Acrylic Sealers for Concrete
Most acrylic sealers are solvent based, although water based acrylic sealers are also available.
Acrylic sealers are widely used for protection of the concrete from dirt and grime.
Acrylic sealers are also used to achieve a wet look and enhance the colours of the concrete work.
Acrylic sealers tend to be slippery on steep slopes, and may require a slip-reducing additive. If unsure, consult with SCDCS's technical section.
SCDCS supply solvent-based concrete sealer, formulated with acrylic resins designed for deep penetration. We offers various manufacturers' brands, to suit the needs and requirements of the customer and the work.
Most sealers are resistant to salt-spray, acids, alkali, water, ultraviolet rays, and wet and dry abrasion. For special applications, contact our technical consultants at the nearest SCDCS display centre.
Concrete Sealer Application
Most manufacturers recommend applying two individual coats of acrylic sealer:
- The first is termed a Prime Seal, Bond Seal, Same day Seal etc
- The second as topcoat or Gloss coat.
When applying a acrylic sealer:
- Check that the weather is appropriate
- Check that the surface is porous enough to allow the sealer to penetrate and bond with the concrete.
Benefits of Sealing Concrete
The benefits of sealing concrete (depending on the product used) include:
- Enriching the color intensity of the concrete, whether the colour is integral, a stain or dye, or obtained from a dry-shake hardener and antiquing release
- Adding sheen to the surface ranging from satin to high gloss
- Blocking the penetration of dirt, oil, grease, chemicals, and stains, making the concrete easier to clean and maintain
- Inhibiting dusting of the surface
- Preventing the intrusion of water and chlorides, which minimizes freeze-thaw damage
- Protecting against abrasion and wear.
To obtain the desired look, however, you must choose the right sealer for the job at hand.
You'll find hundreds of products on the market to suit just about every type of concrete application, but no one sealer is perfect for all projects.
Even worse, using the wrong sealer or applying it improperly can ruin an otherwise flawless decorative concrete installation.
Some sealers may interact with certain overlays or coloring agents, resulting in unwanted side effects such as blistering, bubbling, or bleeding of colour.
Contact SCDCS for more specific information.
Concrete sealers fall into two broad categories: penetrants and film formers.
Penetrating sealers, such as silanes, siloxanes, and silicates, react chemically within the capillaries of the concrete to shield against moisture penetration and deicing chemicals.
Usually they provide invisible protection without changing the surface appearance. They are most commonly used to improve the durability of exterior concrete surfaces.
Film-forming sealers are the type most often used for decorative concrete work, and they do just what the name implies - form a protective film on the surface of the concrete.
Most of them also impart a sheen that highlights the beauty of coloured or exposed-aggregate concrete. In the category of film formers, you'll find three primary types, each possessing different advantages and limitations:
Available in both solvent- and water-based formulations, acrylic sealers are generally the easiest to apply and the most economical.
They are widely used on exterior surfaces because they are UV resistant, non-yellowing, and provide good protection against water and chloride intrusion
However, they usually are much thinner than polyurethanes and epoxies, so they wear faster and usually require reapplication sooner.
These sealers are also available in water- and solvent-based versions. They are nearly twice as thick as an acrylic sealer, and provide excellent resistance to abrasion and chemicals.
But most polyurethanes are moisture intolerant until they cure. That means if any water is present on the surface when the sealer is applied, a chemical reaction will occur that results in foaming and bubbling.
Like urethanes, epoxies also produce a hard, longwearing, abrasion-resistant finish. They bond well to concrete and cement-based overlays and are available clear or pigmented if you wish to add color.
However, epoxies have a tendency to yellow with UV exposure, so they generally are limited to interior applications.
Internal vs External
To keep maintenance to a minimum, it's important to select a sealer that will protect your concrete or decorative overlay from the traffic conditions and elements to which it will be exposed.
For example, for a stamped concrete driveway, you'll need a sealer that repels oil and grease stains, prevents penetration of water and deicing chemicals, and resists abrasion.
The primary type of sealer used for exterior concrete flatwork is a solvent- or water-based acrylic. If you don't want sheen on the surface and prefer a natural look, a penetrating sealer is an alternative that provides excellent protection against outdoor exposure conditions.
For a decorative interior floor, a high-build sealer with good resistance to scuffs and staining, such as a polyurethane or epoxy, will generally provide the best protection and be easier to maintain.
On indoor surfaces, softer acrylic sealers usually require regular maintenance with several coats of a sacrificial floor finish, or wax, to prevent wear and black heel marks.
Most acrylic sealers have a high resistance to water, alkali, and abrasion.
Clean as needed, with soap/detergent and water. Use either a stiff broom or a suitable presser washer. Rinse after cleaning.
If the surface begins to dull due to extensive use (typically 3-4 years), an additional coat of sealer will restore the original lustre of the floor.
Consult with your nearest SCDCS technical consultant.