The side path of the house was one of those projects we wanted to do for a long time. It was a very narrow area, overgrown with weeds, and it seemed the builder had placed the pavers as an afterthought.
We decided to concrete the area as it was the best low maintenance option. We got some quotes from the concreters who did the excavation and poured in the cement. Drainage was also important, and we already had four pre-existing storm water drains. It was a vast improvement, and access down the side of the house is now very easy.
It was suggested to us to seal the concrete surface with a hard coat polymer. We didn't know this, but you can tint the sealer to a specific colour. We decided to use the Colourtone tint (charcoal) and sealer system. There are over 20 colours if you don't like charcoal.
Before we did the sealing, the concrete was left to cure for four weeks. It was then power washed with a Gerni and dried for 24-48 hrs. For the application, I used a paving 11mm Nap roller, attached to a painting pole. For the side areas, I used a smaller 100 mm roller. I started in the afternoon and was done in about 45 minutes. The sealer dries in about 30 minutes. Do all the sides first using the smaller roller then move to the main areas. The second coat was applied 24 hrs later.
I didn't tape the edges/walls but just took my time doing the sides to reduce any carryover to the walls. Just as a note, wear some old shoes as the sealer will get all over them. Also, I would strongly recommend wearing safety glasses and a mask.
If you have any left over sealer, store it away for any touch ups. If stored at the right conditions, I was told by the company it had a shelf life of 2 years.
Thank you so much for sharing this fantastic project. My favorite part is never having to go into that narrow part of the house to do line trimming. It looks so much better and now becomes a very usable side path. I imagine the family did not use this side too much because of the foliage and mud. Excellent advice from your concrete person. Sealing it will prevent it from getting mould and you will not have to clean as much. Now the next question is does this area get sun and can you put potted plants on the side? We look forward to seeing your next project.
Again, thank you for sharing this pathway project.
Looks fantastic! Great job there @Nham
How wide is that little patch of dirt between your pathway and neighbour's retaining wall? Are you going do something there?
My driveway was poured 5 years ago in coloured concrete. I don't remember hearing the word 'sealing'. Is there anyway to know if concrete is sealed?
If not sealed, could it be sealed now after 5 years and would there be still benefits from that?
Hopefully, @Nham can answer some of your questions.
To tell if a surface is sealed or whether the sealer is still working, apply some drops of water onto the surface. Come back in 10mins. If it has absorbed the water into the concrete, it is not sealed, or the sealer has deteriorated. A sealer stops water from penetrating a surface.
You could certainly have the concrete sealed now, though you might want to get a professional in to clean and then seal it. The sealer will permanently trap any contaminants or discolouration underneath it, so you must make sure the concrete is spotless first.
Hi @Neo19 ,
Thanks for the message, That little patch is about 10cm and the path gets all the morning and evening sun. I think for now, I'll just add some pebbles:-). I do have plans for a vertical garden opposite the windows. We also just did our driveway and had it stencilled, then asked the concreter to seal the area. Most. concreter's won't seal as you need to let all the moisture out and this may take 3 weeks, which means they have to come back.
@MitchellMc is correct in that the concrete will absorb water if the surface is not sealed. If there is a sealer you will get beading of the water. Cleaning the surface is the most important part, it took me 3-4 hours just to clean the path but only 45 mins to do the sealing. I would probably gets some quotes first and weigh up the benefits of getting a professional or DIY. Honestly, the cleaning is the hardest part.