Concrete floors do not have a neat finish on their own. Neither do they have high stain and dirt resistance. Concrete Sealers are chemicals that are used to give the floors extra shine. Moreover, sealers are also used to protect them from dirt accumulation.
Sealers protect the floor and also increase the life of the floor. In addition to this, they also prevent mold formation in concrete floors. Apart from this, sealers also help in keeping the actual color of the floor intact.
There are generally three types of sealers: topical, penetrating, and integral. Topical and integral sealers form a layer on concrete’s surface to protect it. On the other hand, penetrating sealers mix with the concrete to do their magic.
Benefits of Sealing Concrete Floors
Before I go on to tell you the differences between sealers, let me tell you the common benefit points that sealers have. All the sealers will:
Protect Your Concrete Floor
First of all, sealers, whether topical or penetrating, will protect your floor. They will protect the floor from the damage caused by extreme weather conditions, moisture, dirt, and other stains.
Sealers will keep your floor in original condition for a longer period of time. So, if you want to keep your floor in good condition for a longer run, you may need some sealer.
Make Your Floor Look Good
Apart from protecting the concrete floors, sealers also make them look good. The topical sealers give a glossy look to concrete floors. They do so by forming the external protective film on the surface.
On the other hand, the penetrating sealers preserve the original color and look of the floor. They make sure your floor looks as good as new even after a long period of time.
Keep Dirt and Stains Away
In addition to making your floor look good, sealers are very important to keep your floor clean. The chemical composition of sealers makes concrete floors stain resistant to a certain level.
Sealed floor are easy to clean.
In addition to this, the outside layer of topical sealers helps in cleaning and wiping the concrete floors. So, if you want to spend less time cleaning your concrete floors, sealers will be a nice investment.
Keep the Moisture Away
Whether its garage or indoor floor, the purpose of concrete flooring is to keep the moisture away. However, concrete without sealing is less likely to keep the moisture away.
Unsealed concrete will allow moisture to creep in given long exposure time. On the other hand, sealed floor will never allow moisture to seep in regardless of how long the exposure is.
Three Types of Concrete Sealers
Many manufacturers are making sealers these days. You can get a plenty of them on any hardware store. But three of the most common types of concrete floor sealers with respect to their composition and utility are:
1. Topical Sealers
Topical sealers work by making a coating on the surface of concrete floors. These coatings vary in thickness depending upon the different types of topical sealers with respect to their chemical composition.
Three major types of topical sealers in terms of their chemical composition are: acrylics, polyurethanes, and epoxies.
Acrylics based topical sealers make a thin film on the surface. The other two types of topical sealers form a thick film. Whereas acrylics and polyurethanes sealers are suitable for both internal and external floors, epoxy based sealers are recommended for heavy-loaded floors only.
Some of the pros of topical sealers are:
- They are durable
- They are available in large variety of color and finish
- They are very easy to apply
- Can be used on both new and old concrete surfaces
Some of the downsides of these sealers are:
- They are 20% more expensive
- They change the original look of concrete
If you are someone who is moved by the upsides of topical sealers, here is where you can get them:
2. Penetrating Sealers
Unlike topical sealers, penetrating sealers, as the name suggests, work by penetrating in the concrete. The concrete absorbs these sealers immediately after they are applied. Once they are in the concrete, they act as chemical shields that protect and preserve your concrete floor.
Chemically, penetrating sealers can have any of the salines, silicates, siliconates, or siloxanes. Penetrating sealers, having any of these chemicals, are commercially available.
Penetrating sealers have the following upsides to them:
- They do not change the natural color and texture of concrete floor
- They are 20% cheaper than topical sealers
- These sealers are breathable and allow moisture escape
- Can be applied to both old and new floors
Some of the downsides are:
- They are primarily used for outdoor floors and hence lack versatility of application
- These sealers are less durable than topical sealers
If you are interested in getting some for your concrete floor, here is where you can get them:
3. Integral Sealers
Integral sealers are similar to topical sealers. They form a protective film, similar to topical sealers, on the concrete surface. However, the difference is that they are mixed right at the time of making the concrete. These features give integral sealers the following benefits:
- They are applied right when the floor is laid
- They save time and effort as they are applied along the concrete
The downside of these sealers is that they cannot be used on older surfaces. They are made only for new floors right at the time of laying the floor.
Now that you know the pros and cons of three types of sealers, it won’t be difficult for you to buy one. I made a list of three most popular types of sealers along with their benefits and downsides. Just get one that suits your needs the best. Don’t delay it. Start protecting/giving a new look to your floor now!