Choosing A Concrete Sealer
The job of a concrete sealer is to protect surfaces from water damage caused by freezing and thawing cycles, stains from dirt, deicing salts, oil and other contaminants, as well as many more. A good concrete sealer will keep your concrete structure looking great for many years and also increase its longevity.
Choosing a concrete sealer can be quite a task given the number of different options available. In this guide we will go through the different types and their uses while giving some tips and recommendations.
What Is Concrete Sealer?
A concrete sealer is a specialised finish product that is applied over all types of concrete surfaces. Exposed concrete can quite easily get damaged with the main type of damage to concrete resulting from surface moisture intrusions. If you have decorative or exposed concrete, adding a sealer will help to protect it from this.
Concrete sealers maintain the look of the concrete by adding a protective weather-proof layer over the surface. But, over time, this may start to wear away and show signs of damage. If this is the case, a resurface of sealer can be easily applied to completely renew the look of the concrete. Different concrete sealers offer different types of protection and different looking finishes. The type that you choose should be based on your specific project and concrete protection needs.
So, the best concrete sealer will enhance the look of the concrete, while adding a durable layer of protection. Not only does this help to keep the concrete looking fresh, but it can also provide important structural protection against potential damage.
The Two Main Types Of Concrete Sealer
You will have noticed that there are many different types of concrete sealer available. All of these modifications can be categorised into two types: penetrating concrete sealer and topical concrete sealer.
Penetrating Concrete Sealers
Penetrating concrete sealers can be used on an array of bare concrete surfaces with the aim to protect them from erosion, staining and against environmental factors such as weather, temperature and UV rays. Concrete has a porous consistency meaning it is able to absorb and retain moisture. Penetrating sealers get absorbed into the concrete surface where it forms a reaction bonding with and blocking substance to block the pores. These sealers can be separated into silicone, silanes and silicate sealers.
Silicone Concrete Sealers
These are penetrating sealers ideal for use as a short-term protection that you will most likely need to regularly resurface. Silicone sealers deeply penetrate into the pores of the concrete without changing its appearance making it a great choice to keep the look of the concrete structure.
Silane Concrete Sealers
As silane sealers need to be applied thickly with 2 to 3 coats you will benefit from up to 8 years protection. However, these sealers may darken the concrete and change the appearance due to the application process. Usually silane sealers are used on concrete block and brick structures including exterior walls.
Silicate Concrete Sealers
Unlike both silicone and silane sealers, silicate sealer does not offer any protection from water damage. It is a great choice as a densifier and hardener of concrete surfaces and it doesn’t not affect the aesthetic appeal of the concrete once applied.
Topical Concrete Sealer
Topical concrete sealers form a coating over the top of the concrete surface acting as a barrier due to its strong adhesive characteristic. This coating protects the concrete from moisture, stains, corrosion and chemicals.
The physical appearance of the concrete will also change along with its protective layer. Each topical concrete sealer will change the physical appearance of concrete in different ways. Most likely the sealer dries to a clear, shiny film and can be slippery when wet.
More Types Of Concrete Sealer Available
Beyond the two main types of concrete sealer, there are more sealers that do the job that are available as options.
Acrylic Concrete Sealer
Acrylic sealers can be used both for interior and exterior projects giving you an easy to apply, versatile and cost effective option. These concrete sealers form a thin coat over concrete with options of different sheen depending on the aesthetic finish you require.
Polyurethane Concrete Sealer
Polyurethane concrete sealers work on both interior, exterior and horizontal concrete surfaces in high-traffic areas or high use areas like floors and countertops. The finish of polyurethane varies from a slight sheen to a high gloss and helps prevent staining and scuffing. Polyurethane sealer is a thicker and more resistant type of sealer than acrylic and can be either water-based or solvent-based. Polyurethane sealers do not change the color of concrete surfaces and do not yellow over time. They are an ideal choice for garage floors as it is abrasion resistant and offers flexibility to withstand impacts that brittle acrylic seals do not
Epoxy Concrete Sealers
Epoxy offers a thick and durable sealing solution best used for indoor applications as it is not UV resistant. It is water repellant and can come in a glossy finish that is clear or tinted with easy addition of colour pigmentation. An epoxy concrete sealant is a great choice for busy flooring areas that require superior resistance against abrasion. Epoxy concrete sealers typically come in the form of a two-component product.
What Are The Benefits Of Using A Concrete Sealer?
A good quality, durable concrete sealer can benefit your concrete in many ways. Such as:
1. Extending The Life Of Concrete
The average life of a concrete surface is approximately 25 to 30, by which time it is likely to suffer from cracks and discolouration. A concrete sealer can negate the need to replace the concrete after the expected life of the concrete nears.
2. Concrete Durability Increases
Applying a concrete sealer prevents potential damage from exposed exterior concrete. Exterior concrete is open to the elements and can suffer from scaling, cracking and other common problems.
3. Mold Inhibition
Due to the sealer’s qualities of creating a moisture barrier, a concrete surface coated with sealer is unlikely to have water remain on the surface. As water cannot stay on the surface for long, mold and mildew is unable to grow.
4. Sealers Can Improve The Colour Of Concrete
Discoloration of concrete can happen over time when exposed to the environment. Clear or coloured concrete sealer can offer the protection required to keep the aesthetic appeal of concrete surfaces.
Which Concrete Sealer Should I use?
At Precon we have a huge range of concrete sealers available for every project and requirement. We are independent specialist suppliers to the construction and building industry offering over 30 trusted brands with a same day delivery service. If you can’t find the product you need don’t hesitate to contact our friendly and knowledgeable staff.
Adocure is a resin based curing agent that is a clear, low viscosity acrylic polymer solution. Mixed specifically to be used on freshly laid concrete. It forms a curing membrane while also acting as a hard-wearing sealer for the hardened concrete.
Adomast Epocrack Seal
A two-component solvent-free epoxy repair resin, Epocrack Seal completely seals against water. Gravity feeding or pressure injecting into fine cracks, voids and fissures is ideal for this low-viscosity epoxy resin sealer.
This water based curing agent is a blend of high performance polyurethane and acrylic polymers.
Adomast Safecure Sealer is perfect for use on new and old concrete for both interior and exterior surfaces.
DCP Setseal 6
Setseal 6 is an acrylic resin based concrete sealer in a single component design. It penetrates concrete surfaces and acts as a curing aid, sealer, dustproofer and hardener.
DCP Cemflow Sealer
With fast drying technology, Cemflow Sealer eliminates surface irregularities while also being low odour and protein free. Fully cured after just 48 hours at 20 degrees celsius.
RIW Cementseal is a two-component polymer concrete sealer that has excellent adhesion qualities. As a cement based waterproof concrete sealer it can bind to many masonry substrates.
Author Lydia Swallow. Category Concrete Repair. First published Fri, 09 Apr 2021 12:00:00 +0100