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How should I seal my Pergola concrete?

Posted: May 31 2014

Tyson: I’ve done a 3 x 3 square metre slab which a pergola’s sitting on, I did it about 6 months ago. I just want to know what I should do about sealing it, sealing the concrete and waterproofing it. What sort of product I should use? 

Phil (Nupave): Are you trying to waterproof it so you don’t get discolouration on it mainly?

Tyson: Yeah the birds have been doing their business on it and when you give it a scrub it sort of stains the concrete. And with the other concrete we have that’s been freshly done, that’s been sealed and it tends to just, you know hose off.

Phil (Nupave): The cheap solution is to put down a coloured concrete sealer, the downside is that you’ll probably be needing to re-do that every 4 or 5 years and then once you get around to about the third time of doing it you’ve got such a build up of sealer that it becomes slippery and dangerous. So, a lot will depend on the texture you have on the concrete but usually pergola’s tend to have a smoother type finish on the concrete. So the alternative is to do a spray on paving system or to get it tiled and if there’s enough hight and you fancy you could put decking over it, it’s not going to move.

Radio Host: Look Tyson, the best thing to do is use a proprietary product, go and there are many that you can use to apply to concrete. I’d add an additive to it so that it’s non slip so that if you’re walking around that area when there is water and stuff like that, whether it’s you or mum or dad or kids, they’re not going to slip on the concrete because once you start sealing concrete it starts to get slipperier of course. Put the additive in it and I’d go with that, but yeah Phil’s spot on, they’re the other options but once you start applying something to a natural surface, let me put it that way, it becomes a maintenance problem.

Phil (Nupave): Potentially so, there are some that are extremely durable.

Radio Host: Oh no, quite right. But over time, so there’s no easy fix but just think of it in the context of safety first and then the convenience factors.

Phil (Nupave): One of the problems with putting an anti-slip particle in typically a concrete sealer which is not as durable as let’s say an epoxy, that the prouder pieces are going to wear down more soon, so your concrete will wear off a little more quickly with the particle.

Radio Host: But it’s a small pergola area.

Phil (Nupave): Yeah that’s not going to have a lot of traffic.