What is the difference between a penetrating sealer and an epoxy, polyurethanes, other surface sealer coatings?

What is the difference between a penetrating sealer and an epoxy, polyurethanes, other surface sealer coatings?

Posted by Mike Hernandez on Aug 23rd 2023

SealGreen’ s recommendation is for a Penetrating Sealer as the best option for interior and exterior kennel sealing. A summary of the reasons for this recommendation:

1.Lower application cost and effortless application

2.Exceptionally durable performance for wear and tear

3.Durable performance for daily maintenance activities

4.Easy to apply and re-apply as needed through the life of the kennel.

5.Safe for pets the environment and has no VOCs.

Penetrating Sealer Qualities and Shortcomings:

a. Looks – Penetrating sealers are absorbed into the concrete when they are applied, create a gel inside the concrete which hardens and seals the concrete against moisture intrusion. Therefore, they do not change the look of the surface. Whatever the surface looks like before application and after cleaning it will look the same after the application because the sealer is inside the concrete not on top of the surface.

b. Ease of application – Application of a penetrating sealer is remarkably simple:

a. Concrete needs to have an absorbent surface. If it cannot be absorbed into the concrete, it will fail immediately.

b. The surface needs to be washed and completely dried before application.

c. The sealer is applied by pump sprayer or mopped into the surface.

c. Durability and scratching - Since a penetrating sealer is exactly what it says - it is inside of the concrete, so it does not scratch. However, if the concrete surface is gouged, grinded or polished it can remove the penetrating sealer and reapplication is recommended.

d. Restoring the sealer – Restoring or repairing a scratched penetrating sealer is quite simple:

a.Wash the area and let it dry.

b.Re-apply sealer using a pump sprayer or mop.

c.Allow it to dry and it is done.

e. Cleaning frequency- Penetrating sealers are exceptionally durable and can be washed daily using a pressure washer and cleaners. They are not harmed by pet urine and other contaminants.

f. This is why in our opinion penetrating sealers are highly recommended to be used in the service areas of your commercial kennel.

Surface Coatings Qualities and Shortcomings:

a. Looks – Surface coatings make concrete floors look great and allow beautiful color designs. They reflect the light making the room brighter.

b. Ease of application – To do a correct installation of a surface coating you will need to prepare the surface of the concrete so the coatings can bond to the floor very well. This is usually accomplished by grinding the surface of the concrete with a concrete grinder and then ensuring that no dust or contamination prevents the coating from adhering to the surface. Typically, the floor is grinded, thoroughly washed, and then the coatings are applied. Skipping steps, not allowing the surface to dry completely between steps or not giving the coatings adequate time to cure correctly will lead to a floor coating failure. This is why surface coatings are more expensive to apply.

c. Durability and Scratching – Epoxies, polyurethanes and other coats are made of a combination of resins that when mixed form a strong coating. This is why epoxies are better than regular acrylic coatings (like paint, varnish). A solid surface is obtained depending on the quality of the resins used. Usually, the more expensive the epoxy the better the product will be. Because it is a coating over the surface of the concrete it will be susceptible to scratching. In a kennel environment where dogs have long nails, they will be the most culpable for scratching the floor, or when a sharp object is dragged over the floor.

d. Restoring the surface coating – If surface coatings like epoxies, polyurethanes, and others are scratched they will need repair. Repairing a scratched floor can be as simple as applying a clear coat over it or as difficult as having to match the color of the existing floor. The deeper the scratch the more difficult it is to repair. Usually, it is best to have the company or person who originally installed the coating do the repair because they will have the original colors and materials. It is exceedingly difficult to color match and seal a scratched floor without making it noticeable if the original products are not used. Finally, if the coating is in bad condition the only way to do a restoration is to mechanically remove the entire coating from the entire surface. So, eventually it will be more expensive to maintain.

e. Cleaning frequency – Surface coatings are easy to maintain because they usually only require a mild cleaning agent and clean water. Depending on the quality of the coating some of them will stand cleaning with harsh chemicals like disinfectants. If the coating is not of a high quality, it can dull very quickly and become permanently stained.

f. This is why in our opinion surface coatings like epoxies, polyurethanes and other coatings should only be applied to the customer facing areas of your commercial kennel.

Products Recommended:

Penetrating Sealers and Cleaners:

Surface Sealers and Cleaners:

For questions about this article, kennel flooring options or product questions please call 800-9973873 or email