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Concrete comes in many different types and substrates that can be found both for both interior and exterior applications. There are Concrete Driveways, Vertical Brick Walls, Brick Paver Patios, Basement Floors, etc. Concrete is very porous and can be prone to degradation from Water, Ultra Violet Radiation, wear, and tear, etc. By sealing or waterproofing your concrete surface you will add life and protection to your surface.
So what is the Best Concrete Sealer?
The answer to that is dependent on why you are sealing, what surface you are trying to seal, and what your final expectations are.
Brick can come in a variety of forms and be used in many applications of construction. Whether a form of brick is used in house construction be it a retaining wall, chimney, pillars, the house itself, etc., it should be sealed to lock out moisture. Penetrating moisture can deteriorate the brick making it brittle. It can also lead to unsightly problems like efflorescence, fading, discoloration, mold, mildew, or algae. Sealing the brick with a quality brick sealer will provide a protective coat of armor against these contaminants and help to prolong the longevity of the brick.
Prior to sealing brick of any type the surface first needs to be cleaned. Use a quality brick cleaner to breakup dirt and grime. Using a pressure washer, clean the area of the bricks including the mortar joints to remove discoloring dirt, mold, mildew, and grime. If the bricks are suffering from salt leakage be sure to use efflorescence cleaner. If you do not have access to a pressure washer, use brick cleaner and warm water and scrub the brick with a stiff brush. After cleaning allow the brick to dry for a day or two.
Brick pavers are a wonderful choice for many landscape designs. They are versatile and come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. A new color paver design may be exactly what your property needs for increased curb appeal. But over time the paver color starts to inevitably fade and loose its appeal. Restoring them will bring back color to the pavers.
Knowing how to restore color to pavers can increase their longevity and beauty. The first order of business is to wash the pavers using a brick paver or concrete cleaner. Use the cleaner as directed and for the best results use a pressure washer to rid the pavers of contaminants like dirt, grime, mold and mildew. Clean up the pavers and rinse them well. Then allow them to dry for a day or two.
Best Sealer for Brick Walls to Prevent Water Penetration
Bricks are used for many aspects of construction. They are considered as one of the strongest and longest lasting building materials in history. Bricks can be made of clay, concrete, stone, ceramic, or lime and sand. Like other exterior building materials, a brick wall should be sealed to slow the effects of weathering. When moisture is allowed to penetrate the brick, the damaging effects can cause cracking, breaking, crumbling, and efflorescence problems.
Siloxane Based Sealers are Best for Poured Concrete, Brick and all Masonry Surfaces.
Siloxane, not to be confused with Silicone, is a chemical that is used to formulate siloxane based concrete and paver sealers. Siloxane based sealers can be water or solvent based although the water-based blend of siloxane sealers are lower in VOC and more compliant in certain states.
These siloxane sealers are popular among homeowners because they are user friendly and easy to apply. They penetrate into the surface and react to cause a hardened barrier within the substrate pores. They do not stay on top of the surface like other sealers
One of the most problematic areas of a home is the chimney. Water and moisture can cause scaling, deterioration, spalling, water intrusion in the home, and freeze/thaw damage. Waterproofing and sealing a chimney can be vital to its structural integrity.
Before sealing a brick chimney, clean the surface with a brick cleaner to remove all curing compounds or visible stains such as mold, mildew, efflorescence, or rust. The chimney should be clean and free of dirt, oil, dust and any unwanted contaminants. For severe mold, mildew, fungus, or algae use a bleach solution.
When dealing with a chimney, it is important to practice safety and never get on a ladder or roof without the proper knowledge and experience. Wear chemical resistant gloves and safety glasses when handling cleaning solutions.
MasonrySaver® (Also known as “Defy”) All-Purpose Heavy Duty Water Repellent is a modified siloxane based product designed to penetrate deeply into most masonry and concrete pores. Unlike acrylics, silicones, and other waterproofing sealers that remain on the surface and trap water vapors, this masonry waterproofing product allows deep penetration of its active ingredient of up to 1/4 inch or more. This proprietary blend of silanes and siloxanes creates a “SaltShield™” barrier on concrete surfaces, for greater resistances to the deteriorating effects of road salts and de-icing chemicals. This 100% breathable concrete waterproofing product is a great choice for both horizontal and vertical above grade surfaces.
Concrete Sealer Ingredients: Blend of Silanes and Siloxanes
Concrete Sealer Type: Invisible Water Repellent. Does not change appearance.
MasonrySaver Heavy Duty Water Repellent Scores (1-10)
Ease of Application: 10
– We applied the MasonrySaver Heavy Duty Water Repellent to a 1000 sq. foot driveway using a plastic pump sprayer. The sealer goes on milky white and dried clear in about 20 minutes. It took less then 30 minutes to seal the entire driveway.
Water Repellency: 8
– We waited a day after application then did a water test. The water did bead up well and did not penetrate into the concrete.
There are just as many different types of bricks as there are uses for it in construction. Most commonly, bricks are used in exterior home construction. For example an entire house may be brick or just part of the house for added curb appeal. Brick can also be used for pillars or columns, mailbox structures, a chimney, or a retaining wall. In most exterior brick applications, it is recommended to seal the brick to protect it from water damage, efflorescence, fading, mold/mildew, dirt, grime, and other contaminants that can be harmful or take away from the brick’s appeal. For interior brick walls, sealing is also beneficial to the brick and will enhance its natural beauty.
To seal a brick wall, you first need to wash it. In areas surrounded by landscaping, be sure to cover and protect any shrubbery that may be harmed. Use a quality brick and masonry cleaner according to the directions. Be sure to wear protective gloves and safety glasses.
Apply the cleaner and use a stiff brush or pressure washer to agitate and break loose the unwanted contaminants. Use a rust remover where any irrigation rust or other rust stains may be present. Interior brick walls are best cleaned with a safe cleaning solution and a scrub brush. Wipe the wall clean using cloths or towels if rinsing with water is not feasible. Once all the stains are gone from an exterior wall, rinse the brick wall well with plenty of water. Let the brick wall dry for a minimum of 24 hours after cleaning.
H&C Concrete Sealer Wet Look Water-based is a premium quality 100% clear acrylic sealer that will enhance and protect previously coated, bare concrete, and other masonry surfaces. It is a single component, nationally compliant sealer that can be applied to both interior or exterior applications. H&C Concrete Sealer Wet Look Water-based will apply milky white to ensure complete coverage but dries to a transparent, durable gloss finish.
Tested on Brick Pavers – 2 coats applied.
H&C Concrete Sealer Wet Look Scores (1-10)
Wet Look: 5
– Being that this sealer is H&C’s designated “wet look” sealer, we expected a much richer look. The sealer did darken the surface but only slightly. Not on par with other water based sealers and not even close to a good solvent based sealer.
Gloss Level: 4
– H&C Wet Look Sealer had little to no gloss for the first coat and a matte sheen after the second coat.
Concrete Sealers are used to protect and enhance all types of Interior and Exterior concrete surfaces. They can provide water repellency for driveways and brick walls or enhancement for decorative concrete surfaces such as Stamped Patios or Pavers.
In this article, we will look at the many different types of Concrete Sealers, Coatings, and Water Repellents.
Concrete Sealers and Water Repellents
Concrete sealants and water repellents are the most popular of the concrete coatings. These sealers are designed to penetrate deep into the surface without filming on top. They typically do not change the appearance of the surface. These sealers are composed mainly of different types of silicones. Silane, siloxane and silox are the most common forms used. These particles penetrate deep into the concrete, reacting with the alkali. This creates an internal bond that seals out water, dirt, grime, and common spills. These sealers work exceptionally well and do come in different solids amounts ranging from 8-24%. Higher solids are typically for very porous block while lower solids are for smoother concrete surfaces.
Available in both water based and solvent based formulas.
Pros: Very easy to apply. Typically last 4-6 years for most applications.