to cause additional stress to the concrete when the retained water freezes and expands, possibly resulting in damage to the concrete. With regard to the type of sealer to use, I would recommend the use of a cure-n-seal product that contains at least 12 - 15% solids - this information should be listed on the product label. Many local ready mix producers and nearly all contractor supply yards should carry such a material. The brand recommended by your contractor probably has a lower solids content - again, check the label to be sure. Most of these products will dry within 1 hour of application, depending upon ambient temperature. As far as the leaf stains go, sealing over them will probably make them harder to get rid of - but since you will have this problem every fall, it's a pretty good bet that you will have to live with these stains. Sealing the surface will help minimize future stains, but I do not think it will offer complete protection.