In recent years, concrete sealers have become increasingly popular in various industries. From homeowner garages to large-scale commercial warehouses, using an epoxy concrete sealer can provide long-term protection and durability while adding a slick sheen to the substrate surface.
Regardless of whether you’re looking for an interior or exterior application, you’ll need to understand what type of product is best suited for your project.
This guide will cover everything from the types of epoxy sealers available on the market today, different installation options, and key features that you should look out for when purchasing this highly durable product in 2023.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is an epoxy concrete sealer?
- 2 The different types of concrete sealers
- 3 Which option is right for you?
- 4 The best epoxy concrete sealers on the market
- 5 The benefits of epoxy concrete sealers
- 6 How to apply an epoxy concrete sealer
- 7 Common mistakes to avoid when working with an epoxy concrete sealer
- 8 Frequently Asked Questions About Using Epoxy Concrete Sealers
What is an epoxy concrete sealer?
Epoxy concrete sealer is an industrial-strength coating that adds a protective barrier to concrete surfaces. This sealer is highly durable and offers excellent resistance against abrasions, chemicals, and high temperatures.
It can also help strengthen the concrete substrate, making it more resistant to cracking, chipping, and peeling over time. Applying this sealer involves more than just painting; you must use a grinder or sander to open the concrete’s pores so that the epoxy can bond with them effectively.
The result will be longer-lasting protection of your concrete surface from various other external influences.
The different types of concrete sealers
While all different types of concrete sealers accomplish the main goal of sealing and protecting concrete from damage, they each have their own upsides and downsides.
Acrylic concrete sealers
Acrylic concrete sealers provide the perfect long-term protection for any driveway, walkway, patio, or other types of concrete surface.
Acrylic sealers form a protective barrier around the concrete which is durable and water-resistant. This helps to keep dust and dirt out of the pores of the concrete while still allowing some water vapor to escape which prevents peeling or cracking due to moisture imbalances.
It also protects against UV damage and can change the look and color of your concrete with its glossy finish.
Applying acrylic sealers regularly can extend the life of your concrete surfaces significantly, saving you time and money in maintenance costs over time – a great investment!
Pros and cons of acrylic sealers
While this waterproof protection is important for many applications such as driveways, patios, and other concrete surfaces, there are some pros and cons to consider before sealing with these materials.
On the plus side, acrylic sealers can stand up to harsh weather conditions and long periods of ultraviolet exposure relatively well compared to other sealants. Additionally, they provide incredible abrasion resistance that protects against scratching and scuffing.
On the downside however, acrylic sealers have a tendency of becoming discolored when exposed to multiple cleaners or bleaches over time which can make them less nice looking than their original appearance when first applied.
Despite this potential downside though, by applying an appropriate acrylic sealer one can benefit from a durable and protective layer that resists corrosion while maintaining visual appeal.
Polyurethane concrete sealers
Polyurethane concrete sealers provide a great protective layer against weathering, wear, and tear. They are often applied in industrial, commercial, and residential settings to keep the surface of concrete strong and durable over time.
Because they are clear, polyurethane sealers allow you to keep the look of your concrete without compromising its integrity. With proper application, standard maintenance, and upkeep of your protective barrier, you can ensure that any concrete surfaces are sufficiently protected from environmental influences.
The dedicated professionals found at many local industrial supply stores can help you choose the best product and offer advice on application techniques so that your sealer will last for years to come.
Pros and cons of polyurethane sealers
Whether it’s concrete or wood, polyurethane sealers are an easy and cost-effective way to keep surfaces from weathering and fading due to natural wear and tear. However, it is important to be aware of the potential drawbacks as well.
Since polyurethane is an oil-based product, it can take many hours for drying times between coats and application is labor-intensive due in part to the necessity of back brushing. Additionally, there are environmental considerations when using oil-based products such as polyurethane as there can be Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) present in their fumes.
As with any product, thorough research should be undertaken before committing to a polyurethane sealer. That being said, with proper use polyurethane sealers have their advantages–– providing unmatched levels of protection for materials exposed to outdoor elements.
Penetrating concrete sealers
Penetrating concrete sealers are an efficient and cost-effective way of protecting nonporous substrates such as motorways, patios, and driveways from surface damage caused by water, chemicals, ice, and wear.
Unlike other types of sealers that form a liquid surface film, penetrating sealers get into the substrate material to form invisible protection. This will allow for maximum airflow in and out of the surface, preventing any trapped moisture that can cause dry rot over time.
In addition to the protective advantages of using penetrating concrete sealers, it is also easier to apply than other types since there is no need to wait for it to dry.
With little effort, you’ll achieve coverage that increases abrasion resistance while keeping the aesthetics and color of your surface intact.
Pros and cons of penetrating sealers
Penetrating concrete sealers are a popular option when looking to protect and extend the life of concrete surfaces. They work by forming a protective film after reacting with components of the concrete itself, providing an effective defense against deterioration caused by water, UV rays, and normal wear and tear.
However, it is important to consider both the advantages and disadvantages of penetrating sealers before making a decision.
For instance, while they offer superior protection in most situations compared to other sealers, they can be difficult to remove once applied and may require professional assistance.
Additionally, their effectiveness depends largely on proper application techniques because if not done correctly they may not provide the level of defense expected. This type of sealer is generally best for outdoor areas that are exposed to the elements or frequently used like patios and walkways.
It can also be used on other substrates such as brick or stone as long as the labeling instructions are followed carefully.
Which option is right for you?
Making the informed decision on which product to use for your concrete surface requires a professional assessment of your needs. Consider consulting with an expert and carefully reviewing instructions before applying any products to secure optimal results without causing any damage. By doing so, you can rest assured that you are making the most suitable choice for yourself!
The best epoxy concrete sealers on the market
To make your life a little bit easier, we’ve taken the liberty of selecting a few of what we consider to be the top concrete sealers out there.
Best acrylic concrete sealer: Cryli-Tek 5505 Acrylic Concrete Sealer
Cryli-Tek 5505 is a top-of-the-line, professional-grade solution for homeowners and businesses alike. It’s a breathable, solvent-based acrylic sealer that will darken and enhance any concrete, brick, paver, or natural stone surface, bringing out its true vibrancy. Cryli-Tek 5505 provides an incredibly durable wet-look, high-gloss finish that protects against cracking, spalling, and staining. Not only does it last up to three times longer than competing sealants – due to its advanced UV stable and self-crosslinking resins – but it also requires no primer to apply and adheres tenaciously to any water or solvent-acrylic sealed surface.
Best polyurethane concrete sealer: Sakrete Cure ‘N Seal Polyurethane Concrete Sealer
Sakrete® Cure ‘N Seal is a highly practical, non-yellowing, sealant product suitable for a wide range of applications. Formulated with polymer-modified resins, it can be used to cure, seal and harden freshly placed concrete, in addition to providing protective qualities to existing concrete, terrazzo, brick, and many other cementitious materials. Suitable for both exterior and interior use, the low VOC white solution is water-based and ideal for indoor use in commercial spaces such as hospitals, restaurants, and private residences where solvent systems may present difficulties. The solution provides a dust-free surface after drying clear.
Best penetrating concrete sealer: D One 5-Gallon Penetrating Concrete Sealer
D-One 5 Gallon is a versatile sealer that offers great protection for decorative concrete, broom finish, smooth trowel, freshly placed concrete, and pavers/masonry. It must be sprayed, not rolled, and has several key features Low viscosity ensures better penetration on concrete substrates, it meets ASTM C-309 cure & seal specs, it minimizes damage due to water and salt water sources, and provides excellent penetration and adhesion to clean, unsealed new or old concrete. Additionally, it’s color enhancing, film forming, and penetrating – 200 – 300 square feet per gallon, available in a 5-gallon pail.
The benefits of epoxy concrete sealers
Epoxy concrete sealers are a vital component in preserving and protecting concrete surfaces from deterioration. Not only does the epoxy provide superior protection from the harsh environmental elements, but it also adds strength and resistance to the surface, by filling any cracks or crevices, without discoloration or staining of the material.
The application process is relatively simple compared to other surface treatments, and the epoxy acts as a protective barrier against spillages and wear and tear, prolonging the life of any concrete surfaces it’s applied to.
It’s cost-effective too, with low maintenance requirements, unlike other similar solutions.
How to apply an epoxy concrete sealer
Applying an epoxy concrete sealer is much simpler than you might think.
To start, make sure the area is clean and dry before application. Next, apply the sealer using a roller or spray gun, making sure to keep a wet edge when rolling or spraying. Allow the sealer to dry for the length of time indicated on the product packaging.
Afterward, let the sealed area cure for at least 24 hours before heavy use.
For best results, contact a professional contractor who has experience applying epoxy concrete sealers if you have any problems or questions. This will ensure you get quality results that last.
Common mistakes to avoid when working with an epoxy concrete sealer
Although applying a concrete sealer is a straightforward process, in some cases, it can be quite tricky, as even tiny details such as temperature and humidity can affect the curing process of the sealer.
To ensure optimal results, it is important to avoid some common mistakes when working with this type of material. Firstly, always make sure to read the instructions on the label before starting the project. The suggested environmental conditions for application should be followed for best results.
Secondly, be sure to measure correctly according to your needs and not guess. Lastly, ensure that you’re using brushes or rollers specifically designed for use with epoxy sealers; while latex paint tools can work if they are clean enough, using proper tools will give you some assurance that your project will turn out well.
If you keep these points in mind, you’ll have a much higher chance of success when applying epoxy concrete sealer!
Frequently Asked Questions About Using Epoxy Concrete Sealers
Which is better concrete sealer or epoxy?
This really depends on the application and your needs. If you’re looking for a sealant that provides superior protection from harsh weather elements, then epoxy concrete sealers are generally considered the better option. However, if you’re looking for a sealant to provide anti-slip properties or to add aesthetic value, then other sealants may be more suitable.
What is the difference between sealer and epoxy?
The main difference between sealer and epoxy is that while sealers are designed to protect surfaces from damage, epoxies are designed to fill in cracks or voids in order to strengthen the surface. In addition, epoxies provide a layer of protection against spills or wear and tear. An epoxy sealer combines the two to make the best of both worlds.
How long does epoxy concrete sealer last?
The longevity of an epoxy concrete sealer depends on the quality of the product you use, as well as environmental factors such as sun exposure and temperature. Generally speaking, however, most epoxy sealers will last anywhere from 3-10 years.
Does epoxy waterproof concrete?
Yes, epoxy does waterproof concrete to a certain extent. However, for complete protection against water damage, it’s best to use an additional sealant such as a polyurethane-based waterproofing solution.