Concrete is a highly durable material, but it is also very porous. For this reason you should seal your concrete every year or every other year to help protect it from the elements and to help prevent cracking due to weather and water damage. Sealing your concrete is fairly simple to do, but it should be done the proper way to ensure it will protect your concrete. See below for instructions on how to seal your concrete patio.
You'll first need to clean your concrete. Remove all of your patio furniture and any other item on your patio that can be removed. Next, use a power washer to give your patio a deep clean. This also helps to take off any old sealer that had been on your patio previously. A new sealer may not adhere properly to any old sealer that remains on your patio, so you want to be sure it is all removed. Make sure to power wash carefully so you do not damage the concrete. If your concrete has any grease stains, use a de-greaser to help remove the stain. Follow the manufacturer's directions on how to use it.
If your concrete has cracks, you'll need to fill them using a concrete patch kit. Clean out the crack using a chisel and a hammer to carefully remove any loose material. Then vacuum out the debris. Cleaning out the loose material will help the patch kit adhere better to your concrete, so the crack doesn't reappear or become larger. Finally, follow the manufacturer's directions on the patch repair kit to fill in the crack.
Invest in a good concrete sealer that will hold up to weather to protect the surface of your concrete, not just make your patio shine. Be sure to read the directions on the sealer you choose, as the temperature outside may need to be below or above a particular temperature. You'll also need to be sure that rain is not in the forecast, as you need to allow time for the sealer to dry. To apply the sealer, use a handheld sprayer and mix the sealer (if needed) as directed. Spray your patio in even coats and pay special attention to the edges where your patio is more susceptible to cracking and damage. Once the sealer is applied, allow it to dry and cure thoroughly before walking on it.
Applying sealer to your concrete isn't a one-step process. You need to be sure to clean and repair your concrete before applying the sealer to ensure proper adhesion. Talk to a contractor, like Ingratta Cement & Drainage Inc, for more help.