This post was most recently updated on June 3rd, 2023
Tips To Fix Concrete Sealer Bubbles
We often hear about the appearance of pesky bubbles that appear in finished concrete sealer projects. In this updated article, we explain how to avoid concrete sealer bubbles, and if they appear, how to fix them. If you have encountered concrete sealer bubbles and have any suggestions or any questions, please comment below.
Solvent-based Acrylic Concrete Sealers are designed to enhance, darken, and give a sheen to decorative concrete surfaces. Unfortunately, when applied incorrectly or overapplied you may have issues with “bubbles” forming in the sealer. This typically happens to Stamped Concrete or smooth decorative concrete surfaces.
When a solvent-based acrylic sealer is applied, some of the sealer penetrates into the porous concrete. If the application is too thick, or if too many coatings are applied, the solvent is not able to evaporate before the sealer dries. When that happens, the solvent gets trapped and eventually creates enough pressure that it forces its way out, creating bubbles.
Tips For Applying a Solvent Acrylic Sealer:
- Follow the manufacturer’s directions on the proper spread rate
- Do not over-apply. Adding too much sealer is not better and may create issues
- Concrete porosity differs. The more porous the concrete is, the more sealer can be applied
- If applying more than 1 coat, allow the coatings to dry thoroughly between applications
So what to do if you get the sealer “bubbles? Here are some steps to take to try and remedy the situation.
- Sweep or blow off the dirt and grime
- Wait until there is not any direct sunlight. Usually late in the day is best.
- Applying a solvent like Xylene to reset the sealer and “melt” the bubbles.
- Let the sealer sit overnight and dry properly
Note: The bubbles may still come back. In many cases, the above steps will fix the issue. If this does not fix the bubbles from reforming, you will need to strip off all of the sealer and start over.
As an article and comment contributor to the site, Scott has been around the pressure washing industry since attending college. In 1993 he started his first company called Oakland Pressure Wash specializing in exterior pressure washing, concrete sealing, and deck staining. That company evolved into OPW L.L.C. shortly thereafter concentrating more on exterior restoration. Scott and his restoration Michigan company have restored over 10,000 projects in the Metro Detroit area since the early years. He has become an authority in the restoration industry and has contributed to numerous restoration forums and informative sites.
All the products he suggests through this site are sold through online sites and in retail stores, allowing the consumer to choose their own means of purchase. Scott’s eCommerce sites do sell many top brands he endorses and if you appreciate any of the help he has offered then feel free to purchase from one of them.