Types Of Concrete Sealers

Types Of Concrete Sealers – Features, Usage, Good & Bad Sides

Concrete is one of the most versatile building materials used in home construction today. Even though it is strong, durable, and affordable to install, concrete can still deteriorate over time. To prevent this from happening, you can choose to use a concrete sealer when you finish installing your new concrete.

Concrete sealers help protect the surface of your concrete from water damage and make it much easier to clean and maintain. If you are looking for a way to make your new concrete last longer, read on because we’ll be discussing different types of concrete sealers. You will be able to make an informed decision about which type of sealer to use on your floors.

8 Different Types of Concrete Sealers & Their Usage

concrete sealer types

As we said earlier, Concrete sealers can come in different types. They can be water-based, solvent-based, or acrylic-based depending on the manufacturer. Each type has its own characteristics and advantages, but all of them have one thing in common: they seal concrete from water and other liquids.

The biggest difference between them is that water-based sealers can’t withstand certain solvents such as hydrocarbons. With solvent-based sealers, on the other hand, you have to be careful not to use a high pH concrete cleaner on the floor after sealing it. Acrylic-based sealers are generally more resistant to solvents but aren’t as durable as water or solvent-based ones.

That said, let’s see different types of concrete sealers in detail- their features, usages, the good side, and bad sides-

1. Penetrating Sealers

Penetrating Sealers

Penetrating sealers are those that infiltrate a substrate where it is applied and react directly with the surface to produce a new chemical solid. This solid will act as a breathable barrier and go below the cementation to seal the surface. They are a great choice as marble sealers also.

Features: The best thing is that penetrating concrete sealers have a natural appearance and do not alter the surface texture or appearance. Most penetrating sealers form a permanent connection with the cementation surface. So they last for a very long and sometimes even a lifetime.

Usage: Penetrating sealers are best for use in walkways and also as a concrete sealer for driveway, retaining walls, the exterior of the brick walls, patios, etc.

Good Side

  • Forms a permanent structure inside the surface
  • Protects the driveway surface from moisture, chemicals, and de-icing salt penetration
  • Looks natural

Bad Side

  • Only suitable for exterior usage
  • Cannot be exposed to water before drying

2. Film-Forming Sealers

film forming sealer

Surface-coating or topical sealers are known as film-forming sealers. They coat the whole surface and clings to pore spaces. Film-forming sealers create a solid and protective coating over the applied surface.

Features: These types of sealers can be a great choice if you are looking for a limestone sealer. On top of the concrete, this sealer provides a layer of protection. Depending on whether the sealer is water or solvent-based, it may seem darker and even shinier.

Usage: This is one of the best concrete sealers for stamped concrete. Just not that you can even use it for stained surfaces, exposed aggregate, and brick pavers

Good side

  • Excellent protection from liquid spills
  • Easy maintenance
  • You can reapply without much hassle

Bad side

  • It doesn’t look natural.

3. Siloxane Concrete Sealer

siloxane concrete sealer

Silane or Siloxane sealers are the same substance and are frequently used as water repellents and for waterproofing, particularly on porous cement-based surfaces.

Features: On most porous surfaces, siloxane sealers protect from freeze-thaw damage, salt deterioration,  and chlorine damage as well as it comes with waterproofing technology.

Usage: You will find this sealer often in the construction of cinderblocks, stucco, brick, and concrete. The practical uses also include roadways and bridges.

Good side

  • Non Yellowing
  • Provides resistance against chloride penetration
  • Provides acidic protection on the surface

Bad side

  • Won’t last for a long time and might need to reapply once every year

4. Acrylic Concrete Sealer

Acrylic Concrete Sealer

Acrylic sealers can be of two types; water-based and solvent-based. In both indoor and outdoor settings, Acrylic sealers prevent general dirt and grime. On the concrete surface, they provide a thin layer of protection.

Features: They’re usually quite simple to apply and set, as they require the lowest time for surface prep of any topical coating. Additionally, you will find them in a range of sheen levels to complement the color, stamped pattern, or visible aggregate on the surface.

Usage: They’re used in the exterior of the buildings to guard against water and chloride intrusion. Another application is to protect and enhance the color of decorative interior flooring.

Good Side

  • Dries very quickly
  • Can be used by amateurs without any trouble
  • Creates a glossy and wet look

Bad Side

  • It makes a very thin layer of protection

5. Epoxy Sealers

epoxy concrete sealers

Epoxy sealer is one of the most common concrete coatings. These coatings have proven to be some of the most durable concrete coatings available. Epoxy is suited for interior applications that require long-lasting surface protection. Additionally, they are available in both solvent-based variants.

Features: If you want a wet look concrete sealer, there can’t be a better choice than epoxy sealers. They provide a long-lasting, abrasion-resistant coating. It also works well as a water repellent.You can extend the life of your concrete surface while also making it easier to clean by using Epoxy Concrete Sealer.

Usage: Epoxy sealers are an excellent choice for designing because color pigments can be applied. They leave a high-gloss epoxy finish on decorative flooring that highlights the color. They are a great choice as a travertine sealer, concrete countertops, warehouse floors, and more.

Good Side

  • It leaves a glossy finish.
  • Protects the floor heavily with a thick protective layer
  • Very long lifespan of 5-7 years

Bad side

  • Not that easy to apply

6. Polyurethane Concrete Sealer

Polyurethane Concrete Sealer

Both interior and exterior applications of Polyurethane concrete sealer provide a durable, non-yellowing layer of protection. They’re a flexible sealer that may be colored and create a range of gloss levels.

Features: Polyurethane concrete coatings are more sturdy than Acrylics/Epoxies and offer better resistance to wear, chemicals, and abrasion.

Compared to Acrylics and Epoxies, most Polyurethanes have better UV resistance, gloss, color enhancement, and color stability. Additionally, they have the advantage of curing at lower temperatures than Epoxies and Acrylics.

Usage: Polyurethane sealers are great for interior and external surfaces that see a lot of foot and car traffic, such as sidewalks, amusement parks, retail malls, and café floors.

Good Side

  • Abrasion-resistant
  • Can resist impacts, unlike weak acrylic sealers
  • Can last 4-9 years

Bad Side

  • Not suitable for water-based surfaces

7. Clear Concrete Sealer

Clear Concrete Sealer

Usually, a Polyaspartic sealer is known as a clear concrete sealer due to its ability to provide a crystal clear finish.

Features:  You can apply it to temperatures between -30°F to 140°F and is resistant to even the highest temperatures. Because of its low viscosity, it has excellent wetting properties, and a single application of polyaspartic sealer can produce a film thickness of up to 18 mm thickness.

Usage: The common use of clear concrete sealers includes labs, houses, shopping malls, and industrial floors.

Good Side

  • Cured time is very short
  • Resistant to very high temperatures
  • Leaves a crystal clear finish

Bad Side

  • Is expensive compared to other sealers

8. Stamped Concrete Sealer

Stamped Concrete Sealer

Stamped concrete sealers are explicitly made for use in stamped concrete. They prevent stains, oil, de-icing chemicals, and other pollutants from penetrating the surface.

Features: They provide abrasion and wear resistance to stamped concrete surfaces while also making them easier to clean and maintain. The surface will have a shine that ranges from satin to high gloss.

Usage: The primary usage is for stamped concrete protection

Good Side

  • Easy maintenance
  • Develops the color intensity of the concrete
  • Adds a sheen on the surface

Bad side

  • Not suitable for regular concrete

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We have discussed the concrete sealer types, but you will need to know a few other things related to concrete sealers.

1. What type of concrete sealer is best?

Even though different types of concrete sealer work differently, but, still, epoxy sealers are the easiest ones to use and can be used almost everywhere.

2. Should I roll or spray sealers?

It is always better to roll concrete sealers, and the best sealers for rolling are slow evaporating solvents.

3. What is the cost of concrete sealers?

Chemically reactive penetrating sealers like silanes, silicates, siloxanes cost $0.13 to $0.30 per square foot. Topical coatings with high performance, such as epoxies and urethanes, will cost more, ranging from $0.60 to $3.50 per square foot.

4. Do I need to add multiple coats of concrete sealers?

Yes, it is always advisable that you apply at least two coats of concrete sealers. But, if you are using thin concrete sealers like acrylic sealers, you should apply more.

5. What happens if I put too much sealer on concrete?

When you apply too much concrete sealer, the air pushed through the surface cannot exit, producing a bubble in the sealant surface that may ruin your concrete’s foundation.

Conclusion

In the end, there’s probably a concrete sealer out there for everyone. Each type of concrete has its own pros and cons, and each one is designed to do a specific job. So before you decide which types of concrete sealers are going to work best for you, take the time to consider what your needs are going to be when you start sealing your new floor.

It’s also important to put forth a little effort into doing some research. By doing so, you’ll be able to find a sealer that meets your needs and can make sure that you’re getting everything you pay for when it comes time to seal your concrete.

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