If concrete is left unsealed in the Winter, it can cause irreversible damage to your concrete. The most common type of damage to concrete in the Winter is freeze-thaw damage. When water is absorbed into unsealed concrete and freezes, it expands in the pores of the concrete and causes the concrete to break apart. Concrete with freeze thaw damage often appears cracked, and has divots and chunks missing from the surface. The best way to prevent freeze-thaw damage to your concrete is to reduce the amount of water that is absorbed through the surface.
There are two types of sealers that can be applied to exterior concrete to reduce freeze-thaw damage, a Silane-Siloxane water repellent sealer, and an acrylic sealer.
Silane-Siloxane water repellent sealers, like the Armor SX5000 and Armor SX5000 WB chemically react with the concrete to form a hydrophobic barrier within the pores that will reduce the absorption of water by up to 95%. Water will be kept closer to the surface and freeze above the concrete, instead of below it. Silane-Siloxane sealers are great sealers to use if you want to protect your concrete without changing the look or color, and without having to maintain a film or coating. Once applied, they will continue to work for up to 7-10 years.
While Silane-Siloxane sealers work below the surface, acrylic sealers are designed to work on the surface. Acrylic sealers like the Armor AR350, Armor AR500, and Armor WB25, bond to the concrete and leave behind a visible surface film that stops water from penetrating through the surface. Water will freeze on top of the acrylic sealer, instead of inside the pores of the concrete. Depending on the amount of abuse the acrylic sealer takes, it can last for up to 1-3 years before the need to reseal.
Silane-Siloxane sealers and acrylic sealers are great options for reducing freeze-thaw damage to concrete. Which sealer you use will depend on what you want your concrete to look like once sealed, how often you want to reseal your concrete, and what you need the sealer to offer in terms of performance.
If you aren’t sure which sealer is best for your concrete, don’t hesitate to reach out to a Foundation Armor technician and they can help you make the best sealer choice for your concrete.