With so many different types of concrete sealers it can be hard to determine how one concrete sealer differs from the next. The best concrete sealer for your application will depend heavily on what you want your concrete to look like once sealed, and what you need the concrete sealer to offer in terms of performance.
Concrete Sealer Comparison Chart
|Silicate Sealer||Silane Siloxane Sealer||Acrylic Sealer|
|Works below the surface||Works below the surface||Sits on the surface|
|Won’t change the look||Won’t change the look||Leaves behind a surface film|
|Matte||Matte||Low gloss and high gloss|
|Lasts forever||Lasts 7-10 years||Lasts 1-3 years|
|Increases the strength of the concrete||Reduces surface water absorption||Enhances and protects surface|
The three most popular types of concrete sealers are silicate sealers, Silane-Siloxane sealers (water repellent sealers), and acrylic sealers.
- Silicate Concrete Sealers are classified as concrete densifiers and are used to increase the surface strength and density of concrete. They will not change the look or color of the concrete, and they will not leave a visible surface film. If you are concerned about the strength of your concrete, densifiers like the Armor S2000 and Armor L3000 are great sealer choices.
- Silane Siloxane Water Repellent Sealers are classified as water repellent sealers and are used to reduce surface water absorption in order to reduce cracking, spalling, pitting, mold and mildew, and efflorescence. They will not change the look or color of the concrete, and they will not leave behind a film or coating. If you want a natural look, and need a sealer that will reduce damage and deterioration caused by water absorption, the Armor SX5000 and Armor SX5000 WB are great choices. Under the category of water repellents there is also the Armor WL550. It works entirely below the surface and offers the same benefits, but it also darkens the surface to give it a slight color enhancement.
- Acrylic Concrete Sealers are classified as sealers, but leave behind a visible surface film (or coating). They enhance the concrete with a low or high gloss finish, and come in clear and color options. They provide complete surface protection. If you want to reduce staining and deterioration caused by surface traction, exposure to the elements, and surface spills, or if you want to enhance your concrete, acrylic sealers like the Armor AR350, Armor AR500, Armor AX25, Armor WB15, Armor WB25, Armor LV15, and Armor LV25 are great choices.
When applying a concrete sealer to unsealed concrete, you can choose a sealer based on what you want the concrete to look like once sealed and how you need it to perform. If your concrete is already sealed, or has been sealed in the past, you want to make sure that the new sealer is compatible with the sealer currently on the concrete.
- Silicate sealer: If the concrete was previously sealed with a silicate sealer, it can be re-coated with a Silane-Siloxane concrete sealer or an acrylic sealer.
- Silane-Siloxane Sealer: If the concrete was previously sealed with a Silane Siloxane concrete sealer it can be resealed with a solvent based Silane-Siloxane sealer or a solvent based acrylic sealer. It can only be resealed with a water-based sealer if the old sealer is old, and no longer repels water or reduces water absorption.
- Acrylic Sealer: If the concrete was previously sealed with an acrylic sealer it needs to be re-coated with a compatible acrylic sealer. Water based acrylic sealers need to be re-coated with water based acrylic sealers, and solvent based acrylic sealers need to be re-coated with solvent based acrylic sealers. If a water based acrylic sealer is applied over a solvent based acrylic sealer, or a solvent based acrylic sealer applied over a water based acrylic sealer, it could result in coating failure. If you want to switch acrylic sealers from water to solvent based, or solvent to water-based, you will need to wait until all of the old acrylic sealer has been removed, or you can remove the acrylic sealer with a coating remover like the Armor CR100.
The above sealers are great for sealing exterior concrete, but when it comes to sealing interior concrete, you have a few different options.
Silicate sealers and water repellent sealers are commonly used on interior surfaces, especially if you want to seal your concrete to reduce dusting, staining, or deterioration. While acrylic sealers can be used to seal interior applications, there are a few additional products that can be used on interior concrete.
- Concrete Wax: Concrete waxes are great if you are looking to add a low to high gloss to your concrete, and don’t want to prep the surface with a concrete etcher or grinding machine. Waxes can also be applied over coatings if you want to bring out any dull and faded gloss. The Armor Concrete Wax is easy to use, easy to apply, fast working, and doesn’t have any strong odors.
- Epoxy Coating: Epoxy coatings are great as primers, and also as all-in-one coating systems. They provide more protection than acrylic sealers and waxes, but not as much protection as a urethane coating. They are the perfect in between coating and are commonly used on garage floors.
- Urethane Coating: Urethane coatings, like the Armor UTN60 and Armor UTX60, will offer the most protection. If you need protection against oil, gas, and chemicals, urethane coatings are the best coatings to use. They also offer high resistance to surface abrasion, making them a top choice when it comes to sealing garage and warehouse floors.
With so many options, it can be overwhelming. If you need help choosing a concrete sealer or coating, contact a Foundation Armor technician today.