Concrete is an extremely durable option for paved surfaces, hardscapes, foundations, and even garage and outdoor flooring. However, in order to prevent becoming worn and tired over time due to weather exposure and wear and tear, concrete needs to be regularly sealed against the elements. There are several different types of concrete sealers available, each of which has a distinct set of advantages and disadvantages associated with them. Understanding the differences between the available types of sealers can help you choose the one that best suits your concrete surface needs.
Penetrating sealers, like their name would suggest, penetrate into the surface of the concrete, and act as a barrier against moisture and help the concrete itself resist temperature changes. This means that they are ideal for helping your concrete surface protect itself against weather exposure, but will do little against physical wear and tear, making penetrating sealers the less than ideal choice for high traffic areas. However, their low price point makes them ideal for most other outdoor applications.
Acrylic sealers can be used on both indoor and outdoor surfaces: solvent based sealers are designed for exterior use, while water based sealers can be used indoors. These sealers actually place a thin layer of acrylic over the top of your concrete surface, which acts as a physical barrier against wear and tear. This makes them a better choice over penetrating sealers for high traffic areas.
Polyurethane sealers are designed to be thicker than acrylic sealers, and provide a wider range of colors and shades than acrylic sealers do as well. While polyurethane sealers are laid down in thicker layers that are more resistant to wear than acrylic sealers are, they are also susceptible to weather exposure to a great degree, especially excessive amounts of water, which can break down the sealant layer relatively quickly.
Epoxies provide the highest degree of durability to your concrete surface, but require the longest application process, often consisting of two different layers that are mixed during the application process. These sealers produce a thick finish over the top of your concrete surface that is completely resistant to water and excessive wear, making it ideal for any concrete surface that receives a massive amount of traffic or wear. However, epoxy sealers are difficult to install, which means that they require professional application to prevent damaging your concrete, which drives up their already considerable cost.
For more information or assistance, contact companies like S&W Concrete.