Are you wondering why your concrete contractor is insisting on sealing your concrete surfaces? A majority of homeowners feel doubtful of the need to seal their concrete because they do not want to incur the additional cost.
Concrete sealers allow your concrete to gain resistance against oil and grease stains, abrasion, as well as de-icing salts and water. They also enhance the beauty of your concrete and make it easier to clean and maintain. That said, you need to understand the various types of concrete sealing products before making a decision.
These sealers protect your surface by creating a thin, hard film. They are available in both solvent and water-based formulations. They are versatile, as you or your contractor can apply them to both the exterior and interior surfaces. In addition, acrylic sealers have attractive colours that enhance the appearance of a plain concrete surface. They likewise require a short period to dry. If your concrete structure is exposed to a lot of water or chloride, then acrylic sealers are the way to go.
These include silanes, silicates, siliconates and siloxanes. This type works by penetrating the concrete to create a chemical reaction, which then forms a strong bond with the substrate. This then prevents any moisture or de-icing chemicals from gaining access to the concrete and causing damage. This sealing option is ideal for areas that are prone to corrosion and freeze-thaw damage.
Available in water and solvent based formulations, these sealers provide a strong protective film on the surface. As such, they are mainly applied in areas that have high traffic or are prone to stains and scuffs. Note that any concrete sealer under this category should never be applied on a wet surface.
For your concrete sealer to last for as long as it is intended, it is important that a qualified contractor applies it. As such, ensure that your surface is well prepared ahead of application. During preparation, get rid of all oils, grease, dirt, stains and dirt, so the sealer can adhere correctly.