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Concrete Sealer – Acrylic vs Penetrating?!?

Introduction:

Concrete sealers are essential for protecting and enhancing the longevity of concrete surfaces. They act as a barrier, shielding concrete from the damaging effects of weather, water, and other external elements. When it comes to selecting the right sealer, two common options are penetrating concrete sealers and acrylic concrete sealers. In this blog post, we will delve into their differences, exploring their applications, benefits, and limitations.

I. Penetrating Concrete Sealers:

Penetrating concrete sealers, as the name suggests, penetrate the capillary pores of the concrete surface. They are generally formulated with silicates, silanes, or siloxanes that chemically bond with the concrete to create an effective barrier. Here are some key features of penetrating concrete sealers:

  1. Application: Penetrating sealers are applied to bare and unsealed concrete surfaces. They are typically used on driveways, patios, sidewalks, and other external areas.
  2. Breathability: Penetrating sealers allow concrete to breathe by not obstructing the passage of moisture vapour. This helps prevent moisture-related issues like efflorescence and allows for easier maintenance.
  3. Invisible Protection: Unlike acrylic sealers, penetrating sealers do not alter the appearance or colour of the concrete surface. They do not leave a glossy or shiny finish and instead retain the natural look of the concrete.
  4. Longevity and Durability: Penetrating sealers offer long-lasting protection since they penetrate the concrete and chemically bond with its structural elements. They provide excellent resistance against water intrusion, freeze-thaw damage, and chloride ion penetration.

II. Acrylic Concrete Sealers:

Acrylic concrete sealers, on the other hand, differ in their functionality and application. They are generally film-forming sealers that create a transparent coating on the concrete surface. Here are some key features of acrylic concrete sealers:

  1. Application: Acrylic sealers are commonly used for both indoor and outdoor concrete surfaces. They are ideal for decorative and exposed aggregate concrete, such as stained concrete floors, countertops, and stamped concrete patios.
  2. Enhances Appearance: Acrylic sealers provide a glossy or matte finish, enhancing the colour and aesthetic appeal of decorative concrete surfaces. They are available in various formulations, allowing for customisability in terms of sheen and appearance.
  3. Surface Protection: Acrylic sealers protect the concrete surface from stains, UV damage, water penetration, and abrasion. They create a protective layer that acts as a sacrificial barrier, wearing down gradually over time.
  4. Maintenance and Reapplication: Acrylic sealers require periodic maintenance and reapplication, typically every one to three years, depending on the level of wear and tear. They may require stripping the old layer before reapplication.

Conclusion:

Choosing the right concrete sealer depends on the specific application and desired outcome. Penetrating concrete sealers are best suited for traditional concrete surfaces, offering long-lasting protection while maintaining the concrete’s natural appearance. Acrylic concrete sealers, on the other hand, are popular for decorative concrete, as they enhance the appearance and provide a glossy finish.

It is important to consider factors such as breathability, durability, surface appearance, and reapplication requirements when selecting between penetrating and acrylic concrete sealers. Consulting with a professional or conducting thorough research based on your specific needs will help you make an informed decision.

Remember, whether you opt for a penetrating sealer or an acrylic sealer, regular maintenance and timely reapplication are key to ensuring the longevity and performance of the sealers and the concrete surfaces they protect.

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