When sealing your garage floor you have two options. The first option is to use a penetrating sealer, which won't change the look or color of the concrete, and the second option is to apply a coating, which leaves a protective film over the entire surface. Which options is best for you depends on why you are looking to seal, how much work you want to put into application, and how much you want to spend.

Garage Floor Sealers

Garage floor sealers are penetrating sealers that work below the surface. They do not leave behind a surface film or coating, and they won't change the appearance of the concrete. They are designed to protect from within the pores, below the surface. Under the category of penetrating sealers there are two primary categories of products:

Densifiers: Densifiers are made of a sodium (Armor S2000) or lithium silicate (Armor L3000) base. Lithium silicate based products are preferred for garage floor applications because lithium silicates can quickly and easily penetrate through dense surfaces. While the CSH formation is identical between sodium and lithium silicate, a sodium silicate takes longer to penetrate and react. When you apply a sodium silicate to dense surfaces, you need to apply light coats to ensure the product does not start reacting on the surface (which would leave you with white crystals and powder on the surface).

A silicate based densifier is designed to densify the concrete and increase the surface strength. Densifiers are not water repellents and won't cause water and other liquids to bead off the surface. While densifiers can reduce moisture movement through densification, they don't offer any other benefits aside from increasing surface strength. If you plan on applying a densifier to increase the strength of the concrete, or reduce dusting, but are concerned about stains, consider applying a water repellent sealer 5-7 days after the silicate treatment.

Water Repellent Sealers: Water repellent sealers are typically Silane, Siloxane, or Silane-Siloxane based. The benefit to going with a Silane-Siloxane combination sealer is that you get the strengths of each category of sealer without the weaknesses. Silane Siloxane Sealers (Armor SX5000) fill in the pores with a hydrophobic barrier. The barrier, which hardens in about 72 hours, caused water and other liquids to bead off the surface. By reducing the absorption of water and other liquids, you reduce cracking, spalling, pitting, staining, ice and salt damage, and the growth of mold and mildew. Water repellent sealers can be used alone, or over a surface previously sealed with a silicate based densifier. Often times products like the Armor SX5000 will be applied prior to the application of an acrylic. This is done because the Armor SX5000 can reduce up to 2-7 LBS of moisture and will extend the life of an acrylic coating.

 

Garage Floor Coatings

Garage floor coaitngs leave behind a protective surface film. Under the category of coatings you want to go with an arylic, epoxy, or urethane. Avoid using paints because paints don't last long, will peel and flake, and can't be touched up without ruining the appearance.

Click to learn more about Garage Floor Coatings.

 

Sealers VS Coatings

Which product is best for you, a garage floor sealer, or a garage floor coating, depends on several factors. Sealers are inexpensive to purchase, don't require any maintenance, and can be reapplied at anytime. Coatings last anywhere from 2-10 years depending on the coating and some coatings require the surface to be ground to a 40-80 grit prior to applying. If you will have oil or chemical spills on the surface for hours, a coating like the UTN60 is required. If you have a residential garage with no issues, a sealer is sufficient. If you want a wet look or high gloss, or even a color, you need a coating. If you don't want the concrete to change in appearance you need a sealer. Determine why you want to seal and go from there. Still have questions? Call a Foundation Armor technician at 866-306-0246 or Chat Live using the link on your browser window.

 

FEATURED PRODUCTS

Armor SX5000 Penetrating Silane Siloxane Concrete Sealer and Masonry Water Repellent (5 GAL)

Armor AR350 Solvent Based Acrylic Wet Look Concrete Sealer and Paver Sealer (5 GAL)

Armor AR500 Solvent Based Wet Look High Gloss Acrylic Concrete Sealer and Paver Sealer (5 GAL)

Armor UTN60 Oil and Gas Resistant Aliphatic Urethane Concrete Floor Coating

5 GAL Armor S2000 Concentrated Sodium Silicate Concrete Densifier Sealer and Surface Hardener

Armor SC25 Siliconate Water Repellent Concrete Sealer with Salt Guard (1 GAL)

$59.95