STAMPED CONCRETE SEALERS – INDUSTRIAL CONCRETE SEALERS FOR YOUR STAMPED CONCRETE THAT STAND THE TEST OF TIME
For stamped Concrete Sealers you can count on to protect your stamped concrete driveway, look to the solvent and water-based Concrete Sealers of Foundation Armor in a variety of finishes from wet look, to matte, to natural look Concrete Sealers
You need a high-quality stamped concrete sealer to ensure you protect your invest in your concrete. You need an industrial concrete sealer applied to your stamped concrete because of the process of stamping your driveway and the texture and surfaces it creates. Any old concrete sealer simply won’t do, and in many cases using the wrong concrete sealer for your stamped concrete may require a lot more work and a lot more money to repair. Removing concrete sealer from your stamped concrete due to improper concrete sealer specification is an aggravation you simply can’t afford.
Stamped Concrete Sealer, Understanding Your Stamped Concrete Construction
You need the right stamped concrete sealer because of how your driveway was constructed. Stamped concrete driveways are formed when heavy stamps or texturizing mats are used to imprint patterns or designs into the poured concrete surface. Some stamped concrete surfaces are left natural, while other stamped concrete surfaces are integrally colored to further enhance the look of the stamped concrete finish. The process of stamping concrete on your driveway can be a rather time-consuming process but the result is always worth the invested labor and time. Because of the expansion joints, pattern joints and grooves, as well as the sometimes-porous surface finish on a stamped concrete, as well as the physical pounding it takes from pedestrians, vehicles and the weather, your choice in a concrete sealer for your stamped concrete is the only thing that stands behind your stamped concrete removal and replacement, and having a long life of beauty to be admired each and every time anyone enters your drive.
Disadvantages of Stamped Concrete That Can Impact Your Choice of a Concrete Sealer
When it comes to buying stamped concrete sealers you need to understand that although stamped concrete for your driveway will leave you with a beautifully enhanced surface, it is slightly more vulnerable to wear and tear than poured concrete because it forms lots of low areas and edges to create the decorative patterns and that may determine which sealers you will most likely want to use for your stamped concrete driveway. The low areas allow for large amounts of water to pool up, creating more opportunities for freeze thaw damage and mold growth. Surface abrasion, such as foot traffic and vehicle traffic, can quickly wear down the color of the concrete. Stamped concrete driveways will also require expansion joints which need to be cleaned and maintained. The best way to reduce damage and deterioration to your stamped concrete, and protect it against damage and fading, is to use a high-quality stamped Concrete Sealer that has the qualities and specifications to minimize the downsides of its construction. There are many benefits to sealing your stamped concrete with a Foundation Armor Concrete Sealer:
- Stamped concrete that are properly sealed with a high-quality stamped Concrete Sealer is more resistant to the damaging effects of water absorption including cracking, spalling, and freeze-thaw cycles
- Stamped concrete that are properly sealed with a high-quality stamped Concrete Sealer is more resistant to the growth of mold and mildew, and the formation of efflorescence.
- Stamped concrete that are properly sealed with a high-quality stamped Concrete Sealer is more resistant to damage and deterioration caused by foot and vehicle traffic, and surface abrasion
- Stamped concrete that are properly sealed with a high-quality stamped Concrete Sealer is easier to clean, and easier to keep clean
- Stamped concrete that are properly sealed with a high-quality stamped Concrete Sealer won’t fade as fast as unsealed concrete
When it comes to choosing a stamped concrete sealer there are a few different stamped concrete sealers to choose from. The best sealer for your stamped concrete will depend on several factors including:
- Do you need a stamped concrete sealer that is compatible with your colored stamped concrete?
- Do you need a stamped concrete sealer that is compatible with a previously sealed Concrete?
- What do you want your stamped concrete to look like after the stamped concrete sealer is applied?
- What do you need the stamped Concrete Sealer to offer in terms of performance?
If your stamped concrete is currently colored, it likely has a sealer on it, or was previously sealed with a concrete sealer. Most stamped concrete installers will apply a cure and seal concrete sealer over the surface to help the concrete properly cure, and to protect the color and prevent fading. When it comes to cure and seals, most installers will use a water based acrylic Concrete Sealer. or a solvent based acrylic concrete sealer. If a water based acrylic sealer was used previously on your stamped concrete, you want to reseal with a water based acrylic sealer to be compatible with your current stamped concrete sealer; if a solvent based acrylic sealer was used on your stamped concrete, you want to reseal with a solvent based acrylic sealer in order to be compatible with your current stamped concrete sealer. If you are unsure, it is best to ask your installer, but if you aren’t able to get in touch with the stamped concrete installer to ask what concrete sealer they used, and you can visibly see a film on the surface, you can run a simple Xylene test on the stamped concrete surface. Using a roller, simply roller over the visible coating for about 30-60 seconds or until the coating gets tacky. Roll out and let dry. If the coating looks the same, or better the next day then there is currently a solvent based acrylic concrete sealer down. If the coating turns white and delaminates, then there is a water based acrylic concrete sealer down. If your concrete is not colored, but has a visible surface film, then you want to run the same xylene test, regardless of if the stamped concrete is colored.
There are a few different types of concrete sealers that can be applied to stamped concrete, each offers a specific look and provides specific benefits for your stamped concrete.
Natural looking penetrating sealer for your stamped concrete – If your concrete is unsealed, and has not been colored, you can use a penetrating Silane-Siloxane sealer, like the Armor SX5000 WB or Armor SX5000. These types of water repellent sealers are designed to reduce the absorption of surface water and reduce deterioration caused by surface abrasion. Stamped concrete that is sealed with a penetrating sealer will look exactly as they did before being sealed. Penetrating sealers are great if you are looking to seal your stamped concrete, but don’t want to maintain a coating. They help to reduce staining, cracking, spalling, pitting, freeze thaw damage, and the growth of mold and mildew. If you decide to apply a penetrating sealer it is important to understand that the surface of the stamped concrete is still exposed, therefore staining, damage, and deterioration can still occur. If you need a sealer that can stop oil stains, hot tire pickup, and deterioration caused by surface traction, then penetrating sealers are not the best option for your stamped concrete. Instead, you want to consider a water based acrylic sealer or a solvent based acrylic sealer.
Matte wet look concrete sealer that will slightly enhance the color of your stamped concrete – If you want the benefits of a penetrating concrete sealer, but also want a very slight color enhancement, then a matte wet look sealer like the Armor WL550 is a great option. It can only be applied to unsealed concrete and should be tested if applied to colored concrete simply because most colored concrete surfaces have been sealed with an acrylic sealer at some point. If you have colored stamped concrete but it has never been sealed, you can use a penetrating sealer but because they don’t offer a protective surface film, you won’t have protection against fading caused by surface abrasion. Matte wet look sealers are penetrating concrete sealers and behave as such, which means they are designed to reduce staining, deterioration, and mold growth, but not stop it. To stop staining, deterioration, and mold growth, and fading, a water based acrylic sealer or solvent based acrylic sealer would be a better alternative.
Low to high gloss sealer that enhances the surface of your stamped concrete sealer to make it look wet – The best way to achieve a low to high gloss wet look is with a solvent based acrylic sealer. Solvent based acrylic sealers are designed to darken the color to give the stamped concrete a similar appearance to being wet, while also enhancing it with a protective low to high gloss surface film. The surface film left behind by the acrylic is designed to protect the concrete against staining, deterioration caused by surface abrasion, the growth of mold and mildew on the concrete, and color fading. The coating is designed to take the abuse for the concrete, helping to extend the life of the concrete. The downfall to acrylic sealers is that they need to be resealed every 1-2 years. The harder the sealer needs to work, the faster it will break down. The benefit to solvent based acrylic sealers is that you simply need to apply a fresh coat to a clean and dry surface when it comes time to recoat. Solvent based acrylic sealers are easy to apply, maintain, and reseal.
Low to high gloss sealer that will not darken or enhance the color of your stamped concrete – If you want a low to high gloss surface film, but want minimal color enhancement, water based acrylic sealer is the best option. They offer many of the same benefits as solvent based acrylic sealers because they too leave behind a protective surface film. Water based acrylic sealers are very popular simply because they have low to no odor, making them popular for applications where odor is a concern. The life and performance of water-based acrylics is very similar to that of solvent based acrylics, but when it comes to repairing and maintaining a water based acrylic sealer, it requires a little more work. Often you will need to remove the old acrylic sealer before recoating in order for the acrylic to properly bond.
What is better for my stamped concrete in terms of sealers, a solvent based Concrete Sealer or a water based Concrete Sealer?
When it comes to choosing between a water based concrete sealer and a solvent base concrete sealer, there are a few things to consider:
- Water based concrete sealers for stamped concrete have little to no odor, while solvent based concrete sealers have an odor that can take anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days to fully dissipate.
- Water based concrete sealers for stamped concrete can be applied with a traditional pump sprayer or a roller, while solvent based acrylic sealers need to be applied with a solvent or acetone resistant sprayer and rollers. Application tools are slightly higher with solvent based application tools than they are with water-based application tools.
- Water based concrete sealers require a soap and water clean-up, while solvent based acrylic sealers typically require a solvent or acetone cleaner, like Xylene which makes them more convenient to use as a stamped concrete sealer.
When it comes to penetrating sealers for stamped concrete, the above differences are the primary differences between water and solvent based sealers. Most prefer water based penetrating concrete sealers for their stamped concrete because they are easy to apply, easy to clean-up, and have little to no odor. Water based and solvent based penetrating concrete sealers offer the same life and performance, so it really comes down to personal preference and comfort level.
While the benefits of using a water-based concrete sealer seem significantly higher when it comes to choosing a sealer, there are a few factors that make solvent based acrylic sealers slightly more attractive than water-based sealers as your stamped concrete sealer. Here are a few differences between solvent and water based acrylic sealers for concrete driveways:
- Water based acrylic sealers for stamped concrete slightly enhance the color of the stamped concrete while solvent based acrylic sealers dramatically enhance the color of the stamped concrete.
- If a problem arises with an acrylic sealer during or after its application to your stamped concrete, such as white spots, hazing, or bubbles, solvent based acrylic sealers can be easily repaired with Xylene or the Armor Blush Repair, while water based acrylic sealers typically have to be removed from the stamped concrete and reapplied.
- When it comes time to reapply a solvent based acrylic sealer to your stamped concrete, you simply apply a fresh coat to a clean and dry surface. When it comes time to reapply a water based acrylic sealer to your stamped concrete, you will need to screen scuff the surface or remove the old acrylic before applying a fresh coat.
What are the main differences between a penetrating concrete sealer and an acrylic concrete sealer as your stamped Concrete Sealer?
In short, a penetrating sealer works entirely below the surface and will leave the surface of the stamped concrete driveway fully exposed, and an acrylic sealer leaves behind a protective surface film that will keep the surface of the stamped concrete fully protected. Penetrating concrete sealers are best for stamped concrete if you want some level of protection while maintaining the natural look of the concrete, and acrylic sealers are best for your stamped concrete if you want complete and total protection while also enhancing the look of the stamped concrete on your driveway surface.
Can a quality stamped concrete sealer help if your stamped concrete is faded?
When stamped concrete is first installed, it is beautiful, vibrant, and stunning. If left unsealed, or if the concrete sealer starts to break down, the stamped concrete can start to lose its luster and have a dull and dingy appearance. The best way to bring new life to old and faded stamped concrete is with an acrylic sealer. A water based acrylic sealer will offer a low to high gloss finish with minimal color enhancement, and a solvent based acrylic sealer will offer a low to high gloss finish with maximum color enhancement. If you know your stamped concrete needs to be sealed but are unsure which is best, consider applying a sample of each to a test area to see exactly what each type of sealer will look on your stamped concrete surface.
How often do you need to apply a Concrete Sealer to stamped concrete?
How often you need to seal stamped concrete will depend on the type of concrete sealer used, the amount of material applied and the porosity of the concrete, and how hard the concrete sealer needs to work. The longest lasting sealer for stamped concrete is a penetrating concrete sealer like the Armor SX5000 and Armor SX5000 WB. These sealers last for up to 7-10 years before the need to be resealed. They last longer than acrylic sealers because they don’t leave behind a surface film and won’t break down from surface abrasion. They are a great preventative sealer, but in order to achieve complete protection for your stamped concrete, an acrylic sealer needs to be used. Acrylic sealers last for up to 1-3 years but typically need to be resealed every 1-2 years as the sealer utilizes a surface film to protect the surface, but is more susceptible to wear and tear as it is on the top surface of the stamped concrete.
How do I know if my stamped concrete is currently sealed using a stamped Concrete Sealer?
If you aren’t sure if your concrete is sealed with a concrete sealer, there are a few different things that can be done to determine if it is sealed, and what type of sealer was used. First, look at the stamped concrete to see if you notice a visible surface film. It may be a matte, low gloss, or high gloss finish. If you notice a visible surface film, the stamped concrete is likely sealed with an acrylic sealer. To determine which type of acrylic you have down, you want to use the Xylene test mentioned earlier in the article. If you don’t notice a surface film, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your concrete isn’t sealed. Your stamped concrete sealer application could have been done with a penetrating concrete sealer, or there may even be acrylic resin in the pores of the textured stamped concrete. You want to run a few other tests to determine if it is safe to seal. Take a cup of water and spread it across the surface. If the water instantly absorbs everywhere the water touched, continue the test on other parts of the concrete. If water instantly absorbs throughout the entire surface, you can consider the stamped concrete unsealed. If you spread the water and notice certain areas are dry, of if the water takes a long time to absorb, you either have old acrylic resin in the pores, or a penetrating sealer on the surface. If you recently purchased the house and don’t know if the stamped concrete was ever sealed, it is best to contact a Foundation Armor technician so they can help with choosing the best concrete sealer to minimize and repair work due to incompatibility of concrete sealers.
Common Issues With Sealers and Stamped Concrete and How To Prevent Them:
Concrete Sealers and Cracking – Stress cracks are typically prevented with expansion joints, but not all cracks are formed from stress. Cracks, spalling, and pitting can be caused by water absorption and freeze-thaw cycles. Penetrating concrete sealers applied to your stamped concrete will reduce water absorption, and acrylic Concrete Sealers will stop water absorption. While penetrating concrete sealers are appropriate in most applications, acrylic sealers are a better option in applications that require the most amount of protection possible from a sealer, and when it comes to the abuse a stamped concrete and its sealer, this is very true.
Concrete Sealers and Tire Marks – Tire marks are a result of hot rubber coming off the tire and bonding to the concrete. Unfortunately, there aren’t any sealers that can stop this. The best way to combat tire marks is to clean the surface as soon as the tire marks appear. If the tire marks are allowed to dry onto the concrete, or the coating, additional cleaning will be required.
Concrete Sealers and Hot Tire Pick-Up – Hot tire pickup can be stopped with the use of a high-quality acrylic sealer. If your current acrylic concrete sealer is experiencing hot tire pickup it is best to remove the old sealer from the stamped concrete. If you attempt to apply a new acrylic sealer over an acrylic sealer that is experiencing adhesion issues, the new concrete sealer will simply come up with the old. Removing the old acrylic sealer will allow you to start fresh and apply an acrylic sealer that is resistant to hot tire pickup and keeping your stamped concrete looking great for years to come.
Concrete Sealers and Oil Stains – Oil stains can’t be prevented with a penetrating sealer, but they can be stopped with an acrylic sealer. Acrylic sealers don’t offer a lot of resistant to oil, but if the oil is cleaned up immediately, the concrete will remain protected against staining and the acrylic sealer won’t be harmed. If oil is left on the acrylic sealer for a while, additional cleaning and repair may be required because eventually the oil will eat through the acrylic.
Concrete Sealers and Deterioration – Penetrating sealers help to reduce deterioration caused by water absorption, and acrylic sealers help to stop deterioration caused by water absorption and surface abrasion. The best way to keep your stamped concrete driveway protected against deterioration is to seal your stamped concrete and keep up on sealer reapplication.
Concrete Sealers and Mold Growth – Penetrating concrete sealers and acrylic concrete sealers help to reduce mold growth by forcing the water to stay closer to the surface, and therefore evaporate faster. By reducing standing water, the growth of mold and mildew is also reduced.
Concrete Sealers and Leaf, Iron, and Clay Stains – Tannin stains left by leaves, stains from mineral deposits in water, and clay stains can’t be stopped. If a penetrating sealer was used on your stamped concrete, the stains will appear on the concrete, and if an acrylic sealer was used on the stamped concrete, the stains will appear on the acrylic. The best way to reduce these types of stains and stop them from forming is to clean the surface of the stamped concrete as soon as you notice their presence.
Stamped Concrete Sealers – Zero Compromise Quality – Virgin, Non-Recycled Resins, Make a difference in the Finish and Longevity of Your Concrete Surface
Not all stamped Concrete Sealers are created equal. At Foundation Armor we painstakingly formulate our line of stamped Concrete Sealers to the most demanding of specifications. It’s why all our water-based and solvent based concrete sealers, from those used on concrete, to patio and walkway pavers, to stamped concrete walkways, pool decks and patios, to those used on warehouse floors and other industrial applications such as polished concrete floors, are premium, industrial grade concrete sealers. Simply put, we manufacture one formula for each application type and finish, the best. Whether you are a homeowner, commercial property owner, general contractor, or facility manager, our concrete sealers will perform for years to come because they are engineered, formulated, and manufactured to stand the test of time in the most environmentally demanding, and heavily trafficked areas of your home of business. Why do our stamped Concrete Sealers outperform many others in the field and last longer and stay truer to color? You got it, Zero Compromise Quality.
Our stamped Concrete Sealers are formulated to the highest standards because we understand you don’t want this going wrong, having to strip and reapply concrete sealer, especially those formulated for concrete driveways, can be a messy, time consuming, and expensive job, so the formula is critical in making a sealer that is consistent, will stand the test of time, won’t yellow or discolor in short order, and won’t require an immediate strip and reseal. One of the key components that only a few manufacturers use, less even mention, are the use of virgin resins, also known as non-recycled resins. We use the most pure, virgin resins in our formulations so that our sealers stand the test of time and won’t yellow or discolor as you often see on concrete surfaces. Many stamped Concrete Sealers that provide products in the lower end of the market to meet price points some customers require, use recycled resins to lower the cost, if you are on a budget and a little risk is worth the savings, than these products can be a good option. If you want to get a finish that is the most durable, and true to color, the use of virgin resins is critical, recycled resins although inexpensive, have imperfections in the formulation that lend them to greater deviations in these metrics. For those who want to have a premium finish, one that they can be proud of and will stand the test of time, choose a stamped concrete sealer that is formulated with virgin, non-recycled resins to stand the test of time.
PROTECT YOURS WITH FOUNDATION ARMOR