If you answered yes to one of these questions, your surfaces need Concrete Sealing, a technique that eliminates pores in concrete surfaces using a Concrete Sealer, making it practically impenetrable to outer wear from common outdoor conditions.
Concrete Sealing has several benefits, mainly that it prevents those horrible stains, keeping a clean look on your concrete surface. Another advantage, in cases when concrete is superficially deteriorated (spalling or scaling), is associated with the fact that Concrete Sealing uses penetrating sealers that fill in pores and superficial cracks with a cement-like material.
If your concrete surface is exposed to more aggressive substances, you can find Concrete Sealers that are highly effective in making concrete physically stronger and denser, protecting it against frost and salt while increasing its resistance to acids, alkalis, moisture, mold and mildew.
Most of the products available in the market for Concrete Sealing are of the Do-It-Yourself type, as they are easy to apply using a brush, medium nap roller or low pressure sprayer. Of course, the manufacturer’s recommendations have to be attained in order to achieve best results.
What to look for in a Concrete Sealer
Adequate Concrete Sealing starts with choosing the right concrete sealer among those available on the market today. Here are some aspects you should keep in mind:
- With brand new concrete (no deterioration), you may apply Concrete Sealing to enhance concrete color, protect it from dust, spills, climate variations and moisture or to give it a gloss finish.Here you should use Concrete Sealers made from acrylic polymers (water and solvent based). This type of products gives moderate protection against water and chloride intrusion, forming a thin protective coating on the concrete surface. Even solvent-based and acrylic Concrete Sealers pose health and fire hazards, and they generally enhance color more than water-based products, so they are highly recommended for exterior concretes.
- With old concrete (10-15 years old), concrete with a very porous surface or signs of damage such as dusting and efflorescence, and concrete subject to corrosion and freeze-thaw damage (spalling), Concrete Sealing must be done with silicate-based penetrating Concrete Sealers, which will provide protection without changing the surface appearance or leaving sheen on it.
- If your concrete project is Interior, is exposed to high-traffic and water, or you wish to have it colored with a glossy finish, you should look for Epoxy-based Concrete Sealers, which provide a high-build protective film on the concrete surface. They are also known as Concrete Coatings.
Under UV exposure, Concrete Sealers made from Epoxies acquire a yellow pigmentation, so it is normally limited to interior use.
- With colored (stained) or stamped concrete on interior and exterior surfaces, Concrete Sealing with Polyurethane-Based Sealers provides a very durable abrasion and chemical-resistant finish on floors with high traffic volume; it also enhances the beauty. Like acrylic sealers, Polyurethanes are available in both solvent- and water-based formulations.