Silicate concrete sealers penetrate into the surface of the concrete where they chemically react below the surface to form a permanent calcium silicate hydrate (CSH) barrier within the pores. Once cured, the CSH barrier will reduce the size of the concrete pores and increase the surface strength by up to 45%. By reducing the size of the pores, the movement of sub-surface water and moisture through the pores is also reduced. Concrete sealed with a silicate concrete sealer will be more resistant to dusting and deterioration caused by weak concrete or surface abrasion.
Foundation Armor manufactures the Armor S2000 which is a concentrated sodium silicate concrete sealer, and the Armor L3000 which is a concentrated lithium silicate concrete sealer. The Armor S2000 and Armor L3000 need to be diluted with water before applying to concrete. While both types of silicate concrete sealers are used to seal virtually all types of concrete, sodium silicate sealers have a larger molecule and are commonly used on porous concrete, and lithium silicate sealers have a smaller molecule and are commonly used on dense concrete. Lithium silicate concrete sealers also react faster than sodium silicate concrete sealers which is why they are commonly used in applications where the concrete will be polished.Sodium silicate concrete sealers and lithium silicate concrete sealers spark the same chemical reaction and form the same CSH barrier which is why both types of silicate concrete sealers are great to use for increasing the strength and density of concrete.
Silicate concrete sealers are not to be confused with water repellent sealers. Silicate concrete sealers increase the strength and density of the concrete, but they don't reduce water absorption on the surface. If you require water to bead off the surface, and want to reduce deterioration caused by water absrotpion, then you want to apply a Silane Siloxane water repellent sealer. Silane-Siloxane water repellent sealers can be applied to concrete previously sealed with a silicate concrete sealer, or directly to unsealed concrete.
Frequently asked questions about silicate concrete sealers:
Do I need to use a silicate concrete sealer? There is never any harm to applying a silicate concrete sealer to concrete that requires an increase in strength or density. If you have weak or deteriorating concrete, or issues with concrete dusting, a silicate concrete sealer will help to strengthen the concrete and reduce related issues. Whether or not a silicate concrete sealer is the best sealer for your application will depend on your reason for sealing.
How do your silicate concrete sealers differ from other silicate concrete sealers? All silicate concrete sealers spark the same chemical reaction in the concrete, and that chemical reaction is what creates the CSH barrier within the pores. What makes a Foundation Armor silicate concrete sealer different is that it comes in concentrate and requires the applicator to add water prior to applying the sealer. For homeowners, this is a cost effective alternative to other silicate concrete sealers, and for contractors, it gives them the flexibility to change the dilution ratios to meet required specifications.
Armor S2000 - Concentrated sodium silicate concrete sealer for porous concrete surfaces.
Armor L3000 - Concentrated lithium silicate concrete sealer for dense concrete surfaces.