2017 is here and time to review and apply a new concrete sealer. This article is one of our top articles related to concrete sealers and there has been over 2100 Comments and Questions. If you need advice on What is the Best concrete Sealer for you, please ask below in the comment area.
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.
Concrete Sealer and Water Repellent Types
Sealing concrete will protect the surface from elements, deicing salts, spills, mold/mildew infiltration, and freeze/thaw damage. Knowing this, many homeowners have elected to seal their concrete surfaces. Whether it is a driveway, sidewalk, pool deck, or patio these surfaces can benefit greatly from being sealed.
There are many concrete sealer types and it can be a bit confusing deciding which product is best for your concrete. A general description of the most common concrete sealer types will make your buying decision a little easier.
Sealing pavers is an excellent way to enhance and preserve their appearance. There are certain paver sealers that will bring out the natural colors of the pavers while locking out moisture, which will help preserve and increase their longevity. The sealer also helps to solidify the sand joints and can help with weed growth and freeze/thaw damage that may occur in colder climates.
There are several different finishes involved with paver sealers. A matte finish will not alter the appearance of the pavers at all but will still preserve the surface and keep out unwanted moisture. Typically a matte finish sealer is water-based. Besides a matte finish you can also go for a shiny or wet look. So what is the difference between a shiny vs. wet look paver sealer? There is a slight difference in appearance and also in the formula that makes up either sealer.
To change the appearance of pavers and concrete you can have tint or color added. This can be done to concrete or pavers that are being poured from a wet cement mix. The color can be added to the batch before it is poured into the form. For pavers or concrete that already exist, you can apply and colored concrete stain to the surface to change the appearance.
Once the tint or color is added to pavers or concrete the surface should then be sealed to help lock in the new color and protect the surface from harsh weather. As the sun beats down on concrete and paver surfaces the UV rays can break down the chemical bonds and fade the color like a bleaching effect. Some surfaces are more prone to fading such as those like pavers and concrete that have had dye color added to them. The darker the color the more prone it is to fading.
When it comes to protecting your concrete driveway, nothing can be more beneficial to its longevity than a concrete sealer. Concrete sealers provide protection from weather exposure, moisture, oil stains, tannin stains, deicing salts, and will protect from freeze/thaw damage. They enhance the natural beauty of the concrete and make it easier to clean and maintain in the future.
Preparing an existing concrete driveway for a sealer is vitally important. It is best to wash the surface with a pressure washer and a high-quality concrete cleaner. Dirt, mold, mildew, and all unsightly stains should be removed prior to applying a driveway sealer. If there are remnants of an old concrete sealer, it should be removed using a concrete sealer stripper prior to sealing.
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.
A premium interior/exterior waterproofing formula that uses the latest water-based silicone technology designed to penetrate surfaces up to 1/2″. This waterproofer creates a barrier inside the surface that keeps water out, but lets trapped water vapors escape; reducing corrosion, spalling, efflorescence and freeze-thaw damage. It reduces staining due to mold, mildew, algae growth and ensures greater durability of the surface. The protection is not worn away with normal use. It protects long after the water beading is gone!
Concrete Sealer Ingredients: Silicon
Concrete Sealer Type: Invisible Water Repellent. Does not change appearance.
Behr Premium Waterproofer Scores (1-10)
Ease of Application: 7
– The Behr Premium Waterproofer is very thin in consistency and looks like you are applying white water. The issue we had is that the sprayer kept getting clogged from large white chunks in the sealer. After running the sealer through a screen, we did not have any more issues. Very frustrating though!
Water Repellency: 7
– After a few days, we tested the Behr Premium Waterproofer with a hose. Light saturation on the water beaded well. Heavy saturation and the sealer did not repel the water very well.
H&C Concrete Sealer Clear Gloss Oil-based is a solvent-based sealer formulated with a silicone acrylic resin. H&C’s Concrete Sealer Clear Gloss is a 23% solids high gloss coating for virtually any outdoor application. It seals and protects while providing a durable non-yellowing finish. It can be used as a decorative glaze on masonry walls, brick, and other cementitious materials.
Tested on Stamped Concrete and Brick Pavers
H&C Gloss Concrete Sealer Scores (1-10)
Wet Look: 5
– H&C Gloss did a poor to average job of darkening brick pavers. It performed slightly better for the stamped concrete over the brick pavers but sill not nearly as good as the other solvent based acrylic sealers.
Gloss Level: 7.5
– Not bad for the gloss level. H&C Gloss concrete sealer contains 23% solid acrylic. This is an average amount for solvent based sealers. One coat showed little to no gloss but the second coat did make a difference and we ended up with a stain sheen to the pavers and a semi-gloss for the stamped concrete.
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.