- Craig Smith
How to Choose a Concrete Sealer
Updated: Aug 2, 2020
How to Choose a Concrete Sealer
An effective concrete sealer can extend the life and durability of your concrete and polished concrete surfaces. There are many products available to do the job and so the challenge becomes finding the product that best suits your project’s needs.
What is the Best Concrete Sealer? Selecting the best product to seal concrete depends on what kind of concrete you have, the condition of the concrete and whether it’s located indoors or outdoors. An epoxy can help protect against chemical spills and abrasion. Available in clear or colored gloss, it can be applied to a concrete slab with brushes or rollers. It sets quickly but requires time to cure. Another option would be acrylic sealers. Available as both solvent-based and water-based, they often require multiple coats on concrete surfaces. Acrylic sealers dry faster than epoxies and can be used indoors or out but their durability when applied to concrete floors isn’t as robust. Acrylic sealers may require reapplication on a regular basis which can be a hassle to maintain. To achieve stronger protection for your concrete, more so than what epoxies or acrylics can accomplish, choose a non-toxic, environmentally friendly sealer like the lithium-based Pentra sealers that are designed to dry quickly and reduce maintenance costs. These penetrating concrete sealers fill the pores of the concrete to create a repellent surface that improves the appearance of the flooring. They generate a chemical reaction that results in a layer of calcium silicate hydrate, which is insoluble in water. The result of a Pentra concrete sealer means more durable and stain resistant concrete flooring that naturally resists water and abrasions. Each Sealer Has Unique Features Choosing the right lithium-based concrete sealer depends on what benefits you are looking for. For example, surfaces treated with Pentra-Finish (HG) enhance color and improve resistance against abrasion and stains without altering the profile of the surface. Pentra-Finish (HG) can be used in replacement of floor waxes and conventional resin based coatings that are often found in grocery stores, museums, churches, resorts and more. This Lithium-based formula is low-odor, VOC compliant and can be applied in subsequent years without needing to strip the surface in preparation. When sprayed on, this micro-coating chemically attaches to the surface of the concrete acting as a super hard sealant that increases shine and durability. It helps to increase the coefficient of friction on polished concrete surfaces and is ideal for integrally colored, dyed and stained concrete. Pentra-Finish (HG) is known for being a high-gloss, fast-drying lithium sealer that is breathable, hard and will not peel or flake. It is meant to be used on polished concrete, stone, terrazzo, and masonry flooring and helps to keep dirt and contaminants from penetrating the surface. While Pentra-Finish (HG) is a great all-over, user-friendly sealant, surfaces treated with a concrete sealer like Pentra-Sil® (244+) are better able to withstand freeze and thaw cycles. So depending on the type and location of the concrete you are working with, it is important to consider the benefits of the different lithium-based concrete sealers. Where Can I Buy A Concrete Sealer? For best results, choose a concrete treatment manufacturer, like Convergent Concrete, that specializes in concrete protection and order from them directly. Consulting with a representative from the manufacturer prior to making your purchase will ensure you choose the right concrete sealer for anything from a large industrial space to a healthcare facility. How to Choose a Concrete Sealer When deciding on a concrete sealer, be sure to read the labels of each sealer for specific uses in order to identify the right product for your job. Ensure you can obtain enough to cover the square footage of concrete you need to treat, keeping in mind you may need a few coats to achieve your desired finish. Measure the width and length of your surface to find out the square footage of concrete to be treated and then work with a representative from a manufacturer to ensure that you are ordering enough product. Some criteria to consider in choosing concrete protection includes, whether the product is a surface sealer or penetrating sealer, how much odor it produces, how it’s applied and what kind of maintenance it requires. A Pentra liquid concrete formula can provide a barrier that repels dirt, oil and stains while also reducing mold and mildew growth. Concrete sealers work best when the concrete slab they are applied to has been properly prepared for the application. Thoroughly clean the space using a Pentra heavy-duty cleaner, paying special attention to floors with latex paint on them. Floors with latex paint will prevent the sealer from interacting with the concrete. Any wet spots will also prevent the sealer from drying properly. Our lithium-based sealed concrete surfaces require little maintenance. Using a concrete cleaner designed to treat polished concrete, like Pentra-Clean (CR) or a neutral pH cleaner, is good to incorporate in routine sweeping, mopping, and mechanical scrubbing. Water is also sufficient in most environments. Avoid acidic cleaners or cleaners with citrus or Butyl compounds as these can deteriorate concrete sealers.