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Types of Concrete Sealers for Concrete and Pavers

First, let’s dive into penetrating sealers. Penetrating sealers are designed to work entirely below the surface. They do not change the look or color of the concrete, and they do not leave behind a visible surface film. There are two main categories of penetrating sealers, concrete densifiers and water repellent sealers.

Concrete densifiers, like the Armor S2000 and Armor L3000, chemically react with the concrete to form calcium silicate hydrate (also referred to as CSH) in the pores that will increase the strength and density of the concrete by up to 45%. Concrete densifiers are great for concrete experiencing dusting, or issues relating to weak concrete.

Water repellent sealers, like the Armor SX5000 and Armor SX5000 WB, chemically react to form a hydrophobic barrier within the pores that will reduce the absorption of surface water by up to 95%. They work entirely below the surface and will not change the look or color of the concrete. Water repellent sealers are the best over all penetrating sealer for concrete because they will help to reduce damage and deterioration caused by water absorption such as cracking, spalling, pitting, freeze-thaw and salt damage, and the growth of mold, mildew and algae. Other water repellent sealers include siliconate sealers like the Armor SC25, and hybrid sealers like the Armor WL550. Siliconate sealers should only be applied to bright white concrete as they can leave a white crystal residue on the surface of darker substrates. Hybrid sealers like the Armor WL550 perform similarly to the Armor SX5000 and Armor SX5000 WB, only it is designed to slightly darken the color of the concrete to give it a wet look.

Next, let’s dive into concrete coatings. The most common types of concrete coatings are acrylic sealers, acrylic waxes, epoxy coatings, and urethane coatings. Concrete coatings will leave a visible surface film and will enhance the concrete with a low gloss, high gloss, or colored finish. The protective surface film left behind by an acrylic coating will reduce damage and deterioration caused by water absorption, surface abrasion, and surface spills.

Acrylic sealers are the best concrete coatings for exterior concrete. They are easy to apply, easy to maintain, and offer resistance to the elements. Acrylic sealers can also be used to seal interior concrete and are a great choice for floors where minimal surface preparation is required.

Acrylic waxes, epoxy coatings, and urethane coatings should only be applied to interior concrete surfaces. Acrylic waxes are the easiest of all three coatings to apply simply because they can be mopped on with a microfiber mop. Acrylic waxes will instantly transform any floor and can even be applied over existing coatings and VCT tile. Acrylic waxes are a great option if you are looking for something that is quick and easy to apply, and requires no surface preparation other than having a clean and dry floor. Acrylic waxes are not resistant to oil, gas, or chemicals however so if you need something stronger, an epoxy or urethane coating is a better alternative. Epoxy coatings are stronger than acrylic wax, but they aren’t as strong as urethane coatings. While epoxy coatings offer resistance to oil and gas, urethane coatings offer resistance to oil, gas, chemicals, and harsh liquids. Whether or not you choose an epoxy or urethane will depend on what you need the coating to offer for performance.

For help with choosing the best concrete coating for your application, don’t hesitate to reach out to a Foundation Armor technician.

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