How to Apply Concrete Sealer with a Roller

  • October 5, 2019
  • / By Dale Keese
Wall with Cracks

A paint roller is one of the best ways to apply concrete sealer and this article will show you why. How do you prepare the surface for a sealer? Are you sealing a garage floor, a new patio, or a concrete countertop? What should you be careful about? These are all the questions that we will attempt to answer in this article. But first, let us start with the basics.

Regardless of whether the concerned surface is polished concrete, asphalt, or any other material, it requires a sealer to ensure it is maintained for a long time without requiring too much work. A concrete sealer helps to keep the surface protected from a variety of weather conditions. The concrete needs to be protected from moisture, rain, direct sun, and wind. Without a layer of protection, the concrete will get damaged, perhaps even cracked, and wither away.

Wall with Cracks

The application of a sealer also prevents the concrete from expanding and contracting because of changes in weather and temperature. If it is not protected from these changes, the concrete will develop cracks soon and will need redoing.

How Do You Prepare the Surface for the Sealer?

Now, before you apply sealer to the concrete surface, it needs to be prepared so no impurities, oil, grease, or moisture gets trapped underneath the sealer. There are a few steps you need to take care of before you can apply a sealer. This is not a 1-day job but it is something you can do entirely on your own, without needing any kind of backup or professional help. The following are the steps you need to follow:

  • 1
    If the concrete has been freshly poured, allow it to set and cure properly before applying the sealer. Note that it needs at least 3 weeks to set properly before you can apply the sealer.
  • 2
    If there are any cracks or holes in the concrete, fix them before applying the sealer. Use a concrete patch to fill the cracks and allow it to dry completely.
  • 3
    Sweep the surface once the cracks have been filled and ensure that all the loose dirt has been removed.
  • 4
    Give the concrete surface a good scrub with a brush and soap to remove all oil and grease. Alternatively, you can also use a hose or power washer to remove all oil stains.
  • 5
    Allow the concrete to dry for at least 24 hours before you apply the sealer. It is important that the concrete is completely dry so you do not trap moisture with the sealer.

Here is an easy guide to buying the right concrete sealer.

Instructions for Using a Roller

Using a roller is actually a lot simpler and effective than using a brush. You will get a more even coat with a roller and it also requires fewer trips back and forth than a brush would.

Roller

The following are the instructions for applying sealer with a roller:

  • 1
    A 3/8-inch nap paint roller is one of the most popular and effective products in the market. It is used mostly by professionals which means it can serve you well.
  • 2
    Before pouring the sealer out of the container, use a clean stick to stir the sealer. This ensures that it is mixed thoroughly and there will be no lumps when you pour it out.
  • 3
    Start at the back end of the surface. Pour enough sealer out of the bucket to cover at least 10 x 10 feet of the area. Start pouring at the center and then start spreading sideways with the roller.
  • 4
    Roll the roller over the sealer to get even coverage. Now, move the roller back and forth and push the sealer out to the edge of the surface so you cover all the space.
  • 5
    Start with a thin coat of sealer. Once you have covered the entire surface with the sealer, wait for it to dry. Read the manufacturer’s instructions to see how long you should wait.
  • 6
    Once you have waited the stipulated amount of time, apply at least two more coats of sealer. Wait the same amount of time between each coat to ensure it is dry when you apply the next coat.
  • 7
    Try to put all the coats on the same day so there are no disparities in color.
  • 8
    Allow the surface to dry completely for at least 48 hours before you walk on it or allow any vehicle (if this is your driveway) on it.

Some Tips to Keep in Mind

When you are thinking about doing a sealing job by yourself, you may want to keep certain things in mind. 

Concrete Wall

Here are a few tips that should be helpful:

  • Try to apply the sealer when it is still warm. The temperature should be over 60° Fahrenheit on the day you plan to apply the sealer and the days after that so the sealer does not coagulate and freeze.
  • Check the weather forecast in advance to ensure that there is no chance of rain.
  • Wear something you can move around in easily that is old and dispensable in case it gets soiled while you are applying the sealer.
  • If you get some sealer on your hands and skin, check whether it is water- or solvent-based. If it is water-based, simply wash it off in warm water and a mild soap. If it is tar- or solvent-based, soak it in some olive oil and then gently rub it off.
  • If the sealer is granular or has a solid content of more than 35%, a roller may not be your best option. Try a concrete squeegee if this is the case.

Final Thoughts

Using a concrete sealer is important if you do not want to spend more money on repairing damaged, decorative concrete. Sealers ensure the longevity of your concrete so even if it seems like extra work, it will be worth it in the long run. Besides, even if it is time consuming, it is a fairly easy job to do. Think of all the money you get to save doing an effortless job that will last for years.