In order to choose the best concrete sealer for your salt water pool deck, it is important to understand the type of concrete sealers available and how they work to protect the concrete.
Salt Water Pool Decks
Salt water pool decks are a bit different than fresh water pool decks because salt water pools contain salt. When the water carrying the salt get splashed onto the concrete, the water will evaporate and the salt will be left on the surface. If the concrete pool deck is unsealed, the salt will get carried into the pores and deposited there. If the concrete pool deck is sealed, the salt will get deposited on the surface where it can be rinsed away.
It is very important to make sure that the concrete pool deck has been properly cleaned before applying a sealer because if the salt is not removed from the surface and within the pores, the salt can cause issues with penetration and adhesion. The best way to clean a concrete pool deck around a salt water pool is with a heated pressure washer that uses filtered water. Filter water is required to avoid minerals from hard water being deposited into the pores. The heat in combination with the filtered water will help to clean the salt from the surface and within the pores. Once the pool deck has been cleaned, it should be allowed 24-36 hours to dry before being sealed.
Types of Salt Water Pool Deck Sealers
The two main types of concrete sealers that are used to seal salt water pool decks are Silane-Siloxane water repellent sealers and acrylic sealers.
- Silane-Siloxane concrete sealers: Silane-Siloxane water repellents will seal the pool deck without changing the look or color of the concrete. Damage and deterioration caused by water absorption will be reduced, but the surface is still left with a natural, unsealed appearance. When water gets splashed onto the concrete pool deck sealed with a water repellent sealer, the water will be kept on the surface and evaporate, leaving salt deposits on the surface. The water repellent will prevent the salt from being carried into the pores, making the salt left on the surface easier to clean. The most common types of silane siloxane sealers are the Armor SX5000 (solvent based) and Armor SX5000 WB (water based). A third option is the Armor WL550. While it offers the same benefits, it also slightly darkens the color of the pool deck to bring out any dull and faded coloring.
- Acrylic concrete sealers: Acrylic sealers will seal the concrete and protect the surface with a wet look, low gloss, or high gloss finish. The visible coating left on the surface will stop deterioration caused by surface abrasion and water absorption. When water gets splashed onto the concrete pool deck sealed with an acrylic sealer, the water will be kept on the surface and evaporate, leaving salt deposits on the acrylic sealer. The acrylic sealer will prevent the salt from being carried into the pores, making the salt left on the surface easier to clean. Acrylic sealers include the Armor AR350, Armor AR500, Armor AX25, Armor LV15, Armor LV25, Armor WB15, Armor WB25, and Armor AG Brown Seal.
It is important to understand that you can’t stop salt from being left on the surface of the concrete pool deck. The water contains salt and when the water evaporates, salt is what is left. All you can do is make the concrete pool deck easier to clean by protecting it with a water repellent sealer or acrylic sealer.