Concrete Sealers

Another option to consider for taking care of and maintaining your concrete is a concrete sealer. All concrete surfaces can and should be sealed. There are a wide variety of clear and colored sealers available on the market today, and they all have a specific purpose and suitability depending on the conditions, expectations, and exposure of the finished surface. The benefits to sealing your concrete are many:

  • Sealers protect concrete from spills and all kinds of stains.
  • Sealers reduce spalling, flaking, and cracking.
  • Sealers prevent moisture from penetrating the slab.
  • Sealed concrete is easier to clean and maintain!

 

A word of warning, however, SEALED CONCRETE IS SLIPPERY CONCRETE WHEN WET, so putting a traction additive in the final seal coat is highly recommended.

Not all sealers are the same and you will need to spend some time thinking about what performance and appearance features are most important to you.

  • Acrylic sealers are easy to apply, economical, UV resistant, and non-yellowing. They offer good protection against water and chloride intrusion, and are appropriate for both interior and exterior concrete surfaces. They form a thin protective film on the concrete’s surface, giving the end result a “wet” look (sheen). Acrylics are fast drying and you can generally expect the finish to last one to three years depending on weather and traffic exposure. Solvent-based sealers are extremely flammable and their fumes are potentially hazardous to breathe, while¬†water-based sealers are safer and a good choice for indoor applications where there is little or no ventilation. Consider acrylic sealers for stamped concrete, concrete overlays, and decorative concrete in general.
  • Penetrating sealers are an excellent choice for concrete surfaces subjected to corrosion and freeze-thaw cycles where a natural matte finish is desired. They will not enhance or change the color of your concrete like acrylic sealers do, and this finish does not change the existing texture so typically it’s slip resistant. This finish can last ten years or longer. Consider penetrating sealers for raw, textured concrete driveways, walks, porches, patios, and pool decks.
  • Polyurethane sealers are two times as thick as acrylic sealers and produce a durable, chemical and abrasion resistant finish for interior use. Because of their strong resistance to stains and scuffs, polyurethane sealers are a great choice for high traffic areas. They come in a range of sheens, and the finish is transparent and non-yellowing.
  • Epoxies are high build protective finishes and provide a hard, long-wearing, abrasion resistant finish for interior use. Most epoxies are two component products which are mixed together prior to application. They are available in a clear finish and color pigment can be added as well. The end result is glossy and epoxy sealers may yellow over time. Consider epoxies for high traffic areas or those exposed to chemicals.

 

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