Concrete sealer can protect and brighten, depending on the type of sealer and the concrete. Not all sealers are designed to match every surface. Use this guide to determine which product is an ideal investment for your residential or commercial concrete.
Why Is Concrete Sealing Important?
Crumbling, stained concrete makes for an unsightly facade. While concrete is one of the most durable building materials, it does disintegrate over time due to weather and chemical exposure. Sealing is essential for maximizing the longevity of the building material, giving it the most polished, attractive aesthetic appeal possible. Sealer comes in two main categories, and each type delivers different benefits for varying concrete types.
Film-forming products live up to their name – they form a protective coating on the surface. The main purpose of this product is to give a glossy, smooth finish to the top coat. However, this type is available in both solvent and water-based forms, and each delivers different results.
Solvent-based versions cause the surface to darken considerably and they provide a high-gloss coating. For concrete with stamped color, the hues are brightened with solvent products. Water-based, film-forming sealers are the low-gloss option, absorbing into the surface more but offering a higher resistance to chemicals.
While film-forming products can protect against the freeze-thaw cycle and water and salt absorption, they are mainly recommended for surfaces in which stain resistance and aesthetics are the most important factors.
Penetrating repellant sealers do not alter the overall appearance. These products are heavily absorbed, but offer a higher level of weather protection. The water-repellant properties prevent absorption of melting snow and ice. A protective coating with this product ensures deicing chemicals can be used without damage to the concrete. The drawback is it does not offer protection against staining.
Penetrating sealers are suggested for use in outdoor areas exposed to a high level of precipitation and extreme climates. These products prevent premature degradation of the concrete due to the damaging effects of snow and ice absorption and expansion.
What Else Should You Know?
Of course, one aspect of choosing the right concrete sealer is understanding how much product you must purchase and the final cost involved. Calculate the square footage of your project before you begin pricing options.
Also, in the case of decorative or stamped concrete, ensure the sealer product properties will not interact with any surface chemicals in the concrete. Either apply the brand recommended by the concrete installer or consult the manufacturer to make sure no damaging chemical reactions will result.
Finally, take note of the product’s drying time and plan an application time that will not interfere with the household daily routine. Also note how often the sealer must be reapplied to maintain maximum protective levels.
Contact Lift-Up Concrete whenever you require professional concrete repair, and do not hesitate to consult the team about potential concrete sealer products fitted for your home or business.