There are a few concrete driveway sealers that can be used to seal a new concrete driveway. When you seal your driveway will depend on the type of sealer you want to use and what you are looking to achieve.
Cure and Seal
Cure and seal sealers can be applied to new concrete (concrete that has been poured in as little as 24 hours prior to sealing). Cure and seal products will prevent the concrete from losing too much water, too quickly and will allow for the new concrete to properly cure. There are curing compounds (which won’t leave behind a coating) and cure and seals which will leave behind a surface coating.
Silane Siloxane Sealers
Silane-Siloxane sealers are the most popular type of sealer to use on a concrete driveway but in order to use a silane-Siloxane driveway the concrete should be fully cured (28 days old). Silane-Siloxane sealers will penetrate into the concrete and leave behind a hydrophobic barrier within the pores of the concrete causing water and other liquids to bead off the surface. Silane-Siloxane sealers do not change the look or color of the concrete, and they do not leave behind a surface film. Silane-Siloxane sealers will help to stop and prevent a variety of issues including freeze thaw damage and mold growth.
When searching for a Silane-Siloxane sealer consider a high solids, solvent based sealer like the Armor SX5000 (featured in video).
How a Silane-Siloxane Sealer Works
Acrylic sealers are available in several formulations. Some acrylic sealers can be applied to new concrete (cure and seal) and some acrylics must be applied to cured concrete. Acrylic sealers will give concrete a wet look, satin sheen, or high gloss finish. They are the best type of sealer to use on exterior concrete because of their breathability and adhesion. Acrylic sealers can be applied to virtually all types of concrete surfaces including poured concrete, stamped concrete and pavers.
When shopping for an acrylic sealer, consider a solvent based solution. Solvent based acrylics are very easy to use. When the acrylic has reached the end of its life, you simply put more down. With water based, you would have to remove what was down and start over.
Not all acrylic sealers are treated equal. There are professional grade acrylics, like the Armor AR350 which will give you about 2-5 years, and there are temporary acrylics, like the Eagle Sealer, which will get you through one season.