How Much Do Concrete Cleaning and Sealing Services Cost?
Concrete cleaning and sealing services cost an average of $1,500 nationally, falling within a typical range of $1,250 to $1,750.
- The average price range for concrete cleaning and sealing services is $1,250 to $1,750, with customers paying an average $1,500.
- The exact cost homeowners will pay is affected by the size and location of the concrete area, the chosen cleaning method, the type and amount of sealer used, among other factors.
- Cleaning and sealing concrete surfaces can help them last longer, while also making them easier to clean and maintain and improving a home’s curb appeal.
- While some experienced homeowners may be able to tackle this project on their own, novices may find themselves inadvertently causing lasting damage to the concrete and are therefore better off hiring a professional.
Cleaning and sealing helps protect concrete from daily wear and tear. Concrete cleaning and sealing services help prevent staining, can improve a concrete surface’s appearance, and can make cleaning and maintenance more manageable and effective. According to Angi, concrete cleaning and sealing services cost an average of $1,500. Homeowners can expect the cost of services to fall within a typical range of $1,250 to $1,750, depending on a variety of factors. The size of the concrete area, the cleaning method, and the sealer type are just some of the factors that influence the final price of concrete cleaning and sealing.
This guide will help homeowners understand how to estimate concrete cleaning and sealing services costs, along with what types of concrete sealing services are available and how to save on the total price.
Factors in Calculating Concrete Cleaning and Sealing Services Costs
Multiple factors influence the cost of concrete cleaning and sealing services. No two cleaning and sealing jobs are alike, from area size to cleaning method to the type of sealer used. Homeowners will also want to keep in mind that while the national average concrete cleaning and sealing services cost $1,500, local average costs could be higher or lower. The following explanation of the factors that commonly influence costs can help estimate the total cost of services.
Area size is one of the most significant factors when homeowners are calculating the cost of concrete cleaning and sealing services. On average, it costs around $1.50 per square foot to seal new concrete. Generally speaking, the larger the space, the greater the final cost, so concrete driveway sealing costs will be higher than what it would cost to seal a small concrete patio.
It’s not just about size, though; homeowners will also need to consider the age of the concrete. The cost to reseal driveway surfaces will almost always be more expensive than the cost of sealing new concrete for the first time. Any concrete surface that’s at least a year old is likely to require more cleaning and prep work, which can increase the total cost.
Finally, estimating by square foot may not be possible at all. This is typically true if the space in question is on the smaller side. In this scenario, a contractor may charge a flat fee for simplicity.
Concrete can be found in a variety of locations in and around a home, but it’s an especially common material in basements. Since water damage can be a threat in these spaces, epoxy is an excellent sealer to use. When choosing this sealer type, customers will likely pay higher labor fees due to the extra time and manpower it takes to prep the space.
Garages can also benefit from epoxy, but they’re easy to access and are typically easy to prep, even if cleaning is required. A garage that sees a lot of mechanical work may have significant staining, which can add to cleaning costs.
Driveways typically require a more expensive sealer to keep up with daily use. Additionally, because driveways see heavy use, they may also have cracks that need to be tended to before they can be sealed. Both scenarios can raise the overall sealing price.
Finally, some homes may have concrete kitchen countertops, and these surfaces can also benefit from a sealer. Since the square footage is much less than that of a driveway or full-size unfinished basement, material and labor costs are likely to be lower.
Putting a sealer down on dirty concrete simply doesn’t work. When concrete is dirty and full of debris, the sealer can’t bond correctly to the surface of the concrete, leaving it unprotected and likely aesthetically unappealing.
The cleaning method a dirty concrete surface requires can influence the final cost of services. For example, a quick sweeping and mopping with household cleaning supplies may be all that’s needed to prep the surface. If these items are already owned and the homeowner carries out the cleaning, they can save on the cost of a professional cleaning.
But if a driveway is full of oil stains, mold, and other visible debris, renting or purchasing a power washer may be the most effective cleaning method. Other products may also be required to tackle tough oil stains. Securing additional equipment and supplies can influence the final cost.
There are multiple types of sealers on the market. When a homeowner is trying to find the best concrete sealer, it helps to know that one may be better than another for a certain job, depending on the location and protection needs of the concrete. Every sealer has unique benefits, potential pitfalls, and average price points.
For example, acrylic sealers cost between $0.85 and $1.15 per square foot. This puts them on the more affordable end, which is great since acrylic sealers work equally well both indoors and outdoors.
Polyurethane sealers are a bit more expensive, starting at $0.95 per square foot. At the most, homeowners can expect to pay around $1.10 per square foot for polyurethane sealers. However, this is an ideal type of sealer for locations where temperatures tend to fluctuate throughout the year.
Finally, epoxy sealers are some of the most expensive. Luckily, they’re also some of the best, and they have a glossy and high-quality finish. The average cost of epoxy sealers is between $3 and $7 per square foot.
Number of Coats
Driveway sealing costs can be highly influenced by the number of coats a job requires. Some sealers require multiple coats, while others can get away with fewer without compromising performance. Even so, some concrete locations may require more coats than others, especially if they’re more vulnerable to the elements or heavy wear and tear.
Aesthetically, most surfaces benefit from at least two coats. The first coat acts more like a primer and disappears into the concrete surface. This can leave the concrete looking very unattractive. The second coat offers an even finish and the desired glossy effect.
In general, the higher the number of coats of sealer a job requires, the more the job will cost. This is because the cost of materials will likely go up, along with labor costs.
Hiring a contractor to clean and seal a driveway will always cost more than a DIY job because of labor costs. Most contractors charge between $1.25 and $1.75 per square foot for sealing. This doesn’t include the cost of any additional repairs, and the cost may be higher based on the type of sealer chosen for the job.
The location and size of the concrete being sealed can also impact labor costs. While larger spaces may cost more in materials, they may cost less in labor compared to smaller spaces that are more difficult to access. Some concrete sealing companies may protect their labor costs by charging a minimum fee for smaller areas.
Concrete sealing costs vary by geographic location since the cost of living varies by city. This means the higher an area’s cost of living, the more one can expect to pay for concrete sealing services. If a city’s cost of living is on the lower end of average, concrete sealing services tend to be more affordable.
For example, sealing 500 square feet of concrete in San Antonio, Texas, costs $665. Homeowners in Chicago pay more to seal the same square footage at $960. Concrete sealing services cost about the same in Philadelphia, with homeowners paying $939 per 500 square feet.
However, New York City residents pay the highest prices for concrete sealing services. Here, the average price for 500 square feet is $1,099.
Additional Costs and Considerations
There are some additional components that may or may not influence the final cost of concrete cleaning and sealing services. While not every job requires repairs or will include additional projects, knowing how different factors influence the cost can be beneficial and help prevent costly surprises.
Not all concrete surfaces need repair before the sealer can be applied. But a concrete surface with chips or cracks should always be repaired correctly before sealing to ensure a strong bond and the longevity of the seal.
Concrete repair kits offer a DIY solution, and small tubes of epoxy cost around $20; these can be used to repair small cracks or holes in a concrete walkway. Leveling is another common repair, but it’s one that should be handled by a professional. Contractors charge around $60 per square foot to raise sunken concrete.
In severe cases, repouring may be necessary. The larger the space being replaced, the more it will cost. But generally speaking, homeowners can expect to pay between $1,000 and $3,000 to replace and repour 200 square feet of concrete. Concrete driveways cost an average of $1,800 to $6,000 to build or replace, though the cost can vary depending on a number of factors, such as size.
There may be additional projects for homeowners to consider when estimating concrete cleaning and sealing service costs. For example, finishes such as stamping and design work can add anywhere from $1 to $5 per square foot.
If concrete sealing is part of the routine maintenance for a driveway or patio, there may not be additional projects to consider. But if the sealing is part of a remodeling project, there may be the cost of brick pavers for a border or walkway to consider. The cost of sealing a concrete patio may be only a part of the total budget, with patio furniture and surrounding landscaping included in the calculation as well.
Before finalizing a concrete sealing budget, homeowners may want to consider if there are any additional needs or wants to add to the estimate, such as the cost to power wash house siding or add new landscaping.
Types of Concrete Sealing Services
There are multiple types of concrete sealing services. Each has its own process, purpose, and price point. The following list of cleaning and seal coat driveways services can help a homeowner determine which service is best for them and how to budget accordingly.
Power washing is a simple, affordable, and DIY-friendly cleaning process for driveways, walkways, and outdoor concrete entertainment spaces. A power washer can be adjusted for just the right amount of force to remove debris without damaging the surface. It’s advised that homeowners always start on the lowest recommended pressure and only move up as needed.
To protect nearby grass or plants from damage, homeowners may want to lay down tarps around a driveway or walkway. Spraying at an angle is also recommended to avoid damaging paint or finishes. For additional cleaning strength, homeowners can use a pressure washer soap or cleaner, making sure to rinse every surface clean.
Many homeowners are curious about how much it costs to pressure wash a house. Investing in a power washer can lower the cost of power washing driveways, walkways, and house siding. Asking for quotes from contractors on pressure washing prices per hour can help homeowners determine whether DIY-ing or hiring one of the best power washing companies nearby makes the most financial sense.
Oil Stain Removal
It doesn’t take a large or obvious car leak to create an unsightly stain on a driveway; just a few drops of oil is all it takes to discolor concrete. If a homeowner has a vehicle with a known oil leak, it’s advisable to protect the area with an oil spill mat or plastic catch tray, or even a piece of cardboard. It’s always easier to prevent a stain than remove it.
But if the damage has been done already, a simple and environmentally friendly approach is to use cat litter. Using a brick or other heavy object, homeowners can crush cat litter into a fine powder and spread it over an oil stain or spill. The litter will need to sit for as little as 15 minutes for small stains or overnight for set-in stains. Once the litter has soaked up the oil, it can be swept up and disposed of.
Muriatic Acid or Trisodium Phosphate
For really tough stains, either muriatic acid or trisodium phosphate can offer an effective, albeit sometimes dangerous, solution. Both products are sold at hardware stores but must be handled with extreme care as the two solutions aren’t meant to be mixed. Instead, either one must be diluted with water and applied carefully to a stubborn concrete stain (property safety equipment is recommended).
Once the solution has sat for at least 10 minutes, a homeowner or contractor will need to rinse it away carefully. Applications can be repeated as needed until the stain has been neutralized.
Penetrating sealers won’t change the appearance of a concrete surface, making them ideal for driveways, living spaces, and outdoor concrete slabs used for entertainment areas. Penetrating sealers absorb into the concrete and bond with the concrete to protect it without altering its aesthetics.
There are four primary types of penetrating sealers. Silicate-based sealers actually strengthen the concrete they seal, though they’re not the best option for outdoor sealer since they don’t protect concrete from water damage alone.
Silane sealers are resistant to mold and freeze-thaw damage, so they’re perfect for driveways or outdoor concrete areas in fluctuating climates, and are often used on highways and in commercial areas. It’s recommended that this type of sealer is applied by a professional.
Siloxane-based sealers are easier to DIY, but the sealer is overall less effective. For the best of both worlds, a silane- and siloxane-based hybrid is the best choice.
Finally, siliconate-based sealers are the most environmentally friendly, with very few volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These sealers are also hydrophobic and help keep water, salt, dirt, mold, and other debris off the surface of indoor and outdoor concrete spaces.
For homeowners on a budget, acrylic sealers are an excellent choice. They’re water-resistant and help protect concrete surfaces from chemical spills and salt, which is commonly used on driveways and walkways for de-icing. Some acrylic sealers also offer protection against ultraviolet damage.
Interior surfaces can also benefit from acrylic sealers; however, these types of sealers lack durability and can quickly begin to break down.
When comparing the two types of acrylic sealers, homeowners will want to note that water-based sealers contain fewer VOCs and are more durable. However, this type of sealer is unsuitable for temperatures under 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Solvent-based acrylic is ideal for outdoor surfaces and even enhances the look of concrete, but it contains more VOCs.
Polyurethane sealer is ideal for both indoor and outdoor concrete surfaces as it’s one of the strongest topical sealers available. It’s also incredibly abrasion-resistant, so it’s the perfect choice for walkways and busy driveways.
This type of sealer is available in both solvent-based and water-based forms. Homeowners will want to note that this sealer only protects against moisture once dry, so its application must be properly timed. In addition, polyurethane emits high levels of VOCs and is considered the least environmentally friendly of common sealer types.
Epoxy is another common sealer type, though it’s mainly only considered for indoor spaces. Unfortunately, the sealer struggles to protect surfaces from ultraviolet rays and can easily stain outdoors, so it’s best saved for indoor surfaces like flooring and countertops.
Epoxy sealer for flooring is relatively affordable, highly customizable, and incredibly durable. However, curing times can be very drawn out, so epoxy isn’t likely to deliver fast results if a homeowner is after a quick sealing project. Epoxy isn’t always an easy DIY sealer to work with, and it can be slippery when wet.
Overall, epoxy sealers can add a glossy finish to concrete surfaces and provide just the right amount of protection from scratches. For safety reasons, some epoxy sealers come with a slip-resistant aggregate to reduce the risk of slipping.
Polyaspartic sealer is one of the newest concrete sealing technologies available. It’s typically used for sealing concrete kitchen countertops since it’s hot- and cold-resistant. It’s also incredibly smooth and holds up well to ultraviolet rays, so oversize kitchen windows don’t need to be covered.
Polyaspartic sealers don’t bubble in areas with high humidity either, and since they have low VOCs after application, they’re very safe for indoor use. While a polyaspartic sealer is perfect for a countertop surface, it can also be used on flooring. However, since it has such a smooth finish, adding traction is always recommended for safety reasons.
Benefits of Concrete Cleaning and Sealing Services
Concrete cleaning and sealing services offer a plethora of benefits. The following are some of the most convincing reasons to invest in cleaning and sealing a concrete floor, driveway, or outdoor area.
One of the biggest benefits of concrete maintenance and sealing is the drastically increased durability of the surface. Concrete can easily become damaged by almost anything from bad weather to extreme temperatures and even general daily use.
When concrete is sealed and properly maintained, there is much less need to worry about any of these problems. Using a sealer makes outdoor concrete harder and denser, allowing it to be much more resilient to anything that would otherwise cause significant damage. With proper sealing and maintenance, concrete driveways may not need to be redone for up to 30 years.
Another reason to get concrete sealed is because of the water resistance sealer provides. Because concrete is a porous material, it very easily absorbs water, creating an unattractive stained appearance. While water stains on concrete can usually be pressure washed out, when concrete is sealed, staining is not something a homeowner needs to worry about.
With this being said, oil stains are much more difficult to clean than water, and sealing protects from these as well. Sealing creates a barrier between the concrete and the elements, making it much less likely for concrete to absorb water or oil and become unattractively stained.
Easier Cleaning and Maintenance
Sealing creates a barrier between the concrete and the elements. When concrete is sealed, water will help wash away dirt and keep the surface clean rather than the dirt being absorbed into the surface. This means heavy rainfall will often fully clean a sealed concrete surface.
For cleaning jobs that rainfall doesn’t cover, it is also much easier to spray and scrub away heavy grime on sealed concrete. Because sealed concrete isn’t stained by water, scrubbing away surface stains is a quick and painless ordeal (though a bit of elbow grease may be required). Maintaining a sealed concrete surface is a much simpler matter than maintaining unsealed concrete because water absorption is no longer a concern.
Increased Curb Appeal
Finally, concrete sealing gives the surface much more curb appeal. Sealing asphalt driveways also boosts curb appeal, but concrete really stands out with the added gloss and shine that sealing adds.
Since sealed surfaces will rarely stain or even build up significant amounts of dirt, they will also look much cleaner on average than an unsealed surface. On top of all this, cracks, efflorescence, and other degradation are all much less likely to happen on a sealed concrete surface. Overall, sealed surfaces take much less effort to maintain than unsealed ones and will look much better for a longer time.
Concrete Cleaning and Sealing: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
A homeowner with previous experience who knows how to seal concrete may want to tackle this project themselves. While cleaning and sealing a concrete surface can certainly be a DIY project for some homeowners, those who aren’t sure how to clean concrete safely or which type of sealer to use will be better off leaving the job to a professional.
DIY is certainly the cheaper option; homeowners will typically spend between $0.20 and $0.75 per square foot when cleaning and sealing concrete themselves, whereas that cost increases to between $1.20 and $1.75 per square foot when left to a professional. DIY concrete and sealing can definitely help homeowners save, but attempting this project without prior experience with this type of work could result in damage that costs a lot more to fix than the cost to hire a professional from the start. There are also several steps when it comes to cleaning and sealing concrete that amateur homeowners may find beyond their comfort level. They include:
- Cleaning the surface using either a leaf blower, stiff broom, hose, or power washer. If water is used, enough time must be allotted for the surface to dry completely before applying the sealer.
- Repairing any damaged areas with a concrete patch or another applicable method.
- Sealing the concrete with two thin coats, allowing the first to dry before applying the second and applying the second at a right angle to the first.
If these steps seem too overwhelming, time-consuming, or even dangerous, hiring a professional will be the faster and likely more affordable option in the long run.
How to Save Money on Concrete Cleaning and Sealing Services Costs
Sealing a concrete area of a home, such as a driveway, can be a budget-stretching investment. Luckily, there are ways to extend the lifespan of a concrete driveway’s sealer, saving money in the long run.
- Clean the concrete regularly. Not only does regular cleaning help prevent unsightly stains, but it protects against corrosion. Hot soapy water and a stiff non-wire brush can remove stains or grease, while a home pressure washer can remove dirt and debris.
- Avoid spills. If you prefer to tackle your own oil changes or other vehicle maintenance, take care to avoid spills by laying down cardboard before completing any work. It’s always easier to prevent a spill in the first place rather than clean one up.
- Stay under weight limits. Most concrete driveways have strict weight limits that shouldn’t be exceeded, even briefly. This means that the weight of large moving trucks, construction vehicles, or delivery vans should be kept off a concrete driveway, as going over a driveway’s weight limit can lead to cracks and chips. Weight-bearing vehicles are best left on the street.
- Attend to issues right away. Should a small crack occur despite taking necessary precautions, you’ll want to tend to it immediately. Even cracks from natural settling and normal usage can grow weeds or further spread until the damage is too far gone.
Questions to Ask About Concrete Cleaning and Sealing Services
Concrete cleaning and sealing services are often best left to a professional. But this doesn’t mean all professionals offer the same level of experience and value. The following questions to ask about concrete cleaning and sealing services can help narrow down a list of contenders to ensure the best professional is hired.
- How much experience do you have with concrete?
- What types of projects have you done before?
- Are you licensed, insured, and bonded?
- Do you have a portfolio of your previous projects?
- Do you have references I can reach out to?
- How soon can you start on my project?
- How long will my project take?
- Is there any prep work I must complete before the project begins?
- If my driveway needs to be cleaned, what’s the average cost to pressure wash a house at the same time?
- Do I need to be present for the entire project?
- Will you need to obtain permits for my concrete cleaning and sealing?
- Will you be managing the project, or will it be outsourced?
- How is your crew trained?
- What protective measures do you take for my property, your workers, and yourself?
- What guarantees and warranties come with your work?
- What are the terms of payment?
- What type of maintenance do you recommend for my concrete?
Concrete cleaning and sealing services can improve the appearance and extend the longevity of a concrete floor; both services are well worth the price. But for those still unsure about investing in concrete cleaning and sealing services costs, the following FAQs may offer additional clarity.
Q. Why should I seal my concrete driveway?
Sealing concrete driveways provides the surface with a solid layer of protection, gives driveways a longer lifespan, and keeps them looking newer for longer. Sealing also makes cleaning much more manageable and protects driveways from potentially significant damage. Essentially, sealing a driveway helps to protect a homeowner’s initial investment and put off premature replacement costs.
Q. When is the best time to seal my concrete driveway?
It’s recommended that concrete driveways be sealed in either the spring or fall. Temperatures should be above 55 degrees to help the sealer form a bond with the surface. Sealers also need to dry for 24 hours for best results. Any rain in this period could wash away the sealer before it has a chance to bond, so be sure to check the weather forecast as a sealing appointment draws closer.
Q. Can I apply a new concrete sealer over the old sealer?
No, the old sealer must be completely removed before a new coat is applied. To be effective, a sealer needs to bond with the concrete surface, not a previous layer of sealer. Old sealer can be removed with chemicals or through the use of specific tools. Either way, this is a step that should never be skipped.
Q. How often should I seal my concrete?
This largely depends on how heavily the surface is used and what type of sealer is applied. Generally, a sealer should be replaced every 2 to 3 years. With that being said, areas that experience very heavy use or extreme weather conditions may need to be sealed more frequently.
Q. How long do I have to stay off concrete after sealing?
This depends on what type of sealer is being used. Some types will appear to have dried within less than an hour, but this doesn’t mean they’re ready to be used right away. Most sealers will require at least 36 to 48 hours to react fully with the concrete surface, making them safe for people, furniture, and vehicles.
Q. Is concrete sealing worth it?
Most experts consider concrete sealing not only worth it but completely necessary. This is because sealing protects concrete from discoloration, staining, cracking, and any other form of degradation. Concrete sealing is necessary to prevent unnecessary damage that would most likely occur otherwise.
Sources: Angi (1 and 2), HowMuch.net, Concrete Sealer Reviews, Foundation Armor