With hundreds of brands and several concrete sealers options in the market like Contreat , it is a difficult task to select what to purchase and apply for a project. Before choosing a sealer it is necessary to know the various purposes and uses of the main type and to have a proper understanding of what qualities you want regarding protecting your surface and the look you want to have.
Silicate, silanes and silicone sealers all come under the penetrating sealers and have different purposes. These sealers are applied on a number of surfaces of bare concrete to protect them from erosion, and staining and natural forces like high temperatures, UV rays, and weather.
Silicate concrete sealers are an excellent choice as hardener and densifier of concrete surface. They provide no protection from water damage. They do not alter the natural look of concrete surfaces once used. Silane and silicone penetrating sealers provide water protection but they have their own drawbacks.
Silicone sealers are used best as a short-term sealant to protect the surfaces which you expect to resurface regularly. For example, use a silicone sealer to concrete walls facing Graffiti or on vertical concrete surfaces that require frequent power washing or cleaning.
Silicone sealants are not a good choice for surfaces requiring UV protection or horizontal surfaces. If the physical appearance of the concrete is to be preserved then silicone sealers are a good choice as they penetrate deep into the pores of the concrete and do not change its look.
The silane sealers slightly change the appearance of the concrete by darkening it as it requires a thick application as well as 2 – 3 coatings. Doing so can provide up to 8 years of protection. Silane sealers are used on concrete bricks and blocks such as parking garages and exterior walls.
They are an excellent choice for design purposes as it is easy to add colour pigmentation and gives a glossy surface on internal concrete. Also, a non-slip aggregate may be mixed to epoxy sealers to make them a perfect choice for industrial surfaces or garage floors where water might pose a safety threat. They are used best in windows, UV rays stain the epoxy surfaces with time. Once cured the epoxy seal does not allow the underneath concrete surface to breathe in the same way that acrylic sealers and penetrating sealers do.
Similar to epoxy sealers, they add a glossy surface to concrete. They are used both outdoors and indoors. Unless you choose an acrylic sealer containing a non-yellowing additive, it will yellow with time and delaminated causing damage to the smooth surface of the concrete. There are some UV resistant acrylic sealers available.
They work well on both outdoor and Indoor to protect concrete of horizontal surfaces in areas with high traffic or high usages like countertops and floors. The finish varies from slight sheen to high gloss and prevents scuffing and staining. They don’t modify the colour of a surface and they don’t yellow with time. They are an excellent choice for garage floors as they are resistant to abrasion and provide flexibility to hold impacts that the brittle acrylic seals don’t. At least two coats are necessary while one coat is sufficient for some epoxy sealers. Polyurethane sealers have high levels of VOC and respirator is suggested for application.
Application of the sealer varies depending on the thickness, weather resistance, durability and maintenance requirement of different products. Select the sealer that protects your concrete from the traffic conditions and elements to which they are exposed. Also, confirm that it is compatible with any decorative surface treatment you apply to it like an overlay or topically applied colour.