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Acrylic Sealer Problems and How to Prevent and Fix Them

Acrylic Sealer Problems and How to Fix and Prevent Them

The great thing about acrylic sealers is that they are easy to apply, easy to maintain, and very predictable. When problems arise during application, there is usually a very specific reason for those problems arising. Understanding how an acrylic sealer works is the first step to preventing acrylic sealers problems. Even when all precautions are taken however, things can happen – flash rainstorms, the irrigation turns on, the neighbor’s pet walks across the wet coating. For this reason, we wanted to put together a quick reference guide you can use to identify the cause of acrylic sealer problems and know how to properly fix or prevent them.

The acrylic sealer developed bubbles – Acrylic sealers develop bubbles when they are applied in direct sunlight, or in the morning when air and surface temperatures are increasing.

  • Repair: To remove bubbles from a solvent based acrylic sealer, wait 24 hours for the acrylic sealer to fully cure and then use Xylene or the Armor Blush Repair in the late afternoon or early evening when the sun is no longer positioned over the sealer and air and surface temperatures are declining. Xylene and the Armor Blush Repair are designed to re-emulsify the acrylic sealer and allow it to properly re-cure. If a water based acrylic sealer was used, the sealer needs to be removed, and properly re-applied.
  • Prevent: To prevent bubbles from forming on an acrylic sealer, simply apply the acrylic sealer in the late afternoon or early evening when the sun is no longer positioned over the sealer and air and surface temperatures are declining. Acrylic sealers should never be applied in direct sunlight, to a hot surface, or to a surface that will heat up during the curing process.

The acrylic sealer developed white spots – Acrylic sealers develop white spots when they are introduced to surface or subsurface water or moisture during the curing process.

  • Repair: To remove white spots from an acrylic sealer, wait 24 hours for the acrylic sealer to fully cure and then use Xylene or the Armor Blush Repair in the late afternoon or early evening when the sun is no longer positioned over the sealer and air and surface temperatures are declining. Xylene and the Armor Blush Repair are designed to re-emulsify the acrylic sealer and allow it to properly re-cure. If a water based acrylic sealer was used, the sealer needs to be removed, and properly re-applied.
  • Prevent: To prevent white spots from forming, apply the acrylic sealer to a completely dry surface, and keep the surface dry for at least 24 hours after applying. If the concrete was wet with water in order to clean the concrete, ensure it has been at least 24 hours since the concrete was introduced to water.

The acrylic sealer developed spots that aren’t removing with Xylene or the Armor Blush Repair – White spots, or spots, that develop on the surface of the coating that can’t be removed with Xylene or the Armor Blush Repair are mineral deposits that have bonded to the acrylic sealer. Mineral deposits form when unfiltered water washes over the surface of the acrylic sealer and evaporates, leaving the minerals on the surface of the acrylic. White spots also commonly form on acrylic sealers around saltwater pools. When the water evaporates, salt is left on the surface.

  • Repair: Apply and scrub the surface with a cleaner designed specifically to remove hard-water stains and minerals. Additionally, as a one-time only solution, the ARMOR Blush Repair can be applied to the surface in the late afternoon, which will re-emulsify the sealer allowing the minerals to be absorbed and hidden by the sealer.
  • Prevent: To prevent mineral deposits from forming on the acrylic sealer, simply wash off any unfiltered water with filtered water. If the water source is an irrigation system, direct the irrigation away from the concrete so that the unfiltered water doesn’t come into contact with the concrete surface. To prevent saltwater pool stains, simply rinse off the acrylic sealer in the areas that were wet with salt water before the water evaporates.

The acrylic sealer turned white and is flaking off – When acrylic sealers turn white and start to flake off, it is a sign of coating failure. This can be a result of poor application, over-application, applying the acrylic sealer to a wet surface, getting the acrylic sealer wet before fully curing, or applying the acrylic sealer over an incompatible sealer or coating.

  • Repair: Depending on the cause, the sealer can either be repaired with Xylene or the Armor Blush Repair, or simply removed. If you need help determining the cause and best solution, contact a Foundation Armor technician so they can help.
  • Prevent: To prevent this from happing:
    1. Ensure the acrylic sealer is being applied to unsealed concrete or is being applied over a sealer or coating that it is compatible with. Also, ensure that if the acrylic sealer is being applied over an existing acrylic sealer, that the old acrylic sealer is in good condition and isn’t showing signs of delamination or other issues.
    2. Do not over-apply acrylic sealers. Follow the suggested coverage rates, taking into account the porosity of the surface you are applying the acrylic sealer to.
    3. Follow the application instructions and take into consideration all application guidelines.
    4. Apply the acrylic sealer to a surface that is completely dry and keep the surface dry for at least 24 hours after applying.

Uneven darkening of the surface – If there is uneven color enhancement this is a sign that more acrylic sealer needs to be applied. This commonly occurs when only one coat is applied, or when the coats are applied too thin.

  • Repair: Simply apply another coat of acrylic sealer to the concrete.
  • Prevent: Ensure you are applying the proper amount of acrylic sealer to your concrete, taking into account porosity.

Uneven gloss levels – If there is uneven gloss this is a sign that more acrylic sealer needs to be applied. This commonly occurs when only one coat is applied, or when the coats are applied too thin.

  • Repair: Simply apply another coat of acrylic sealer to the concrete.
  • Prevent: Ensure you are applying the proper amount of acrylic sealer to your concrete, taking into account surface texture and porosity.

The acrylic sealer is slippery when wet – Like with any concrete coatings, acrylic sealers can be slippery when wet.

  • Repair: If you already have an acrylic sealer down, simply apply another coat with the non-slip additive.
  • Prevent: The best way to prevent this is to add the Armor Non-Slip additive into the top coat.

The acrylic sealer turned yellow – Acrylic sealers turn yellow when low quality resins are used in the formula. Foundation Armor uses only high quality, unrecycled resins that will not turn yellow.

  • Repair: The best way to repair a yellow acrylic sealer is to remove it.
  • Prevent: The best way to prevent this is to use an acrylic sealer that is made from high quality resins and is UV resistant.

The acrylic sealer has tire marks on the surface – Acrylic sealers are designed to protect the concrete against tire marks by adding a protective film between the tire and the concrete. Tire marks are formed when rubber comes off of the tire and bonds to the surface.

  • Repair: In most cases, a hot water pressure washer can be used to remove the tire marks from the surface of the acrylic sealer. In some cases, additional cleaning measures may be required.
  • Prevent: Unfortunately, because tire marks are caused by the tire, they can’t be prevented or stopped, they can only be cleaned. The sooner you clean the rubber off of the coating, the easier it will be to clean.

Tannin or leaf stains – Acrylic sealers are designed to protect the concrete against surface stains by adding a protective film between the concrete and the environment. Tannin and leaf stains are caused by the leaf, and they will bond to whatever surface they come into contact with.

  • Repair: In most cases, a hot water pressure washer can be used to remove tannin stains from the surface of the acrylic sealer. In some cases, additional cleaning measures may be required.
  • Prevent: Unfortunately, because tannin stains are caused by leaves, they can’t be stopped unless you keep the leaves off your concrete. As soon as you notice the leaves on your concrete, remove them with a blower or pressure washer and don’t allow them to sit on the surface.

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