Okay, you’ve decided to seal your concrete … now what? Not all sealers are the same and you’ll 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 also allow moisture in the slab to escape. Acrylic sealers offer good protection against water and chloride intrusion, and they are appropriate for both interior and exterior concrete surfaces where easy application is important.  They form a thin protective film on the concrete’s surface, giving the end result a “wet” look (sheen), which can also pose a possible slip and fall hazard.  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 adequate ventilation isn’t available.  Consider acrylic sealers for stamped concrete, concrete overlays, and decorative concrete in general (stained and dyes finishes).

Penetrating sealers are an excellent choice for concrete surfaces subjected to corrosion and freeze-thaw cycles where a natural matte finish is desired.  As the name implies, this type of sealer penetrates and reacts chemically within the capillaries of the concrete to protect against chemicals and moisture.  Penetrating sealers 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.  These sealers provide excellent protection and generally only wear away if the substrate surface itself wears away.  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. These sealers form a high build protective film on the concrete surface and can be considered for both interior and exterior floors. 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.  Consider polyurethane sealers for stamped, stained, and other decorative concrete finishes.

Epoxies provide a hard, long wearing, abrasion resistant finish.  Like polyurethane sealers, epoxies are also high build protective finishes.  Most epoxies are two component products which are mixed together prior to application.  Epoxies 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.