Concrete is a building material that makes up almost flooring. It is a porous material that can absorb water or other liquids containing dissolved elements like salts and acids that can damage the concrete. Water can seep into the surface of the concrete and freeze, thus may expand and can break concrete apart. To avoid such problems, a concrete sealer should be applied. Sealers can work well in either new or existing concrete. Concrete sealers fall into two broad categories: Film forming and penetrating sealers.
Film-forming sealers leave a thin protective barrier that gives shine to the surface. It accentuates the color of an acid-stained floor, stamped concrete and exposed aggregate surface. Acrylics, polyurethanes and epoxies are the three sealer types that fall under this category. Sealers like acrylics and polyurethanes are easy to apply and highly resistant to scrapes which makes it ideal to use on the surface of a basement. Epoxies on the other hand are perfect choice for garage flooring.
Penetrating sealers provide invisible protection while chemically infiltrating into the pores of the concrete. It provides maximum protection against stains, chemicals, salt and UV light. It can be applied to existing or new concrete surfaces, providing greater stain and oil resistance without altering its appearance.
Surface preparation is very important prior to the application of a concrete sealant, may it be a new or existing concrete. The floor to be sealed must be freed from dust, dirt, chemicals and oils to achieve the best finish. A broom or vacuum can be used to remove any particles that settle on the floor. Chemical etching of the surface is highly recommended for strong adhesions like epoxy coatings.
Application of sealers on almost all types of concrete finishes can enhance appearance and provides protection as well. A sealer is either water-based or solvent-based. However, it serves the same function and that is to seal the floor and protect it against damages that external factors may bring. Sealers are convenient and easy to apply. All you need to do is thoroughly clean the surface of the floor. Depending on the condition or presence of moisture and the type of sealer used, each application and curing time may vary. A sealant when applied correctly will make your floor durable, making it last for several years. It will save you from the cost of having your concrete floor repaired and repainted often.