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Concrete Sealer Types

Out of all the thousands of concrete sealers available in the market
– how do you determine the correct sealer for your personal concrete project?
  1. Determine what you want to seal and protect such as concrete, clay brick, cinder block, concrete pavers, natural stones, decorative concrete, stamped concrete, epoxy stones, expose aggregate.
  2. Define the final look that you are expecting to see after sealer application.
  3. Determine how often you are willing to re-seal the area.
  4. Testing the sealer - After application, it is a good idea to test the sealer. When testing a sealer, pour water over the surface 24 hours after the application has been performed. If the concrete does not immediately change color, the sealer is working if the concrete changes color immediately the sealer is not working correctly. (Picture) Water bidding on the surface of the concrete is and old method to determine if the concrete was seal or not. Color change is what the construction industry uses today, not all sealers bid water on the surface.
There are only about six different types of concrete sealers, which are classified by the chemical  technologies that are used. Each of these sealers has advantages and disadvantages. We will attempt to clarify these. The first thing you need to know when selecting a concrete sealer is which category it falls. The first four sealers are penetrating sealers. The last three are topical sealers, which can also known as surface sealers.

Penetrating Sealers (Inside concrete sealers)

Modified Siloxane Sealer – SealGreen Brick and Stone Sealer


Type: Penetrating Sealer
Chemistry: Slow chemical reactive plus proprietary modifications to achieve deep penetration
Technology Age: New
Color: Clear
Expected Life: 5 Years
Application Method: Spray with pump sprayer plus back-roll
Coats: Two coats to achieve full pore closure
Penetration Level: Mid to upper section of concrete
Best For: Materials with large open pours. Clay brick, cinder blocks, split face blocks, pavers, natural stones, expose aggregate.

Description:
Modified Siloxanes are the new technology in Siloxane sealers which are a modified version of the Silane sealer.  The primary advantage is that it was designed to seal new or old surfaces such as concrete blocks, exposed aggregate, cinder blocks, clay bricks and natural stones or very pours surfaces. The treated material has little or no color change and it protects for a longer period of time. Sealing correctly with Siloxane requires two applications to saturate material correctly.



Siliconate Sealers - SealGreen Concrete Sealer with Salt Defense Technology, SealGreen Garage Floor Sealer, SealGreen Polished Concrete Sealer, SealGreen Kennel Sealer.


Type: Penetrating Sealer
Chemistry: Fast chemical reactive plus proprietary modifications to achieve shallow penetration
Technology Age: New

Color: Clear
Expected Life: 20 plus years
Application Method: Spray with pump sprayer
Coats: One coat
Penetration Level: Upper section of concrete
Best For: Protecting concrete from salt damage. Applicable to all types of concrete surfaces. Smooth or broom concrete surfaces, hard trowel floors, polished floors.

Description: Like silicate sealers, these sealers work by creating a permanent chemical change in the concrete, forming a new, sealed chemistry. Siliconates have larger molecules and offer more surface protection. Siliconates are fast reactive when they meet the concrete therefore remaining at the top of the substrate.  Siliconate sealers are the perfect choice when your primary objectives are reducing moisture absorption, reducing freeze/thaw damage and stain penetration. Siliconates dry within the concrete, thereby not changing the appearance or the texture of the concrete surface. They can also be used as a cure for freshly poured concrete. They cure by retarding moisture but still allow the concrete to breath. Siliconates have multiple applications – they can be used on bare concrete walls or stucco to keep moisture from soaking through paint and to allow the paint to last longer. Siliconates can be used on sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, etc. to reduce cracking, staining, and freeze/thaw damage. Overall, this is the sealer we believe works the best for the majority of applications on broom finish or trowel finish concrete.


Lithium Densifier Sealer

Type: Penetrating Sealer
Chemistry: Fast chemical reactive plus proprietary modifications to achieve densification of concrete for polishing
Technology Age: New
Color: Clear
Expected Life: 20 plus years
Application Method: Spray with pump sprayer plus scrubbing to work the sealer into concrete
Coats: One coat maybe more to achieve concrete saturation and densification
Penetration Level: Upper section of concrete
Best For: Concrete surfaces to be polished.

Description:
Design for hardening the surface of the concrete so it can be polish. Sealer is applied several times during the polishing process. This is not a concrete sealer design to prevent water penetration.



Silane/Siloxanes Concrete Sealers

Type: Penetrating Sealer
Chemistry: Slow chemical reactive to achieve deep penetration
Technology Age: Old
Color: Clear
Expected Life: 1 to 3 years depending on quality of raw materials
Application Method: Spray with pump sprayer and back-roll
Coats: Two coats maybe three to achieve full pore closure
Penetration Level: Mid to upper section of concrete
Best For: Materials with large open pours. Clay brick, cinder blocks, split face blocks, pavers, natural stones, expose aggregate.

Description:
Silane/Siloxanes penetrate the concrete well and do a fairly good job of sealing the concrete. The concrete must be thoroughly saturated with a high solid Silane to be adequately sealed. The main problem in the industry is that the products are used with too low of a spread ratio and are generally do not have high solid (active ingredient) content. These are both ways to save money on the product and increase the installer’s profit margin. Ideally, up to three saturations of the concrete are needed to achieve an adequate seal.


Silane/Siloxanes have other serious disadvantages. 1) If they are spread to thinly, the hydrocarbon chain (organic compounds) can remain active in the concrete. This means that if any other hydrocarbon such as oil, gasoline, diesel fuel, etc. is spilled on the concrete – a PERMANENT stain is attached to the open hydrocarbon chain. The only way to remove this stain is to remove the concrete. 2) Total saturation required for an adequate seal will darken the concrete. 3) If applied properly (with thorough saturation and high solids), Silanes are very costly. 4) Silanes are slow to react so they tend to move further into the substrate leaving the surface exposed. This is why minimum of two applications are recommended for a good seal.


Topical Sealers (Surface Sealers)

Acrylic Sealers – SealGreen Enhancing Acrylic Sealer


Type: Surface Sealer
Chemistry: Bonds to surface with no chemical reaction.
Technology Age: Old
Color: Clear (Brown color can be added)
Expected Life: 6 to 18 months
Application Method: Roller application or sprayed and back-roll
Coats: One coat, two coats recommended.
Penetration Level: Surface of concrete
Best For: Enhancing color in stamped and decorative concrete, epoxy stone, natural stones, expose aggregate. Provides a wet look with gloss finish.

Description: These sealers are widely used in the industry and are primarily solvent-based products. These sealers can become brittle and delaminate with age. They also have a tendency to turn yellow in the light. These come in a variety of solids (the higher the solids, the longer the sealer will last), some come with UV protection, and they even come in a water-based formulation. The solvent-based formulas emit high levels of VOC (volatile organic compounds) and will probably be off the market within a short time due to clean air and clean water standards. Acrylic sealers form a film on top of the concrete and thus protect it from water absorption. Two light coats of sealer about 12 hours apart are recommended. It is also recommended to back roll each coat to obtain an even application and for maximum longevity. However, homeowners need to be aware that acrylic sealers need to be re-coated every 18 to 24 months in most cases and sometimes sooner depending on weather, wear and tear, and exposure to the sun.

Acrylics are used when you want to bring color, shine or give a wet look to decorative concrete. It is important to allow adequate drying time for these sealers – at least 8 hours.
Acrylic sealers are most frequently used as cure and seals because of their short life. As we protect our environment, water based Acrylic sealers are now available with the same properties as solvent base sealers.



Epoxy and Urethane Concrete Sealers – SealGreen E10 Epoxy Sealer

Type: Surface Sealer
Chemistry: Chemical reaction creates a cross linking coating providing a very durable surface.
Technology Age: New
Color: Clear or with color
Expected Life: 1 to many depending on surface use
Application Method: Roller application or sprayed (Manufacturer define)
Coats: One coat, two coats as manufacturer recommends.
Penetration Level: Surface of concrete
Best For:Epoxies enhance color in decorative concrete, epoxy stone, natural stones, expose aggregate. Provides a wet look with gloss finish.
Best For: Urethanes provide very durable surfaces but will not enhance color.

Description: These sealers provide high chemical and abrasion resistance and provide deep color and gloss to decorative concrete. They are usually expensive but they go a long way – up to 400 square feet per gallon. Some epoxies offer protection from sulfuric acid, brake fluid, gasoline, and/or high heat, other offer humidity mitigation. Always look at the ASTM test data on each particular product to determine its resistance and durability and intended use.  

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