The role of sealers as protectors, however, makes it impossible to dismiss its importance. Laying down one or more layers of a sealer will protect your stained concrete floors from abrasions, dirt, oil, grease, and chemicals, prolonging its life and appearance. As such, a basic understanding of sealers will help in the selection and hiring of a contractor to protect your stained concrete floors.
Different from cures, which provide immediate, but short term protection or cure and seals, which are mixed and provide a mid-term protection of 6-12 months, sealers provide long-term protection and color enhancement. It should be applied after the floors have cured, but most contractors will not wait the necessary 28 days before applying a sealant, usually only waiting 7-14 days.
What are the different sealer options for stained concrete floors?
There are four main types of sealants:
Penetrating Sealers (Includes silanes, siloxanes, and silicates): These sealants are perfect for exterior concrete surfaces that are subject to elemental damage or where a more natural finish is preferred. It provides protection from against outdoor conditions and is breathable, allowing for the escape of moisture.
Acrylic Sealers: Used for both indoor and outdoor concrete, this sealant is easy to apply and more economical than the other options. They are especially advantageous in projects that need fast dry times, as it dries within an hour. While it provides good protection against water and chloride, it requires regular maintenance and wears faster than epoxies or polyurethanes.
Epoxy Sealers: Though extremely durable, epoxies are generally limited to indoor use, as it tends to yellow with prolonged UV exposure. Besides this, epoxies are well-suited to highly trafficked areas as it produces a tough, long-wearing, and damage-resistant finish. Though an excellent water repellent, some products are impermeable making it prone to trap moisture in the concrete.
Polyurethane Topcoats: One of the more durable sealants, aliphatic polyurethanes can be used both indoors and outdoors on floors that have heavy traffic. Having nearly twice the thickness of acrylic sealers, they come to a finish that is resistant to abrasions, chemicals, scuff and staining. It has the added benefit of enhancing the aesthetics of your stained floors. The only drawback is that it is moisture intolerant until completely cured.
Duraamen industrial and polished concrete flooring products are designed to provide labor saving and longer lasting flooring solutions. Please Contact Us to discuss your next stained concrete flooring project.