Whether you are interested in having a concrete patio, deck, walkway, or pool deck sealed, it is essential that the installer use the right sealer. After all, not all outdoor concrete sealers are the same. For example, there can be differences between quality, longevity, color options, application techniques, and more. Therefore, it is important to learn what your options are and the benefits that each provides.
You have a choice of four main types of outdoor concrete sealers, including penetrating, acrylics, polyurethanes, and epoxies.
- Penetrating – These sealers are formulated to penetrate the surface of concrete, where they react to chemicals within the concrete itself. This makes them perfect for shielding against moisture and deicing chemicals. Because these outdoor concrete sealers create an invisible layer of protection, no change occurs to the surface. For protection against the elements, and especially for surfaces subjected to freeze/thaw cycles and corrosion, penetrating sealers are the best.
- Acrylics – Acrylics are available in a nice selection of sheen levels. Not only do these sealers enhance the aesthetics of exposed aggregate and colored stamped concrete, they offer outstanding protection against chlorides and water. For that reason, acrylic sealers are a great choice around the pool and spa area. While these sealers are available in both water-based and solvent-based formulas, those with a solvent base typically enhance color much better. Products like SunColor and SunSand produce superior results.
- Polyurethanes – Whenever a high-build protective film is required, polyurethane decorative concrete sealers are an excellent choice. In addition to various sheen levels, the finish is non-yellowing and transparent. For enhancing the appearance of stamped, exposed aggregate, and colored concrete surfaces, polyurethane sealers work great. Almost twice as thick as acrylic sealers, the surface ends up being extremely resistant to abrasions and chemicals.
- Epoxies – Just like polyurethane decorative concrete sealers, epoxies provide a high-build protective layer on top of a concrete surface. Because these sealers are available in clear, pigmented, or colored formulas, you can choose based on your preferred design aesthetic. The primary benefits include a concrete surface that is hard, abrasion resistant, and long lasting.
Regardless of the decorative concrete product or technique used on any concrete surface, the installation is not complete until a high-quality sealer is applied. Decorative concrete sealers also enrich color intensity, regardless if a stain, dye, or integral color is used on the concrete, as well as create an amazing sheen on the surface. They prevent chemicals, stains, grease, oil, and dirt from penetrating the surface, and they prevent or minimize the intrusion of chlorides and water.