Concrete Surface Sealers vs. Penetrating Sealers

One question we get asked often at Intermountain Concrete Specialties is which concrete sealer is best. Choosing the correct sealer depends on the type of concrete project, which usually dictates whether a surface sealer or a penetrating sealer is the best option. Surface sealers work in one of two ways: by forming a protective, impermeable layer on the concrete surface, or by blocking the pores in concrete to prevent water absorption. Penetrating sealers absorb into the concrete, and are ideal for protecting exterior concrete surfaces from damage due to exposure such as rain and ice.


For decorative concrete, ICS High Gloss Non-Yellowing Sealer enhances the surface with a high-shine, glossy finish. Formulated to seal and protect concrete surfaces by producing a hard yet breathable, high-sheen finish, this non-yellowing, acrylic-based, sealing compound is transparent, durable, and easy to apply. Use ICS High Gloss Sealer on decorative concrete for a quick-drying, high-gloss finish, and improved resistance to UV light, water, alkalis and more.

When it comes to curing and sealing exterior concrete surfaces such as driveways, sidewalks, driveways and patios, CS309-25 Non-Yellowing, Acrylic Curing and Sealing Compound provides a durable, long-lasting finish. This industrial-quality sealer by W. R. Meadows is a true workhorse, formulated to improve resistance to chemicals, oil, grease, deicing salts, and abrasion. CS309-25 applies easily and dries quickly with a clear, non-yellowing, acrylic finish.

Also from W.R. Meadows, VOCOMP-25 is a water-based, acrylic concrete curing and sealing compound ideal for sidewalks, patios, pool areas, and commercial/industrial flooring. Available in a quick-drying, ready-to-use formula, it enhances surface appearance and improves resistance to rain, sun, freezing temperatures, many chemicals and acids, deicing salts, and abrasives. VOCOMP-25 applies with a blue cast for easy-to-see coverage and then dries clear with a medium sheen. The more coats applied, the higher the sheen. What makes VOCOMP-25 a standout is that it can be used on new, old, interior, exterior, horizontal, and vertical concrete surfaces.

penetrating concrete sealer


Masterprotect H400 40% silane penetrating sealer provides long-lasting protection against moisture, freezing and thawing, and chloride intrusion. For interior or exterior use, Masterprotect H 400 is an ideal penetrating sealer for concrete highways, parking garages, stadiums and other high-traffic concrete surfaces.

When you need to protect concrete surfaces against damage from severe elements, such as heavy wind-driven rain, freeze/thaw cycles, and intense moisture, turn to Pentra Sil 244+. This premium hardener, densifier, and concrete sealer reduces permeability and protects concrete surfaces with a single application. It works by reacting with free calcium to form insoluble calcium silica hydrate, making concrete more water-, stain-, and abrasion-resistant for easier maintenance and durability. Pentra Sil 244+ can be sprayed on new or existing concrete.

concrete pool sealer

If you’re looking to protect concrete pool decks, around waterfalls, and other concrete surfaces prone to water exposure, choose DECK-O-SHIELD by W. R. Meadows, Inc. This ready-to-use, water-based sealer acts as a water-repellant. DECK-O-SHIELD works by penetrating the concrete surface to form a barrier against moisture, and helps protect against salt staining, rust, and spills. Best of all, it won’t alter the color of your concrete, so the appearance of decorative concrete surfaces stays true.

Creto Deep Penetrating Sealer is another option for waterproofing new or existing concrete. Creto DPS goes deep to form a gel under the surface of the concrete to block moisture from migrating to the surface, while still allowing concrete to breathe. Creto DPS is ideal for home and commercial use on concrete sidewalks, basements, retaining walls, highway bridges, garages and more.

Decraseal WB is a non-yellowing, acrylic-based, curing and sealing compound for decorative concrete. Clear, transparent and easy to apply, Decra-Seal offers improved resistance to water, alkalis and mild acids with a hard yet flexible, clear film. Decra-Seal is specifically formulated for decorative concrete.

See our guide to Choosing the Right Concrete Sealer, or visit any Intermountain Concrete Specialties location in Utah and Idaho to speak with one of our concrete experts.