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Choosing the Best Concrete Sealer For Your Project

2017-11-20

Choosing the best concrete sealer for your project can seem overwhelming and confusing. With many options on the market (that serve many different purposes), it’s best to do your research and to fully understand your project needs.

Whether you’re planning to seal your driveway, your pool deck, or the floor in your basement, you need reliable and long-lasting products that may need to accommodate changes in temperature, seal cracks, and preserve concrete colour or detailing.

Types of Concrete Sealers

Which sealer should you choose for your project? That answer begins with exploring the different types of concrete sealers and how each product can serve your needs:

Penetrating Sealers
Penetrating sealers, (silicates, siliconates, silanes, and siloxane) seal the pores of concrete below the surface.

Benefits:


Perfect For: Driveways and pool decks

Film-Forming Sealers
Film-forming sealers block penetration of water by forming a barrier on the concrete surface. The main types of film-forming sealers are acrylic, polyurethane, and epoxy concrete sealers.

Benefits:


Perfect For: Driveways and pool decks

Tip: It is recommended to use a traction additive to make the concrete safer from slipping.


Siloxane Concrete Sealer
Siloxane concrete sealer is less volatile and offers water repellency at a lower cost.

Benefits:


Perfect For: Driveways and pool decks.

Tip: When choosing siloxane sealer, look for a product that is water-based with a low VOC content. These will be easier to apply and safer.

Acrylic Concrete Sealer
Acrylic concrete sealer keeps costs down, is easy to apply, and can be used on both interior and exterior surfaces.

Benefits:


Perfect For: Driveways and pool decks.

Water-based – Not very shiny. Water-based acrylics have lower VOC’s and odours than solvent-based but don’t last as long.

Solvent-based - Have a glossy, color-enhancing sheen. Solvent-based acrylics have higher VOC’s and odours, but they have greater longevity.


Epoxy
Epoxy concrete sealers are most often used indoors for concrete countertops, high foot traffic areas, interior stained concrete, and concrete overlays.

Benefits:


Perfect For: Indoor concrete

Tip: Most epoxy concrete sealers come as two separate components that require mixing. Once mixed, the product will dry quickly, so you’ll need to work fast.
 

Polyurethane Concrete Sealer
Polyurethane concrete sealer forms a protective film that provides resistance to abrasion and chemicals. Polyurethane concrete sealer is available in both water- and solvent-based solutions.

Benefits:


Polyurethane concrete sealer is commonly used on floors in high-traffic areas and to enhance the beauty of concrete countertops.

Perfect For: Interior and exterior use

Tip: Avoid applying water-based polyurethane concrete sealer with a garden-type pump-up sprayer. Instead, use a low-volume, high-pressure airless sprayer or microfiber mop. Follow a push-and-pull motion with the mop to get thin, even coverage.

Clear Concrete Sealer
Clear concrete sealer will make your surface durable while looking polished and finished.

Benefits:


Perfect For: Basements, driveways, and pool decks.

Stamped Concrete Sealer
Stamped concrete requires solvent or water-based acrylic sealers.

Benefits:


Perfect For: Indoor and outdoor use.

Tip: Before applying a sealer for stamped concrete, clean and dry the surface. Then use a sprayer and roller simultaneously. Spraying, followed by back rolling, will help you to distribute the sealer evenly.
 

Which Concrete Project Are You Tackling?

Now that you’ve learned a bit about the different types of concrete sealers, let’s explore the projects you’re looking to complete and which sealer may be right for you:

Driveway Concrete Sealing
When choosing a concrete sealer, you need to consider geographical location:

Colder Climates – Those who live in colder areas should use a concrete sealer that is a silane or silane/siloxane blend.

Warmer Climates – Those who live in warmer areas have the option between silane/siloxane sealers and acrylic based products. However, acrylic concrete sealers are the best choice for decorative finishes, high glosses, or to enhance colour.


Crack & Seam Concrete Sealing
Cracks in concrete can be caused by everything from tree root growth to heat expansion. For driveways, a sealer will keep moisture out of concrete cracks and seams. Using a concrete crack sealer that is waterproof will also protect concrete surfaces during thaw and freezing cycles.

Floor Sealing
Concrete in basements, garages, and warehouses take quite a bit of abuse over time. Applying concrete floor sealer will not only prolong the life of your floor, but it will also enhance and preserve its appearance.

Homeowners can choose between solvent-based or water-based acrylic concrete floor sealers. However, a solvent-based interior concrete floor sealer will provide extra years of service life when compared to water-based acrylic sealers.

Interior Concrete Sealing
Bare concrete is vulnerable to staining, as liquids can soak into the surface and carry stains into the slab. For concrete to perform well as a countertop or basement flooring material, it must be sealed to remain protected from heat, stains, and etching.

 

How National Concrete Accessories Can Help

If you have any questions or concerns about your concrete sealing project, give us a call at 1-888-777-9272 – we’d love to hear from you! To learn more about the sealers available at NCA, browse our selection today.

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