How to Apply Concrete Sealer with a Roller

  • September 15, 2019
  • / By Dale Keese
Wall with Cracks

A paint roller is one of the best ways to apply the concrete sealer. This article will further describe how a paint roller is one of the best methods to apply most kinds of sealers. 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 questions we will attempt to answer in this article. But first, let us get the basics out of the way.

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 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 that 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 weather changes, the concrete will develop cracks sooner 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 get trapped underneath the sealer. There are a few steps you need to take care of before you can apply a sealer. Take note, this is not a one 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. It needs at least three 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 out once the cracks have been filled and ensure 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’s 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 an 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 what all the professionals use too and will serve you well.
  • 2
    Before pouring the sealer out of the container, use a clean stick to stir the sealer. This ensures that the sealer is mixed thoroughly and there will be no lumps when you pour it out.
  • 3
    Start at the back end of the surface you need to apply the sealer to. Pour enough sealer out of the bucket to cover at least 10 x 10 feet of the area. Start pouring at the center and the start spreading sideways with the roller.
  • 4
    Roll the roller over the sealer to get even coverage on it. 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. At least on the days you are applying the sealer and for a few days after that, the temperature should be over 60º Fahrenheit, so the sealer does not coagulate and freeze.
  • Check the weather forecast in advance to ensure there is no chance of rain.
  • Wear something you can move around in easily and something dispensable, in case it gets soiled while you are applying the sealer.
  • If you get some sealer on your hand and skin, check whether it is water based 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 solid content of more than 35%, a roller may not be your best option. Try a concrete squeegee if this is the case.

Here’s our reviews of different types of sealers you may find useful.

Final Thoughts

Using a concrete sealer, as mentioned above, is of utmost importance if you do not want to spend even more money on repairing damaged decorative concrete. Sealers ensure the longevity of your concrete so even if it seems like extra work, it is worth it in the long run. Besides, even if it is time consuming, it is a fairly easy job to do. Make a day out of it and involve a friend! It will not seem so laborious then.