What Sealer Should I Use – Part 2

Surface Solutions Sealers

Part 2 of our sealer series concerns topical sealers such as Siloxanes, Silicones, Acrylics and Polymer Resins.  For the right applications these sealers can extend service life and prevent staining of cement, stone, tile & grout and much more.

Siloxanes are a derivative of Silicones and react, behave, and protect accordingly.

Silicones in general have great hydrophobic (water repellent) and oilophobic (oil repellent) properties.  These traits may sound like they are great concrete sealers but unfortunatley that is not the case in most situations.  Silicones are widely known to have a “short” life span, and are more often than not UV (Ultraviolet Light) unstable.  They are not recommended for surfaces that will experience normal abrasion issues such as floors and are better suited to vertical surfaces.  Silicones also should be reapplied every one to three years.

Acrylic sealers vary widely in the industry and can be found in both water and solvent based mixtures.  Many of these sealers are known to “yellow”, become brittle and/or delaminate with age.  Choose a solvent based acrylic to achieve a wet, darker look to concrete and stone.   The water based formulas will give you less of a wet look, but still provide shine.  Acrylics are basically a clear concrete paint that requires reapplication every 3 to 6 years.  Use this one when you want an economical decorative wet look on concrete, pavers, pool decks or stamped concrete.  And if slip factors are an issue, a light broadcast of sand or other aggregate can be applied to the base coat before the final coat is applied.

Polymer resins are also referred to as Epoxies and Urethanes.  These sealers are good for when a surface “build” or self leveling properties are required.  Polymers are very long chain chemical compounds and subsequently are very heavy compared to other sealers.  Their weight and thickness make them prone to cracking and delamination. They are also known to be very expensive to put down.  Newer generations of Polymer sealers have solved the afore mentioned issues, and they should be used when your concerns are chemical resistance, abrasion resistance and appearance.  These sealers are more of a coating and can be applied in a single color or in combination to create works of art not only on floors, but on panels as well as fine art.

Please do not hesitate to call if you have any questions.  Have a great month All.

The Surface Solutions Team

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