Concrete pool decks can be slippery, especially when wet! It is hard to avoid a wet pool deck, but there are ways to help make the pool deck a little less slippery.

When it comes to choosing a pool deck sealer, there a few different types of sealers that can be used. The two most popular types of sealers for concrete pool decks are water repellent sealers and acrylic sealers. Water repellent sealers work entirely below the surface without changing the look or color of the concrete, and acrylic sealers bond to the surface and leave behind a visible surface film.

Water Repellent Sealers: Water repellent sealers work entirely from within the proes of the concrete and they do not leave behind a visible surface film. They chemically react and form a hydrophobic barrier in the pores that reduce water absorption by up to 95%. Water repellent sealers won't change the surface traction properties of the concrete, but they will help to protect the concrete from deterioration caused by water absorption without leaving behind a slippery surface film. Water repellent sealers, like the Armor SX5000 sealer, are great to use if you want to protect the concrete without making leaving behind a surface film. The Armor SX5000 is used to seal roadways, bridge decks, driveways, shop floors and more, and is a preferred penetrating water repellent sealer.

Benefits of using a water repellent sealer:

  • Won't leave behind a slippery surface film
  • Will reduce deterioration caused by water absorption such as cracking, spalling, pitting, staining
  • Will reduce mold and mildew growth caused by water absorption
  • Won't change the surface traction characteristics of the concrete
  • Lasts for up to 7-10 years before the need to reseal

Acrylic Sealers: Acrylic sealers leave behind a visible surface film. When water splashes up onto the coating, it sits on the Sealed Stamped Concrete Pool Decksurface of the coating. While the coating itself may not be slippery, the water sitting on the surface is. This can pose a hazard for young kids. If you want to use an acrylic sealer, go with a solvent based sealer and add a non-slip additive to the top coat. The non slip additive will provide more surface traction by leaving behind a sand-like grit in the coating. While non-slip additives aren't a guarantee to make surfaces completely slip proof, higher grits additives can be used to make a noticable difference. The most common types of acrylic sealers are the Armor AX25 pool deck sealer, the Armor AR350 wet look sealer, and the Armor AR500 high gloss sealer.

Why not use a water based acrylic sealer? Water based acrylic sealers can be used, but many of them, because of how thin the material is, can't be used with a non slip additive. If a non slip additive is used with a water based acrylic, recoating becomes problematic because water based acrylic sealers need to be screen sanded before they can be recoated. When you screen sand a surface that has a non slip additive in it, you can end up removing parts of the coating where the non slip gets hung up on the sander. These issues are not issues with solvent based acrylics because solvent based acrylics require no surface prep for recoating other than to apply to a fully cleaned and dry surface.

Benefits of using an acrylic sealer:

  • Surface remains completely protected from exposure to fresh and salt water pool systems
  • Dull and faded surfaces will look instantly renewed
  • Colored concrete is protected against fading
  • Concrete is resistant to deterioration caused by surface abrasion
  • Concrete is resistant to staining caused by surface spills