Basic Principle for Sealing a Concrete

Concrete flooring is quite common and its use is quite widespread owing to the fact that it is cheaper and also easier to install. The usual method of laying down a concrete floor is standard, that is, the ready mix concrete is laid down on-site where the floor is supposed to be.

In some cases, there is a bit of reinforcement or better concrete mix ratios are used, to basically, improve the quality of concrete, its strength, weight bearing capacity and the overall quality of solidified cement. The solidified cement however is not ‘solid’ to totality, that is, there is certain porosity and also brittleness that exists in solidified concrete. This kind of porosity, tends to make the solidified concrete more like a brittle stone, that is eroded and corroded by the countless reactions of the atmosphere, growth and simple erosion by water and moisture. This is where concrete floor sealer comes in. What do you do when you have to protect something? Simple, you shield it from the weathering agent. A concrete floor sealer is one such shield that can be used to finish up the concrete surface and also protect it from external corrosion. 

Concrete Floor Sealer: The Basics

Based upon several concrete floor sealer reviews and research conducted by certain institutions, such as National Ready Mix Concrete Association, American Concrete Institute and Portland Cement Association, there are certain factors that contribute to corrosion of concrete. These factors include, freezing, thawing, alkali-silica reaction (ASR), chemical intrusion and more commonly, corrosion of reinforcements. To keep these elements of corrosion out, agents such as wax and linseed oil, have been used in the past. Though the success of these sealants was not overwhelming, the effect was reasonable. Most floor sealers, and related products such as concrete floor paint sealer, are very effective and at the same time have a certain life period. For further inputs, you may also refer to commercial concrete floor sealers.

A small range of products or sub produces of the concrete sealer have become quite popular and prominent in the recent past. Concrete floor sealer removal is a solution that helps in removal of older sealer surfaces. Similarly, interior concrete floor sealer is used for polishing interior surfaces. There are also some stained concrete floor sealer which are of course, applied to stained concrete.

Concrete Floor Sealers

The concrete floor sealers can be broadly divided into two types, namely, the topical sealers and the penetrating surfaces. As the name suggests, the topical concrete floor sealants are over the top of the surface, which are applied externally and do not react with actual concrete. The topical sealers tend to enhance the appearance of the floor by providing a glossy finish. Penetrating sealers are basically reactive, and tend to mildly react with the upper surface of the concrete flooring, and hence is applied when the concrete is slightly moist. They form a certain clot or a permanent barrier in front of the cement surface. 

Now, there are 5 principle raw materials which are used to make the concrete floor sealers. These include, acrylic resins, epoxy/urethane systems, silanes, silicates and siliconates. Here’s a small elaboration of all the five cement floor sealers:

  • Acrylic resins are small, yet are topical in nature. These resins form a thin membrane on the flooring. This is the most economical of all the sealers. However, owing to the extremely smooth surfaces, an addition of some or the other anti-skid material is required.
  • Epoxy/urethane systems are also topical sealers and irrespective of a slightly higher costs, the quality of epoxy/urethane systems is very good. This system is also used in factory flooring or other heavy duty situations.
  • Silanes are the smallest ones, and are also the best penetrating sealers. The sealers that are made from silanes are really expensive but are of a really high value.
  • Silicates are moderately large and help in sealing of moderate porosity. A woody appearance can be gained with the help of premium silicate blends like lithium silicates if they are sufficiently burnished.
  • Siliconates are bigger than silanes and are again expensive. These penetrating sealers are used for heavy duty stuff such as driveways or office floors.

Choosing the right concrete floor sealer is not that a difficult task, owing to the fact that all you need to do is decide the place where you need to administer the sealer.