Breathable sealers are sealers that allow the substrate to “breathe”. They allow for some subsurface moisture to pass up through the sealer, and won’t trap moisture below the surface. Breathable sealers are great for exterior applications because they have a higher rate of success.
Breathable Water Repellent Sealers
The most common type of breathable sealer is a water repellent sealer. Water repellent sealers penetrate into the surface where they chemically react to form a water repellent barrier within the pores. They help to reduce water absorption on the surface, therefore reducing deterioration caused by the absorption of water. Concrete sealed with a water repellent sealer is more resistant to cracking, spalling, pitting, staining, freeze thaw and salt damage, mold and mildew, and efflorescence.
- Armor SX5000 – Solvent-based silane siloxane water repellent sealer for concrete and masonry.
- Armor SX5000 WB – Water-based silane siloxane water repellent sealer for concrete and masonry.
- Armor SC25 – Siliconate water repellent sealer for white or very light concrete surfaces.
- Armor WL550 – Matte wet look water repellent sealer for concrete and masonry.
Best Breathable Acrylic Sealers
Another common breathable sealer is an acrylic sealer. Acrylic sealers are designed to enhance concrete with a wet look, low gloss, or high gloss finish, and protect the surface against damager and deterioration caused by surface spills, water absorption, and surface abrasion.
- Armor AR350: Solvent-based wet look sealer with a low gloss finish for concrete and pavers.
- Armor AR500: Solvent-based wet look sealer with a high gloss finish for concrete and pavers.
- Armor AX25: Solvent-based siloxane infused acrylic sealer with a high gloss finish for concrete and pavers.
- Armor AG Brown Seal: Solvent-based brown tinted high gloss acrylic sealer for exposed aggregate concrete.
- Armor LV15: Solvent-based low gloss cure and seal for new and existing concrete.
- Armor LV25: Solvent-based high gloss cure and seal for new and existing concrete.
- Armor WB15: Water-based low gloss cure and seal for new and existing concrete.
- Armor WB25: Water-based high gloss cure and seal for new and existing concrete.
Now, breathable sealers are breathable up to a certain point. If large amounts of water or moisture become present, they can build up below the sealer or coating and cause the sealer or coating to fail. The chances of failure are reduced with water repellent sealers, but acrylic sealers are more sensitive to water and moisture build up. It is always suggested to apply the sealer to a test area to verify project suitability.