The easiest way to determine if you have a water-based or solvent-based acrylic sealer currently down on your concrete is to run a Xylene test. To run a Xylene test, saturate a roller with Xylene and roll over the same 1 FT area for 30-60 seconds until the sealer gets tacky. Once the sealer gets tacky, roll it out and allow it to re-cure. Here are a few indicators of what you have down:
- Xylene will re-emulsify a solvent based acrylic and turn it into a liquid again. If the Xylene turned the acrylic into a liquid and it recured looking the same or better, you likely have a solvent-based acrylic sealer down.
- Xylene can’t be used to repair a water-based acrylic, in fact, Xylene will have little to no effect on a water-based acrylic. If the acrylic appears to look rejuvenated but does not become sticky or tacky and eventually returns to a dull or faded appearance you likely have a water-based acrylic sealer down.
- If you rolled over the 1-foot area keeping the roller saturated with Xylene for more than a couple of minutes and nothing happened during the Xylene test, or the next day, then you likely have a water-based acrylic sealer down.
A few things to keep in mind when doing a Xylene test:
- Be sure to keep the roller saturated with Xylene. If the roller dries out, there may not be enough Xylene to accurately run the Xylene test.
- Do not wash the Xylene off of the surface. Roll it out as you would a coating and allow it to sit overnight.
- Apply the Xylene in the late afternoon or early evening when air and surface temperatures are declining, and when the surface of the concrete is cool. If you apply the Xylene in the morning or mid-day, you could end up with bubbles reoccurring in the cured coat.
- Do not apply Xylene to the entire area. Instead, mark off a 1 FT area in an inconspicuous area. If the Xylene causes the sealer to delaminate, you don’t want to have to repair a large area.
If you have done the above test but still aren’t sure if you have a water-based acrylic sealer or a solvent-based acrylic sealer on your concrete, contact a Foundation Armor technician today! They can assist you in determining what you have down, so are better equipped to know what you can reseal your concrete with.