Applying a concrete sealer to your new or old concrete project is always a good idea. Curing and sealing the concrete will help strengthen, protect, and enhance its appearance many years to come.
Knowing which sealers to choose for your specific application is very important. Maybe you just acid stained your concrete floor or you have a stamped concrete driveway, this guide will show you the different concrete sealers and how to pick the right one.
PENETRATING SEALERS and FILM-FORMING SEALERS.
Penetrating Sealers react chemically within the capillaries of the concrete to protect against moisture penetration and deicing chemicals. They provide invisible protection and don't usually change the surface appearance.
They help improve the durability of exterior concrete surfaces exposed to harsh weather conditions like freeze-thaw damage.
This is a good sealer to choose if you want a natural matte finish. Most of these are
also breathable, allowing moisture vapor to escape.
A. Use on exterior concrete provide good chemical resistance
B. Natural matte finish does not leave a sheen
C. Non yellowing and most are breathable
MY RECOMENDATION: RADONSEAL DEEP PENETRATING SEALER
Film-Forming sealers do just what the name says, form a protective film on the surface of the concrete. They are most often used on decorative concrete work.
Most of them also highlight the colors in stamped
concrete or concrete acid stained floors. With a film-forming sealer you have three types,
each having advantages and limitations.
1. ACRYLICS - come in both water based and solvent based versions. They are usually the easiest to apply and the most economical. They are UV resistant, non yellowing and provide good protection against water and deicing chemical absorption. They are usually applied somewhat thinner than polyurethanes or epoxies, wearing out faster and requiring resealing more often.
A. Can be used on both interior and exterior concrete
B. Enhance the beauty of colored, stained, stamped or exposed aggregate concrete
C. Fast drying will usually dry to the touch within an hour
D. Come in different sheen levels, solvent based usually enhance color better than water based
2. POLYURETHANES - These are also available in water and solvent based formulas. They go on about twice as thick as acrylic sealer and provide very good protection to chemicals and abrasives. These sealers don't like moisture until they fully cure, if any water is present on the surface when the sealer is applied you will probably get some bubbling or foaming.
A. Use on both interior and exterior concrete
B. Very good on floors with high traffic areas
C. Provide resistant to scuffs and staining
D. Enhances the beauty of all decorative concrete
E. Use on concrete countertops
F. Finish is transparent and non-yellowing with a range of sheen levels
3. EPOXIES - Epoxies will give you a hard, long lasting, abrasion resistant finish. They adhere very well to concrete and cement overlays, you can choose from clear or pigmented if you want a color. Epoxies are generally used on inside applications as they might yellow if exposed to UV rays.
A. Use on floors with high traffic areas
B. Use on cement overlays
C. Use on concrete countertops
D. Most are two component products mixed before application
4. DENSIFIERS & HARDENERS - These are a unique blend of siliconate and silicate polymers specially formulated to penetrate deep into the concrete surface and chemically react to produce a very dense and durable surface. This type of sealer actually creates a liquid repellent seal on the concrete surface and helps strengthen the surface.
A. Dustproofs concrete surfaces
B. Repels water, oil, and many other chemicals
C. Use on new or existing concrete floors
D. Reduces tire marking
MY RECOMENDATION: RADONSEAL DEEP PENETRATING SEALER
There are other sealers called concrete cure and seal these are a hybrid formula that both cure and seal concrete in one application. They come in water and solvent based acrylic resins. You can apply them to new concrete and old. They work fine for plain gray concrete floors. Apply it with a sprayer or use a paint roller.
COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT CONCRETE SEALERS:
What is the best place to use an epoxy sealer?
What are the Pros and Cons of epoxy and urethane sealers?
Can I use a tinted sealer on my floor to add some color?
What kind of sealer surface preparation is required for proper adhesion to the concrete?
Can I use chemical strippers to remove old sealers from the concrete?
Will concrete sealer and condensation cause a sealer look hazy or white?
What are these sealer blisters and bubbles that have formed on the surface?
Can concrete moisture problems cause a sealer to turn white or peel off?
How does sealer react to the concrete surface temperature being too hot or too cold?
Are deicing salts and concrete not a good mix?
Which sealer applicator is the best one to use?
What are the Pros and Cons of concrete penetrating sealers?
What are UV Curing Acrylic Based Resins
What are the best Sealers for driveways
What are the best types of chemical strippers for removing concrete coatings and sealers.
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