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Which Concrete Sealers Stop Hot Tire Pickup

This is always a very popular question, but the answer has to come with a few different responses based on what your definition of hot tire pickup is. There are two definitions of hot tire pickup; tire marks on concrete, and coating delamination.

Tire Marks on Concrete

Tire marks are formed when the hot rubber from the tires comes off of the tire and bonds to the surface. If your concrete is unsealed, or if you are using a penetrating sealer (a sealer that works entirely below the surface and does not leave a film or coating), the hot rubber from the tires will release from the tire onto the concrete surface. There is nothing between the tire and the concrete, so the rubber bonds directly to the concrete. A penetrating sealer can’t stop tire marks on a concrete surface.

Acrylic sealers will leave a protective film between the tire and the concrete, but if the rubber comes off the tire, it will bond to whatever it comes into contact with. If you have an acrylic sealer down, the rubber will bond to the acrylic. If this happens, you want to clean the coating with warm to hot water and a PH neutral cleaner, like the Armor MSC100, work fairly well.

You will typically see the least amount of tire marks on an epoxy or urethane coating, but these types of coatings can only be used on interior applications. Tire marks aren’t 100% preventable with the use of these coatings, but they are less common and easier to clean.

Hot Tires Removing the Concrete Coating

This is the most common type of hot tire pickup that we are asked about. When this happens, the hot tire will pick the coating up off of the concrete and cause the coating to peel.

If you are using a penetrating sealer, this isn’t a concern because penetrating sealers work entirely below the surface. Penetrating sealers, like silicates and silane-siloxanes can’t be reached by the hot tire, and therefore can’t be removed by the hot tire.

Acrylic sealers leave a visible surface film. A good quality acrylic sealer, like Foundation Armor acrylic sealers, won’t delaminate from hot tire pickup on an exterior application. If the floor is properly prepped and ground, an acrylic sealer also won’t delaminate on an interior application. To reduce the chances of hot tire pickup with an acrylic sealer, proper surface preparation and curing are key.

Like with acrylic sealers, a good quality epoxy or urethane coating, like Foundation Armor epoxy and urethane coatings, won’t delaminate from hot tire pickup so long as the floor was properly prepped and the coating was allowed to fully cure. If you are looking to seal a garage floor and hot-tire pickup is a concern, these are typically the best types of coatings to use.

Whether or not you get tire marks on your concrete, or experience hot tire pickup, there are several factors to consider aside from what your concrete is sealed with. The age and condition of your tires, the temperature of your tires, the weight of your vehicle, the age of the coating, etc., all contribute to hot tire pickup and tire marks. If you currently get severe tire marks on your concrete, it is best to apply the sealer or coating of your choice to a test area first to see if you are able to get the performance out of the sealer or coating that you are looking for.

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