Concrete Sealers - Yes Or No

The purpose of using masonry sealer is to avoid concrete from absorbing water. But sometimes, most of us do not know when to use masonry sealer and when not to use. Due to lack of this knowledge, people do spend their money in waste on masonry sealer and unnecessarily try to prevent the absorption of water into concrete. Let’s have a look at when to use masonry sealer for concrete.

When it comes to the types of sealers, there are multiple types being used in order to match the environments. These sealer types protects the concrete from the outside moisture and lets the inside moisture go out of concrete. This type of sealers is called breathable concrete. The non-breathable concrete with sealers does not allow the moisture to come in or go out from the concrete.

If your concrete or masonry is relatively new, then it takes some time to harden. During this period of time, the concrete or masonry takes the moisture out of the concrete / masonry and this process makes it dense and harden. Since this process should take place for the new concrete, the concrete should not be sealed using masonry sealer for at least 28 days (4 weeks). But in reality, majority of contractors only leave 14 days (2 weeks) for this process to happen and they seal the concrete using masonry sealer afterwards.

If the concrete is not as new as described above, it can be sealed using the masonry sealer at any time. In order to seal the concrete or masonry, the surface should be clean and there should not be loose soil or cement on the surface. In addition, the surface should not have oil patches as well. If there are cracks in the surface of concrete or masonry, these cracks should be repaired using hydraulic cement or crack filler. After filling the crack, a sufficient amount of time should be allowed before applying masonry sealer.

When it comes to the type of the sealer, breathable masonry sealer is used for allowing the concrete to breath. This means that the concrete is able to pass the vapor that comes from the ground through the concrete layer to the air. But noting comes into the concrete later. This type of sealers is good for the freezing environments. The non-breathable masonry sealer is best used for protecting concrete in indoor environments as this does not allow anything to go into the concrete or go out from the concrete.

The area on the right shows where the sealer has been applied and the area on the left has no sealer.

Note:  Above picture credit:

Concrete Sealer applied to a stone patio

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First things first - As the name suggests, raised bed gardening involves planting your plants in a bed that is off the ground rather than planting directly into the soil. Raised beds come in all different sizes, and there are many different kinds of receptacles for raised beds, depending on the size and where you want to hang the beds.

The ability to manage the soil is one of the most significant benefits of using the raised bed. Because you choose and mix the ground yourself, you can create the perfect soil environment for the plants you want to grow. That means even if you're going to grow plants that don't typically thrive in your area because of your local soil composition, you can grow them in raised planters in which you have created the perfect soil for those plants.

There are other benefits to raised areas as well, even if the soil is not an issue in your area. Another significant advantage to consider is the way the raised beds let you target the use of things you put on your garden. Apply fertilizer and mulch where they are needed - and there only - so you end up using less and do not accidentally apply these things where they are not required. If you use chemical pesticides, herbicides or insecticides, you can use a smaller amount of them, and again, you can target their use. Because you apply them only to the raised bed, you don't have to worry about runoff or the effects these chemicals can have on your pets or kids who play in your yard. All in raised bed gardening makes for more efficient planting.

One great benefit of a raised gardening bed that is the fact that the planting area is, in fact, elevated. Since the garden is not ground level, it is much easier to tend. Garden enthusiasts with back problems will love being able to see their plants and manage them without bending over and dealing with hours of painful work. Raised areas are ideal for people with joint pain and injuries that make it difficult for them to garden traditionally.

Although raised garden beds have all of these benefits and make different kinds of gardening possible in areas where the soil is not ideal, the beds can't trump every problem a garden may face. You still need to consider the climate in your area and choose plants accordingly - raised planters or not, and tropical plants won't grow in snowy climates. Also, you will still need to pay attention to what level of sunlight your garden area gets and choose your plants with that in mind. Further, although most people with raised beds deal with less pest infestation, you will still need some way to deal plant-munching insects. Even though raised beds can't fix everything, however, they are still a great option when soil limits the way you garden.

Lawrence L. Hoyle, author, 57 years in the Landscape Profession. Check out his main website at: This website has free Landscape help for Do-It-Yourselves and a online Landscape Design Services for Homeowners, Landscape Contractors and Home Builders. Designing online since 2003 with designs in 40 states. Get Your Special Landscape Design today.!

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