Do you have to acid-wash concrete before sealing


When it comes to sealing concrete, many homeowners and contractors wonder whether acid washing is necessary before applying a sealer. Acid washing is a common practice in the concrete industry, but is it really required? In this article, we will explore the benefits of acid washing concrete before sealing and whether it is a step you should consider.

Table of Contents

  • The benefits of acid washing concrete
  • Improving adhesion and longevity
  • Removing surface contaminants
  • Enhancing the appearance of the concrete
  • FAQ
  • Conclusion

The benefits of acid washing concrete

Acid washing concrete before sealing offers several advantages that can greatly improve the overall performance and aesthetics of your concrete surface. Let’s take a closer look at these benefits:

Improving adhesion and longevity

Acid washing creates a rough surface on the concrete, allowing the sealer to better adhere to the surface. This enhanced adhesion helps to prevent the sealer from peeling or flaking off over time. By acid washing your concrete, you are essentially creating a strong bond between the sealer and the concrete, ensuring its longevity and durability.

Think of it like painting a wall. If you paint over a dirty and greasy surface, the paint will not adhere properly, resulting in an uneven and inconsistent finish. However, if you clean the wall thoroughly before painting, the paint will adhere much better, providing a smooth and long-lasting finish. The same principle applies to acid washing concrete before sealing.

Removing surface contaminants

Over time, concrete surfaces can accumulate various contaminants such as dirt, oil, grease, and stains. These contaminants can interfere with the adhesion of the sealer and compromise its effectiveness. Acid washing helps to remove these surface contaminants, ensuring a clean and pristine surface for the sealer to bond with.

Think of it as giving your car a thorough wash before applying a protective wax coating. By removing dirt, grime, and other contaminants, the wax adheres better to the car’s surface, providing a superior level of protection. The same concept applies to acid washing concrete before sealing.

Enhancing the appearance of the concrete

In addition to improving the performance and durability of the sealer, acid washing can also enhance the appearance of your concrete. Acid washing can help to bring out the natural colors and patterns of the concrete, giving it a more vibrant and visually appealing look.

Think of it like polishing a piece of jewelry. By removing the dirt and grime, the true beauty and shine of the jewelry are revealed. Acid washing concrete works in a similar way, bringing out the natural beauty of the concrete and making it more visually appealing.


Is acid washing concrete safe?

Acid washing concrete should be done with caution and proper safety measures. The acid used in the process is corrosive and can cause harm if not handled correctly. It is recommended to hire a professional who has experience in acid washing concrete to ensure safety and proper execution of the process.

Can I skip acid washing and just apply the sealer?

While it is possible to skip acid washing and apply the sealer directly, it is not recommended. Acid washing is an important step in the sealing process as it helps to improve adhesion and remove surface contaminants. Skipping this step may result in a weaker bond between the sealer and the concrete, leading to premature failure of the sealer.

Can I acid wash concrete myself?

If you have experience and knowledge in working with corrosive substances, you can acid wash concrete yourself. However, it is always recommended to hire a professional for this task to ensure safety and proper execution. Professionals have the necessary equipment, expertise, and experience to perform the acid washing process effectively.


While acid washing concrete before sealing is not always mandatory, it offers significant benefits that can greatly enhance the performance and appearance of your concrete surface. By improving adhesion, removing surface contaminants, and enhancing the natural beauty of the concrete, acid washing sets the foundation for a long-lasting and visually appealing sealer application.

Whether you choose to acid wash your concrete yourself or hire a professional, it is important to prioritize safety and follow proper procedures. By doing so, you can ensure the best results and enjoy the benefits of a well-sealed and protected concrete surface for years to come.