Sealing Driveways

I'm starting to get some pitting and deterioration on my driveway down by the road. What's causing it and how can I correct it?

What you’re seeing is deterioration in the concrete that is caused by the road salts that are used during winter. To prevent further damage, clean the surface off with Safer Masonry Cleaner and treat it with All-Purpose Water Repellent. The water repellent will prevent future damage from the salts by not allowing them to penetrate into the concrete.

My driveway was waterproofed several years ago and is starting to look like it's ready to be re-treated. What should I use?

First do a water test by dribbling a few drops of water on the surface of the concrete. If it is easily absorbed, whatever was applied is gone and you can use All-Purpose Heavy Duty Water Repellent. If the water doesn’t absorb quite so easily use Solvent Based Water Repellent.

Aluminum Siding

My home is aluminum sided and very chalky. Can I paint it and, if so, is there anything special that I should do?

Yes, you can paint it and it will look like new aluminum siding when you’re done. Wash it well first with a cleaner, such as TSP. If there is still powdery chalk on the surface, apply a bonding primer, such as Acrylic Waterproofing Sealer. Once the primer has dried, paint the siding with a good acrylic paint, making sure to follow the manufacturers label directions.

Basement Leaks

I'm getting a little water running in to my basement. The walls are made of regular cement block. Any ideas on what I can do to try to fix it short of digging all the dirt away from the exterior and resealing it?

The easiest, and luckiest solution, would be that the rain is simply blowing in to the exposed block, between the ground and where the siding on the house begins. It can run down to the basement through the center of the block and seep in. Try waterproofing these blocks with All-Purpose Heavy Duty Water Repellent first…maybe you’ll get lucky. If that doesn’t work…call a contractor.

White Efflorescence on Brick

I'm getting white powder developing on the exterior of my brick home and it's ugly. What is it and how do I stop it?

It is efflorescence…minerals and salts that occur naturally in masonry that are being brought to the surface of the brick by water evaporation. The fix is fairly easy…wire brush them off and treat the surface with Water Repellent for Brick.

Sealing Paver Patios

I have a brick paver patio and the rain continually washes the sand out of the joints. Is there anyway to keep it in place so I don't have to re-sand them every year?

Yes. We offer a product called Paver Sealer that will harden or “stabilize” the sand, making it nearly impossible to wash out. By doing this, it also helps to reduce the growth of weeds between the pavers as well as ants colonizing through the sand.

I have a brick patio that is several years old now. Is there anything that I can use to clean it up and make it look new again?

There are three steps to the process. First, clean the patio with Safer Masonry Cleaner. Second, re-sand the joints to replace the sand that has been washed out. Third, apply two coats of Paver Sealer. The result will be a patio that looks like new and has a beautiful, rich “wet look”.

Sealing/Waterproofing Buildings

I need to waterproof my building. Is any one waterproofing better than another?

Just as there are a lot of different types of substrates…brick, block, split-face block, etc. There are also several different types of water repellents available to treat them and each has their own benefits. Match the one that’s right for your project under the project type page.

Is there any type of water repellent that I can apply to my building that won't change its appearance?

Water repellents are available in two basic categories, film-formers and penetrants. If you stay with penetrants, or products that do not form a film on the surface, the result is little, if any, change to the appearance of the building. All-Purpose Heavy Duty Water Repellent is an excellent choice.

Garage Floors

I'm getting ready to paint my garage floor and the folks at the paint store said that I need to clean it first with muriatic acid. I'm not sure that I'm comfortable using an acid. Are there any other alternatives?

The paint folks are correct…it is essential that you etch the floor prior to painting to ensure good adhesion of the paint. Skip the muriatic acid though, there’s a product called Safer Masonry Cleaner that will do everything that muriatic acid does without the harmful fumes and it won’t burn your skin. Another great option is No-Rinse Concrete Etch. It will etch the floor in as little as 15 seconds, and there’s no need to rinse it. Just wait 30-60 minutes and it’s ready to go.