Concrete sealers are needed for a variety of reasons. First, concrete
is one of the hardest and most durable building structures available
today, however it is not indestructible. If concrete is mixed and
cured but not sealed, it is left vulnerable to the elements of nature.
If the concrete is later exposed to the outdoor elements and is
subjected to periods of freezing and thawing, the water buildup
and moisture can cause the concrete to crack and deteriorate. Using
a concrete sealer is an excellent way to prevent cracks and ensure
that your concrete is protected from the forces that can cause it
to become damaged.
Additionally, there are many forms of concrete that are beautiful
and decorative. Most people tend to think of concrete as plain gray
slabs that are used for garage floors or blocks. However, today’s
homeowner and the construction industry are exploring the beauty
and decorative potential of colored, dyed, stained, stamped, and
stenciled concrete. The result is a fabulous and gorgeous concrete
surface that resembles the exquisiteness of marble or the grandeur
of granite. People are opting to use decorative concrete for flooring
options, countertops, pool decks, patios, and more. However, if
decorative concrete is not properly and adequately sealed it will
lose its beautiful finish, can become cracked, and suffer other
unsightly damage. It is important that decorative concrete is properly
sealed to ensure its beautiful finish, shine, and durability.
When concrete is left outside it is exposed to UV rays. Using a
sealer can ensure that the concrete will not be damaged or its strength
diminished due to the penetration of these rays. The sealant will
also help protect the concrete from damage caused by abrasion or
use. Sealed concrete is also easier to clean and maintain as you
can remove dirt and dust easily and clean spills effortlessly. There
is no doubt about it, concrete that has been sealed is easier to
maintain, more durable, and resists stains.
Another wonderful benefit available with concrete sealers is that
they enhance and bring out the beauty in decorative work. Not only
will the sealant protect the beauty of your concrete, but also it
can bring out the shine and transform a drab looking concrete to
one that is full of gloss and shine. This is usually accomplished
with a sealer that is referred to as a film former. This type of
concrete sealer actually creates a barrier between the concrete's
surface and any water that may come in contact with it. This prevents
the concrete from becoming cracked or damaged and increases the
shine of the surface.
Unlike barrier sealers that create film formers, there are other
types of sealants that penetrate the concrete's surface. This is
due to the fact that concrete is very porous and will absorb moisture
from external sources. Penetrants will be absorbed into the concrete
and will prevent moisture or water from escaping and reaching the
surface, where it could cause damage to the concrete. These sealants
will enable concrete to retain its strength, durability, and beauty.
There are two types of sealers. Solvent based sealers and water
Solvent Sealers are an excellent sealer for exterior applications
that need to protect and reduce staining from oil, grease, de-icing
salt, uv and more. It is sold usually by the percentage of solids
it contains. 12% solid is a sealer that would penetrate the pores
of your concrete better but would only leave a thin layer of protection.
(best suited for normal concrete) But you can always apply more
coats. 25% solid sealer would not penetrate the pores as well but
would leave a thicker layer of protection on the top of the concrete.
This sealer is great for stamped concrete because it give it great
protection and makes it look very shinny. One problem you will face
with a shinny surface is that it becomes very slippery when wet.
For this they have create an additive that can be mixed with the
sealer or sprinkled on top (while it is still wet or tacky) to increase
Water based sealers are basically what the name implies water based.
This can be beneficial for using indoors.
I recommend at least 2 coats on all normal applications but you
may add more coats to areas with high traffic or high staining possibilities.