What Makes A Good Patio Sealant?

What Makes A Good Patio Sealant?

Mar 27th 2024

To last the test of time, many patios must be sealed. Sealants function to both protect the beauty of a concrete patio and prevent cracks. However, there are several different kinds of patio sealants, each with its own purposes. In this article, we will explain what makes a good patio sealant and which sealant to use on any project.

Does Every Patio Need To Be Sealed With A Sealant?

The simple answer here is no. Certain patios, constructed with pavers laid down with grout, do not require sealant in order to last. However, even patios with pavers can enhance their beauty with a surface sealant.

When considering whether or not you should use a sealant for patio pavers, there are a number of factors to weigh. A surface sealant will help to maintain the natural color of your pavers, prevent the sand in the grout from washing away, and stop staining. On the other hand, you will need to re-seal your patio every 3 to 4 years when using a surface sealant.

Concrete patios, by contrast, with sand expansion joints are recommended to be sealed with a silicone expansion joint sealant. Strong silicone sealants are durable and weather resistant and ensure that rain and wind don’t have a chance to blow the sand out from the expansion joints. This is critical for ensuring the concrete pads can move and expand over time without cracking.

Two Main Types Of Sealant For Concrete Patio

When it comes to what makes a good patio sealant, it’s important to recognize the difference between expansion joint sealants and surface sealants.

Concrete Expansion Joints

When concrete is poured onto a patio, driveway, or sidewalk, it will begin to shrink as it cures and then expand over time in response to changes in temperature. If the concrete pads were poured right next to each other, this movement could cause unsightly cracking.

That’s why most professionals use expansion joints to allow for movement both due to curing and reactions to weather conditions over time. These joints are gaps between the concrete pads that are typically filled with sand. Sand is an excellent option for absorbing movement. However, it does not stop water flow.

Over time, water erodes these expansion joints and can eventually start to move under your concrete patio. Once this water gets under the slab, it can then cause soil erosion, water damage to the home, or even movement and cracking of the slab. Water in these expansion joints can also freeze and expand, leading to more cracks.

Sealants are recommended to close off these joints and prevent water damage from occurring. The standard in the past has been to use polyurethane products such as NP1 or Polysulfide. However, these sealants do not hold up well over time and must be re-applied fairly frequently.

A better option is to use a silicone sealant. Silicone sealants are easier to apply, last much longer, and are highly effective at protecting concrete expansion joints.

Surface Sealant

Surface sealant is the other common kind of patio sealant. A surface sealant for a stone patio can be either water-based or solvent-based and is designed to make the look of your concrete or paver patio more appealing.

Many sealants for paver patios give your patio a shiny, wet look or enhance the original colors of the concrete or stones used. These sealants also provide some moisture protection and can help prevent staining. They are usually applied as a spray or rolled on like paint and need to be re-applied every 4-6 years. These sealants are entirely optional but can increase the visual appeal of your patio.

Other Uses For Patio Sealant – Doors and Cracks

Another important consideration for sealing your patio against the elements is sealing your patio doors. Most patios have large glass doors that must endure whatever nature throws at them day in, day out, for years. Using the right sealant for patio doors protects your home from the elements and ensures that your doors will maintain their durability.

A poor seal at your patio doors can lead to hot and cold weather affecting the temperature of your home. This can reduce your energy efficiency and lead to higher energy bills as your heating and A/C try to compensate. However, a good seal ensures that this doesn’t happen.

Again, the ideal choice for this purpose is a strong silicone sealant. Silicone’s weather and temperature-resistant properties make it uniquely suited for sealing all kinds of exterior joints, including windows and doorways.

Despite every precaution, cracks may sometimes appear in a concrete patio. Not only do cracks detract from the value and appeal of your patio, but they can also allow damaging moisture and debris to get under the concrete pad. A silicone sealant can be used to effectively repair these cracks and prevent long-term water damage from occurring.

Where To Find The Best Silicone Sealant

Whether you need to fill cracks, seal expansion joints, or protect your windows and doors from the elements, Silicone Depot has you covered. We offer the highest quality silicone sealants at prices that can’t be beaten. Plus, if you have any questions about which product to use, a helpful team is standing by to help you out when you call 812-824-8000.