Any home is incomplete without the application of concrete.
In general, concrete that is used both indoors and outdoors can come in many different forms in order to create a specific look or suit certain weather conditions. From concrete walls to floors to counter tops to patios to driveways, concrete surfaces come in varying properties.
One common feature of all concrete is that it is porous and hence prone to exposure and damage. A durable concrete sealer helps in protecting concrete from getting any damage and extends its life.
Types of Concrete Sealers:
- Topical Sealers: Positioned on the concrete’s surface to form a protective shield or layer, these types of sealers are suitable for both outdoor and indoor applications.
- Penetrating Sealers: True to the name, these sealers go through the concrete to form a complex and durable protective barrier against moisture.
- Integral Sealers: These are almost the same as topical sealers, but are added to the concrete mix before it leaves the plant and is very effective in sealing immediately.
Benefits of A Concrete Sealer:
- Restrains Mold: Since concrete is porous, it absorbs moisture. This moisture, when left for longer hours, can form a mould which, in turn, can cause a green discolouration of the concrete’s surface called algae growth. A durable concrete sealer is very beneficial as it locks out moisture and thus prevents mould and mildew growth, thereby preserving its quality.
- Enhances Stability: Regular concrete problems like scaling, cracking, etc. are bound to plague the exterior concrete when exposed to outer elements. A durable concrete sealer helps in preventing these damages by guarding the surface, thereby increasing its stability and firmness.
- Extends Longevity: A durable concrete sealer can add up to 30 years of life to your average concrete surface. It protects the concrete not only from the harsh sun and weather but also from physical wear and tear.
- Safeguards from Damage: With a durable concrete sealer, your concrete is protected from stains, oil spills, ultraviolet rays, water damage, and any other elements that may damage it. Prevention of chlorides and water helps in minimizing freeze-thaw damage.
- Restores Color: Exposure to outside elements can make your concrete dingy and discoloured. A concrete sealer not only helps in keeping the color intact but also gives it a cleaner and sharper look.
- Easy to Apply: No matter what type of concrete sealer you choose to use, you can easily apply it on your own with a simple garden sprayer without any additional professional help.
How to Choose the Effective Concrete Sealer for Your Home?
- Exterior Floors
For exterior floors, water-based concrete sealers that fuse into the re-coating process chemically offering a high gloss finish is the best choice. It protects the surface indefinitely and ultimately saves your time.
However, with water-based acrylic sealers, you may face de-lamination issues if you want to re-coat it sometime in the future. In that case, an acrylic hybrid sealer is a way to go. It is re-coatable, inexpensive and can be used on decorative or brushed floors.
However, being available only in a matte finish, it gets cloudy on a thick build and thus can be applied only to thinner surfaces.
- Concrete Furniture
From concrete tables, fire pits, chairs, couches, and tables, to outdoor kitchens, benches, and seawalls, almost all fancy furniture is made of concrete these days.
A low-cost silicone-acrylic hybrid sealer with low VOC is most favoured for concrete furniture. It makes the surface easier to clean or maintain and protects against stains. Also, it gives them a natural look and also gives a smooth, silky feel to it.
All the concrete sealers mentioned above can be used for indoors. However, since re-coating is almost impossible for indoors, you should go for a water-based, non-flammable and durable concrete sealer with high abrasion resistance and low off-gassing; preferably one with a high gloss or matte finish and polyurethane coating.
Concrete sealers are affordable as well as easy to maintain. It helps to preserve the exquisiteness of a decorative concrete surface as well as save you the cost of replacing it from time to time.