Homeowners, property managers and commercial property owners all have felt the sting of the rising costs of property maintenance. All hardscapes require periodic maintenance in order to keep them in presentable condition. This is true regardless of what type of hardscape you may have, specifically:
Even an endless concrete sidewalk often requires regular maintenance as well.
Many homeowners know the frustration of receiving the dreaded “nasty gram” from the HOA requiring you to take the appropriate corrective action to clean what you have been putting off for months. This means you will either get out your checkbook and hire a contractor to get that driveway clean or block off a coveted weekend to pressure wash the surface.
Property managers and commercial property owners alike also know how costly it can be to keep these properties in top condition. The cost of continuing to hire contractors on a frequent basis to clean problem areas is on the rise. This money could be more effectively used in other areas rather than on constantly cleaning areas prone to dirt, mold and mildew.
The use of commercial grade sealers on pool decks, driveways, sidewalks, front entrances, wood decks and docks, tile roofs and many other areas can significantly reduce the frequency of cleaning which equates to a reduction of the overall maintenance costs of these areas. Quality sealers for wood, concrete, natural stone, clay tiles, concrete and clay brick pavers, stucco, grout, concrete block and many other masonry surfaces will keep moisture of of the substrate which will significantly reduce the growth of mold, mildew and the buildup of dirt, pollen and other contaminates that will cause the surface to look less than desirable.
According to Homewyse, the cost of hiring a contractor to clean a 2500 square foot concrete driveway in the San Francisco area is between $490-$1,100 dollars. Depending on the conditions, cleaning may be required several times per year. The cost of constantly cleaning these areas adds up. The savings realized from the application of a commercial grade concrete sealer is far greater than the cost of frequent pressure washing. In some areas, the application of a sealer can reduce your annual maintenance costs by as much as 75%.
The benefits that the sealers provide can be experienced for years to come. The picture below shows the difference between a sealed and unsealed pavement. On the left, you’ll see the water beading on the surface. This means that the pavement is completely dry. On the other hand, the water has penetrated in the dark unsealed area on the right. Mold and mildew need moisture to grow, so when moisture is kept out of the surface pores, it can’t grow.
The benefits of a good quality commercial grade concrete sealer do not stop at reducing mold and mildew. Depending on the type of sealer you choose, sealers can restore faded colors of the surface. They can offer a UV resistant surface which will not break down under the constant exposure to harsh weather conditions. Those in the Northeast know that substrates exposed to freeze-thaw conditions can cause premature degradation of the surface. Keeping moisture out of the hardscape can prolong the life of the substrate.
The best time to apply sealers is when the substrate is new. The longer the existing substrate is exposed to the elements, the more susceptible it is to staining. Applying the concrete sealer to a new substrate will reduce ongoing maintenance costs. It also protects from the damaging effects of the sun and weather. Of course, you should follow the direction of the ready-mix company on concrete curing timeframes before sealing since concrete mix designs differ.
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I’m sure you know the Do It Yourself, or DIY term, and what it entails. And you probably do a lot of projects yourself if you’re reading this post. Have you ever heard the WTC term? I didn’t until recently when I heard it mentioned on a podcast. I thought it was an interesting way to describe people who would prefer to just write the check and have a professional contractor do the work for them. It really got me to thinking – what kinds of projects should you even consider doing yourself versus hiring a contractor? Even if you’re the handiest, most willing person on the planet, what constitutes a project beyond your skills?