New Homeowner's Maintenance Guide: Sealing Your Concrete Steps

Posted on: 2 November 2015

One of the big differences you face as you move from an apartment into a new home is that you are responsible of the daily upkeep and maintenance for your new home. Now it is your job to make sure the property is prepared for winter, and one way you can do that is to seal your concrete steps. Unsealed steps can allow water from melting snow and rain to penetrate the pores in the concrete during a thaw cycle. When a freeze cycle returns, the water will expand into ice and damage the steps. Here is how to seal your concrete steps to protect them during the winter.

You Will Need:

  • Concrete Sealer
  • Paint Brush
  • Broom
  • Concrete Cleaner
  • Scrub Brush
  • Plastic Five-Gallon Bucket
  • Hose
  • Water
  • Gloves
  • Safety Glasses
  • Breathing Mask

Prepare Steps

You need to thoroughly clean the steps to remove oils and grime that will interfere with the ability of the sealer to adhere to the concrete.

Sweep off the steps to remove any leaves, twigs, and other debris. Then rinse the steps down with water.

Mix your concrete cleaner with water in a bucket according to manufacturer's directions. Apply a liberal of cleaner to the steps and let it set for a few minutes to allow the cleaner time to penetrate the grime and oil on the steps.

Apply more cleaner to the steps as you start scrubbing.

Rinse with water and let the steps dry. If you find grime and oil spots you missed, or you didn't get completely clean, repeat the cleaning process over again.

Apply Concrete Sealer

Put on plastic gloves and safety glasses to protect your hands and eyes. Chemicals in the concrete sealer can harm your skin and eyes if it splashes onto you while you are working. If you are working in an area without adequate ventilation, you should also wear a breathing mask to protect you from the fumes coming from the concrete sealer. Do not use a regular dust mask for this. Make sure the mask employs chemical cartridges to block out vapors to be safe.

Using a paint brush, apply a nice even coat of the concrete sealer over and along the sides of the top step. Work your way down from the top step to the bottom step.

Rope off the steps so nobody uses them while the sealer dries – this usually takes a full day. Apply a second coat for extra protection after the first coat has completely dried.

Reopen the steps after the second coat dries. For more information, visit or a similar website.