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Many of us have lived in our house for many years, or maybe you have just bought an older house. As you look around, take note of your driveway, pool deck, and patio or basement floor, and see if they are showing signs of aging and. Has the surface started to show signs of deterioration? The majority of concrete surfaces around homes will last longer than the owners, but all of them will eventually show the results of wear-and-tear, sometimes due to extreme weather conditions. Therefore, the main purpose of Concrete Epoxy Sealers is to protect, seal, and improve the concrete surface.
Table of Contents
- 1 Epoxy Sealant for Concrete Floors
- 2 Polyurethane Sealer for Concrete Floors
- 3 Various Kinds of Concrete Sealers
- 4 Choosing your Concrete Sealer
- 4.1 The Chemical Formula
- 4.2 Acrylic Sealers
- 4.3 Penetrating Sealers
- 4.4 Epoxy Sealers
- 4.5 Polyurethane Sealers
- 4.6 Protection
- 4.7 Coverage
- 4.8 How to Apply
- 4.9 Seal all cracks
- 4.10 Apply that extra effort
- 4.11 Apply the sealer using the correct applicator
- 4.12 Old sealers need to be removed
- 4.13 Compatible Surfaces
- 4.14 Appearance
- 5 Questions and Answers
Epoxy Sealant for Concrete Floors
Due to the thickness of the coat applied, Concrete Epoxy Sealers are used to provide perfect protection for your concrete floor surface against gauging, abrasion, and scratching. Where are Epoxy Floor Sealers used? Hospitals and garage floors, hotel lobbies as well as any surface areas that have a high traffic movement of people or vehicles.
Epoxy Sealer for Concrete offers you a thicker film coating, however, they do not offer UV resistance and need to have a final sealing coat of Polyurethane Sealer applied. If you want to decorate your concrete surface, you can add a color tint to the Epoxy Sealer forming a pigmented sealer coat.
Epoxy Floor Sealers that are tinted give you that uniform decorative color, of your choice, on the entire floor. Many people like to create a pattern or theme on their concrete floor, so they use colored flakes or colored chips and then cover the flakes with a final clear coat of Polyurethane. This embeds them into their design.
If your concrete floor surface is badly scratched or marked, then the use of Epoxy Floor Sealer is a good choice. It provides you with a thick, heavy coating that will protect your whole wall or floor surface. If you live in New York or California where they have stringent environmental laws controlling the use of certain chemicals, you can purchase a water-based Epoxy Resin.
These water-based Epoxy Resins are specially designed for use indoors, as they do not give off hazardous fumes. Whereas, the solvent-based Epoxies emit dangerous and hazardous fumes, and may be harmful to your health if you inhale them.
Superior Epoxy Concrete Floor Sealer – KILZ 390201 Interior/Exterior Concrete Sealer
The KILZ 390201 Concrete Sealer is an excellent clear masonry sealer that protects and enhances brick, concrete, and many other masonry surfaces. It maintains the natural color of the concrete without the color fading or yellowing and leaves you with a wet-look, high-gloss finish.
It is perfect for use on interior or exterior, coated or uncoated surfaces like concrete, tiles, pavers, aggregate, brick, stone, and stucco. However, it is not recommended to be used on metal, marble, wood, granite, or terrazzo areas, or any high moisture area adjacent to the pool, as this could result in the coating blistering, peeling, chipping, or becoming milky white.
You can apply this concrete sealer using a roller, pad applicator, brush, or a pump sprayer, and it should be dry within one hour. You can then do a second layer inside 4 hours. Before applying the sealer ensure that the surface is thoroughly clean free from any dust, mold, polish, wax, oil, grease, chalk, rust, or any other foreign materials. The sealer is especially recommended for application for residential purposes only.
Polyurethane Sealer for Concrete Floors
Using a Polyurethane Sealer for your indoor concrete floor is extremely popular and an excellent choice, as it is environmentally friendly. Polyurethane Sealers are better than Acrylic Sealers, as they offer a harder surface which allows for more traffic movement and is also low in maintenance. You can purchase Polyurethane Sealers in water-based or solvent-based formulations, and they are also UV resistant and allow you to add colors of your choice.
Polyurethane Sealers give you excellent protection on your concrete floors from water, abrasion, oil, and many other types of chemicals. All your interior floors like a concrete stain, stamp overlays, concrete dyes, spray textures, and any other decorative concrete flooring, require a sealer that will protect your design. It will also offer a UV solidity that protects and keeps your colors bright. These are the reasons why Polyurethane Concrete Sealers are perfect for your garage and any other concrete floor in your home.
Superior Polyurethane Concrete Coating – Z Aqua-Thane G40 Water-based
Z Aqua-Thane G40 is a Polyurethane Coating that has the following properties: self-crosslinking, water-based, and a 2-part component system. It offers you a high gloss finished surface with resistance to stains, chemicals, and abrasion. This product is long-lasting and tough and is, therefore, excellent for floor surfaces that have high traffic movement. This coating is also safe to use outdoors or indoors.
- Z Aqua-Thane G40 is a water-based, two-component, self-cross-linking polyurethane coating
- It exhibits a high-gloss finish and offers superior stain, abrasion, and chemical resistance
- The durability makes this sealer ideal for high-traffic areas
When it has properly cured, it leaves you with a wet shading, clouding look. The depth of the shading look will be determined by the amount of porosity in the concrete. It is best to test a small section first to guarantee a great finish and result.
This coating is also fast-drying and perfectly safe to use indoors or outdoors and has exceptional resistance to UV rays and most chemicals.
Various Kinds of Concrete Sealers
Penetrating Concrete Sealers
A Penetrating Sealer seals all the pores that are below the surface of the concrete. Types of Penetrating Sealers are Siloxane, Siliconates, Silicates, and Silanes.
Advantages of Penetrating Sealers
Acrylic Concrete Sealers
Acrylic Concrete Sealers are very versatile for both indoor and outdoor surfaces. These sealers are also easy to apply and are very cost-effective.
Advantages of Acrylic Sealers
Superior Concrete Sealer – Armor AR350
Armor AR350 is a solvent-based wet-look clear acrylic concrete sealer. Its purpose is to enhance, protect, and seal most exterior and interior concrete surfaces. If you are careful and apply the sealer correctly then it should protect your interior concrete surfaces for 3 -7 years and 1 – 3 years on your exterior concrete surfaces.
- The Armor AR350 is a breathable, non-yellowing solvent based acrylic
- Provides a long lasting, durable low gloss finish
- Self-priming and can be applied to unsealed concrete
There are many reasons why so many people have chosen this sealer, and one main reason is that it can be applied to previously sealed or unsealed surfaces and all forms of concrete surfaces. It is simple to put on using a brush or a roller, the sealer is also self-priming. Furthermore, this sealer is very easy to recoat and is extremely low-maintenance. It assists in reducing deterioration or damage that is a result of surface abrasion.
With Armor AR350 clear sealer, you can boast with your beautiful concrete surface, or if you want to color the concrete, they have 14 different color options. These colors include a range of reds, grays, and browns as well as white and black. The clear sealers bring out the natural color of your concrete.
Preferred Application for Concrete Sealers
- Minor home projects like basement floors
- Interior surfaces that have very little traffic movement
- Exterior surfaces like patios and driveways
Choosing your Concrete Sealer
Since there are so many different concrete sealers out there, it is a challenging and daunting experience to choose the correct one for your application. There are numerous products to choose from such as acrylic to penetrating sealer formulas to give you the protection you are looking for. Here are some guidelines to help you.
The Chemical Formula
First, you should consider the pros and cons of all the types of concrete sealers out there and then determine which will suit your application.
Here are a few types to consider:
- Acrylic Sealers
- Penetrating Sealers
- Epoxy Sealant
- Polyurethane Sealers
These types of sealers are manufactured from a mixture of water or solvents and acrylic compounds. You have the option of clear or colored sealers and are supplied in various types of gloss. These types of sealers are ideal for use on exterior patios. Choose this type of sealer if you want:
- Want a cheaper and quick solution for your problem
- Want to protect some exposed exterior surfaces
- You want to enhance and improve some of your concrete surfaces
Many of these types of sealers are manufactured from Silane, Siliconates, Siloxane, or Silicates. All these formulations are designed to penetrate the open pores of the concrete, but not to change the appearance. This will result in making the concrete chemical, water, UV ray, and mineral resistant. A great choice for any concrete surface. The reasons for your choice can be some or all of the following:
- You want to stop the weather conditions from damaging your concrete surface
- You are looking for an environmentally friendly sealer
- You want to retain the previous look of your concrete
These types of sealers are supplied in a 2-part component system, a resin, and a hardener, which need to be correctly mixed before use. As soon as you mix them you need to work fast, as they tend to dry and set fairly quickly. They are most often used indoors on concrete countertops, concrete overlays, or stained concrete where there is heavy foot traffic. You would choose this sealer for the following reasons:
- It repels water
- It is tough and long-lasting
- Its pigment is clear but can also be colored
- Can be bought in high gloss or mid-level gloss
- It is abrasive resistant
Polyurethane is an organic substance and is produced when Isocyanate and Glycol react together. Polyurethane Concrete Sealers are mostly applied indoors on various concrete surfaces because it is not UV resistant. The product is supplied in a water or solvent-based formula. This type of sealer is excellent in your home if you are looking for the following properties:
- Want to repair garage or work area floors
- Want to keep the beauty of the original concrete floor surface
- Want a sealer that is cost-effective
If you are not 100% sure that a concrete sealer is right for your project or if it is worth it spending all that money, then please read on. The main purpose of a concrete sealer is to protect your concrete surface from wear and stains. If you apply it correctly, as per manufactures instructions, then the sealer will give you a tough and solid invisible protective layer on your concrete surface. The sealers’ work is to block or seal the pores of the concrete, thus allowing any moisture to come out of the concrete but not allowing moisture to enter.
Concrete can be damaged in the following ways; abrasion, stains, or scale. If you apply a good quality sealer to your concrete you will avert these damages from happening. It can also prevent salts, chemicals, or chlorides from entering into the pores.
When purchasing your Concrete Sealer, you need to make sure that you buy enough to cover the entire area you intend to coat. Many of the manufacturers supply you with an average cover rate, but you must be careful, as your coverage can vary depending on how porous your concrete is. You also need to take into account that you may have to apply a base coat as well as a topcoat. An average idea of coverage is from fifty square feet to 200 square feet for every gallon.
NOTE: It is a good idea to check what the manufactures coverage rates are when applied to certain surfaces like exposed concrete, brick, or stamped concrete.
How to Apply
How do you apply Concrete Sealers? Our answer is to strictly follow all the instructions the manufacturers provide, to the letter, if you want to accomplish the desired result. However, we will now further assist you in giving you some tricks and tips that will help you to get the most out of your concrete sealer.
Seal all cracks
The first thing you need to do is to spend some time sealing all the cracks, scratches, and hollows in your concrete surface. Use a mortar mix to seal the cracks and spaces and try to match it to your concrete surface. Allow sufficient time for the mortar to dry before you continue. Remember, concrete sealers always work best when they are applied to a level and surface.
Apply that extra effort
You need to make sure that your concrete surface is dry and clean before you apply any sealer to it. This involves you eliminating any dirt, stains, or rubble as much as possible. This you can do by sweeping the surface first, then take some cleaner and scrub the surface until all the stains have been removed. Now, use the cleaner on the entire surface area applying it with a mop and allow it to dry, and then use a vacuum cleaner to remove any remaining dirt.
Apply the sealer using the correct applicator
The manufactures instructions will give you the correct procedure to apply the sealer. Some forms of application include sprayers, rollers, and brushes. Give specific care to the timing and direction in which you apply the sealer. Another factor to consider is the humidity or temperature that needs to be within the required range. Most of the sealers will dry to the touch within 6 hours but will only fully cure within 24 hours. Within this drying time, you will need to ensure that there is no paw or foot traffic, cold spills, or precipitation on the concrete surface.
Old sealers need to be removed
If you have an old concrete sealer on your surface it will have to be removed before you can apply the new sealer. However, some sealers can be applied over the old one, but you need to buy the correct sealer and follow the manufactures instructions when applying.
All concrete sealers are so designed that they can be applied over a wide range of surfaces. Some sealers are specially designed to be used indoors while others can be applied outdoors.
You need to have a wide knowledge of the various types of concrete surfaces; this will then enable you to make the correct choice of sealer for your project. There are various concrete finished textures such as broom finished, stamped, troweled, salt or exposed, and even polished or stained concrete finishes.
People are not aware that there is a wide range of concrete sealer finishes on the market. Most of the Penetrating Sealers give you a clear no gloss finish coat. However, some sealers offer you a range of sheens, and can also be purchased in numerous colors. Some sealers give you a non-slip finish. So, it is entirely up to you if you want to alter the appearance or texture of your current concrete finish surface.
Questions and Answers
How do Epoxy Sealers differ from Acrylic Sealers?
There are quite a few differences involved.
- Form a high-build protective layer over the concrete
- Usually high gloss finish
- Form a hard, long-wearing, and abrasive resistant surface
- Usually, come in clear form but can also be colored
- They form a harder surface than Acrylic Sealers
- They are water repellent
- Fairly expensive
- Take longer to cure
- Recommended for interior use
- Used in high traffic areas
- Non-porous, they will not allow any locked in moisture to seep out
- Come in a range of sheens from high gloss to matt finish
- More cost-effective
- Cure much faster
- Can be used indoors or outdoors
- Used to enhance and protect the color of your interior floor surfaces
Does Epoxy seal Concrete?
Epoxy Sealers tend to be a lot harder than Acrylic Sealers. When using a water-based epoxy sealer, it bonds extremely well with concrete and leaves you with a clear finish.
However, they are non-porous, which means they will not allow any trapped moisture inside to escape. The use of Epoxy Sealers is recommended for concrete countertops and areas where food is prepared.
Is Epoxy better than Polyurethane?
This depends entirely on your application. Polyurethane is elastic and extremely flexible. On the other hand, Epoxy is more brittle and harder. Polyurethane Sealers are scratch-resistant and resistant to a similar type of damage.
So, Polyurethane Sealers are found on floors where there is a heavy traffic flow like car parks in multistoried buildings.
Can you waterproof concrete using Epoxy?
Epoxy is similar to a plastic adhesive and can be applied in multi-layers, giving you the thickness you require. It will give protection to the concrete from the water underneath the concrete surface, but on top, it is only water repellent and not waterproof.
Does Polyurethane seal concrete?
Polyurethane Sealers are much thicker than Acrylic Sealers, as they form a protective, high-build layer on the concrete surface. This will then give you excellent resistance to any chemicals or abrasions. They can be effective indoors or outdoors and provide a non-yellowing, transparent, and durable finished surface.