Concrete sealers provide more than just protection from the elements. They can also improve the appearance of your concrete. Knowing which product to choose for your particular project is essential for getting the finish you want and concrete that will last. In addition to the sealer itself, you may require additional products to prepare, apply and maintain the concrete. Find out about our favorite sealers as well as our favorite products that will help make your project go more smoothly.
Choosing the right concrete sealer
Choosing a concrete sealer isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. There are a wide variety of sealers to choose from. Some work well on exterior applications, while others are designed for indoor use. Sealers may be chemical-based or water-based. The final appearance, such as a natural or high-gloss finish, should be factored in. The type of concrete project also dictates whether a surface sealer or a penetrating sealer is the best option.
High-traffic commercial areas, for example, will require a different finish than a decorative patio or a concrete countertop. Indoor concrete flooring will have different requirements for durability and appearance than an industrial floor or a stamped concrete walkway.
Surface sealers can form a protective layer on the concrete surface or block the pores to prevent water absorption. Penetrating sealers, on the other hand, absorb into the concrete and are a great option for exterior surfaces that can be affected by the elements. Two of the most commonly-requested sealers in Utah are W.R. Meadows for commercial and industrial application and ICS High Gloss Sealer for decorative concrete applications.
Properly sealing concrete surfaces keeps them protected from moisture, dirt and excess wear, while enhancing the overall appearance. Click here to learn about our top selling sealers and which one is right for your project.
Before you seal, your concrete should be clean, prepped and ready to go. From NewLook International, Grime Monster is an effective water-based formula that attacks oil, grease and grime so it can be easily be sprayed or wiped away. This bio-degradable formula breaks down the molecular bond between the grime and the surface and is effective for removing grease and oil from all types of surfaces including concrete.
Start by sweeping or vacuuming away debris, then use a product like Grime Monster to really get the area ready for the sealant. Without proper preparation, the sealant will not adhere.
In some cases, you may have to do a little grinding before you put down the sealant. In such instances, it’s important to use proper dust protection to keep yourself safe and the area as clean as possible. Filters and shrouds from Metabo and MK Diamond provide protection from concrete grinding dust. They help control airborne particles for a cleaner working environment, while prolonging the life of tools by preventing abrasive dust from entering the motor.
Once your concrete is prepped and dry, you’re ready to get started. Follow manufacturer’s instructions closely. Depending on the type of sealer, you may be applying it with a roller or pump sprayer. If required, apply a second coat.
Applying concrete sealer varies by type. A solvent-based sealer might be sprayed on an indoor microtopping or decorative concrete floor and requires good ventilation. Outdoor sealers may be rolled on and should be UV-stable and durable enough to stand the test of time.
If you’re going to use a sprayer, you want one that is high quality but is also easy to clean. Tired of sealer drips? Dripless shutoff is what you need! Chapin dripless shut-offs seal at the nozzle tip, eliminating excess buildup in the extension wand that can cause unwanted drips when the shut-off is disengaged. When the trigger grip is released from spraying, the shut-off seals at the nozzle tip, keeping the excess left in the wand from dripping. Excellent for applying sealers where precise control is needed.
Applying a concrete sealer to old or new concrete is always a good idea. When you create beautiful concrete, the last thing you want is the product to start degrading over time. Even light to moderate traffic areas should be resealed every three to five years. Frequent cleaning keeps outdoor concrete surfaces looking their best. Practicing basic maintenance, such as immediately cleaning concrete surfaces after spills and debris, can help minimize damage.
Do your homework and choose the appropriate sealer for that specific application. This will help keep your concrete in the best condition possible, so you can enjoy it for years to come. Visit Intermountain Concrete Specialties so we can help you choose the best concrete sealer for your specific needs. Stop by any of our six locations in Utah and Idaho to see the latest and greatest in concrete tools, products and equipment. Click here to see current Intermountain Concrete Specialties promotions.