Sealing your garage floor doesn't need to be an expensive or time consuming process, and it isn't rocket science. Most garage floor sealers can easily be applied with a roller or sprayer, and the garage floor can be sealed in as little as 30 minutes depending on the type of sealer used.
There are a few different types of garage floor sealers that can be used:
Concrete Densifier: Concrete densifiers are penetrating sealers that won't change the look or color of the garage floor. They chemically react in the pores to form a hardened crystalline barrier that increases the strength and density of the floor. They will help to strengthen deteriorating concrete, and reduce concrete dusting and water seepage.
To apply a concrete densifier, simply make sure the concrete is clean. Using a pump sprayer, apply 1-2 coats to the concrete. Let dry. Applying a concrete densifier to a garage floor is that easy. Once the densifier dries, the garage floor will look exactly as it did before being sealed.
- Armor S2000: Sodium silicate concrete densifier for porous concrete.
- Armor L3000: Lithium silicate concrete densifier for dense concrete.
Water Repellent Sealer: Water repellent sealers are penetrating sealers that won't change the look or color of the garage floor. They will chemically react in the pores to form a water repellent barrer in the pores that reduces water absorption by up to 95%. They will help to reduce staining and deterioration caused by water absorption.
The best type of water repellent sealer to use is a Silane-Siloxane water repellent sealer. Siliconate sealers can be used on garage floors, but if the concrete is dense (which most garage floors are), then a white film will be left behind on the surface. Silane-Siloxane sealers won't change the look or color of the concrete, regardless of the density of the floor.
- Armor SX5000: Solvent based Silane-Siloxane water repellent sealer.
- Armor SX5000 WB: Water based Silane-Siloxane water repellent sealer.
To a apply a water repellent sealer, simply make sure the garage floor is clean and dry. Using a pump sprayer, apply 1-2 coats to the concrete. Let dry. Applying a concrete densifier to a garage floor is that easy. Once the water repellent sealer dries, the garage floor will look exactly as it did before being sealed.
Which is better, a concrete densifier or a water repellent sealer? If you don't have issues with weak concrete or deterioration, then a densifier may not be needed. It never hurts to apply a densifier, but in many cases, if you apply a densifier you will also may require a water repellent concrete sealer. Densifiers don't repel water, so they can't protect concrete against deterioration caused by water absorption. If you had to choose between a densifier and a water repellent sealer, and are looking for the best preventative sealer, a water repellent sealers are the right choice.
Acrylic Sealer: If you want a low to high gloss finish, or a colored coating, an acrylic sealer is the easiest coating to apply to a garage floor. The concrete doesn't need to be acid etched or diamond grind, the concrete simply needs to be clean and dry.
- Armor AR350: Solvent Based Low Gloss Concrete Sealer
- Armor AR500: Solvent Based High Gloss Concrete Sealer
- Armor WB15: Water Based Low Gloss Concrete Sealer
- Armor WB25: Water Based High Gloss Concrete Sealer
Acrylic sealers are very easy to apply to concrete. First, make sure the garage floor is clean and dry. Oil stains should be removed with a degreaser, or concrete cleaner. Once the concrete has been cleaned, allow to dry for at least 24 hours. Using a roller or sprayer apply the first coat to the concrete. Water based acrylic sealers need to be recoated in accordance with application instructions, solvent based acrylic sealers can be recoated the next day. Let dry, and keep free of foot or vehicle traffic for 48 hours.
Which is better for a garage floor, a solvent or water based acrylic sealer? One isn't necessarily better than the other, but they do have some differences. For example, solvent based acrylic sealers can be colored, and non-slip additives can be added into the top coat, but water based acrylic sealers can't be colored, and non-slip additives can't be added into a water based acrylic. Solvent based acrylic sealers will darken the surface of the concrete, and water based acrylic sealers won't. Lastly, solvent based acrylic sealers can be recoated in 4-6 years without any additional surface prep, but water based acrylic sealers typically need to be screen sanded before recoat. Which acrylic sealer is best for your garage floor will depend on personal preference.
Acrylic sealers will resist water, road salts, and oil spills. If the oil is left on the acrylic for around 24+ hours, the acrylic may need to be repaired. If you are constantly spilling oil, gas and other high-energy liquids on your concrete (working on cars, airplanes, heavy equipment, etc), then you should consider the Armor UTN60 which offers the most resistance to abrasion, oil, gas, and most other chemicals.