Working with concrete: the basics forum: To seal or not to seal...that is the question.

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ImageCottage_Rose
Feb 25, 2010 1:43 PM CST
Name: Vicky
Michigan
I've heard differing opinions on whether to seal your concrete items
with a concrete sealer or not.
Some people say sealing protects it other say sealing it keeps the moisture
in and its bad for it.
I have stuff like benches, statuary, birds bathes, urns etc. and don't know what to do.
Thanks for any advise!

Thumbnail by Cottage_Rose

Imagedana
Feb 25, 2010 6:13 PM CST
Name: dana aka iris28
tristate area, ky z6b
ill have to look up the scientific answer on that one.. but every thing ive read says that moisture is good for concrete. the wetter it stays the longer it cures. the only things i seal are painted things and grouted things. my stepping stones that are just mortar mix havnt been sealed and are fine. my tufas arnt sealed either. BUT my mom got a stepper from somewhere and it disintegrated into a pile of grey sand over the winter. i dont know what it was made of. it look like water seeped in and then it froze and exploded. ive never seen that happen to any thing before so ill look up a scientific answer. most likely the recipe will determine whether you seal or not.
did you know that the hoover dam is still wet concrete inside. it will be curing forever.
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Imagedana
Feb 25, 2010 7:07 PM CST
Name: dana aka iris28
tristate area, ky z6b
ok the answer is you can if you want. lol sealing keeps stains out and dirt
out. for me i like how old concrete looks esp if its plain concrete. i think its more of an issue if its driveway or walkways where things spill . if you do things like set a coffee cup down on your bench and leave a coffee ring then you might want to seal.. also bird poop might stain. i guess it just depends on the piece. if you stain or paint it then you want to seal.
Learn and share ideas about how to make concrete garden art and hardscapes at Diy concrete art and hardscapes cubit. Also visit trash to treasure/mosaic with unusual objectsfor more garden art ideas.
ImageCottage_Rose
Feb 27, 2010 8:43 AM CST
Name: Vicky
Michigan
Thanks for that info Dana.
Imagesunfarm
Jun 12, 2010 7:16 PM CST
Name: Sally
East Central Kentucky
Maybe this sound contradictory, but you need moisture in the concrete to let the cement hydrate and make the concrete strong, but letting it get saturated in freezing and thawing weather may lead to its deterioration. A curing compound/sealer can help hold moisture in new concrete, though it is different from a sealer you might apply to older concrete. I will post something about concrete exposed to freezing and thawing when saturated on the appropriate thread.
BTW, I am a retired concrete technologist; had my own concrete testing lab and consulting business for more than 23 years and worked in the concrete industry for ten years before that, primarily in ready mix quality control. Most of my work was on construction projects, but I did a lot of sampling small batches and messing around with creative ideas for this wonderful, versatile material. The more you understand about it the more successful you will be, whether you are a contractor, artist, or hobbyist.
Living sustainably comes with learning to see the world in a new way.
ImageCottage_Rose
Jun 15, 2010 6:47 AM CST
Name: Vicky
Michigan
Great to have an expert on board!!!

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