The Importance of Concrete Floor Sealers & Sealants
The Different Types of Concrete Sealers
Cure & Seal
Cure and seal concrete sealers play a crucial role in the initial stages of a concrete slab’s life. Specifically designed to retain moisture within the slab during the first 30 days, they ensure that the concrete cures uniformly and reaches its desired strength. However, these sealers are not tailored for high-traffic areas. One notable drawback of certain cure and seal products is their tendency to attract and retain black rubber marks and dirt. Often, when observing a concrete floor marred by unsightly black streaks or spots, it is the aftereffect of the cure and seal acting as a magnet for these materials. It’s vital to choose the appropriate sealer for the intended purpose to avoid such issues and maintain the concrete’s aesthetics and function.
Epoxy concrete sealers have emerged as a preferred choice for those seeking a robust and versatile sealing solution for their concrete surfaces. These sealers can be formulated as water-based or as 100% solid coatings, each with distinct characteristics. When applied, they create a sacrificial wear layer on the concrete, acting as a shield against abrasion, impact, and various forms of wear. One of the standout features of epoxy sealers is their remarkable bonding capabilities, ensuring a durable adhesion to the underlying concrete. Their versatility is further showcased by the range of specific varieties available. Troweled epoxy offers a smooth, hand-finished look; shop epoxies are tailored for industrial environments; chemical-resistant types provide protection against aggressive chemical spills; while thin mil epoxies are designed for a sleeker finish with minimal build-up. Regardless of the type, epoxy sealers enhance the durability and appearance of concrete surfaces, making them suitable for both aesthetic and functional purposes.
Urethane concrete sealers stand out as high-performance coatings renowned for their superior wear resistance and durability. They are typically available in water-based formulations or as high solids coatings, offering choices to cater to different application needs. While they can be applied directly to concrete, they are often used as a topcoat over an epoxy primer. This combination leverages the excellent bonding properties of the epoxy with the exceptional wear resistance of the urethane, creating a robust, long-lasting surface. Urethane sealers also excel in resisting chemicals, UV rays, and color degradation, making them a preferred choice for environments where the concrete is exposed to strenuous conditions. With their ability to endure high traffic and withstand various environmental challenges, urethane concrete sealers are often chosen for commercial and industrial applications where longevity and minimal maintenance are paramount.
There are also a number of ways to prep and apply your concrete surface depending upon which of these products fits your needs. ICS has extensive knowledge of each of these products and has applied them thousands of times.