The Importance of Concrete Floor Sealers & Sealants

Concrete sealers are protective coatings applied to concrete surfaces to shield them from environmental elements, stains, and daily wear and tear. They can be either water-based or solvent-based with varying levels of sheen, from matte to high gloss. Apart from aesthetic purposes, sealers prolong the lifespan of concrete by preventing moisture penetration, UV damage, and chemical exposure. Therefore, regularly sealing concrete can maintain its appearance and structural integrity for years to come. Concrete sealers come in hundreds of options and variations; however, some are more popular and more widely used than others.

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.


Silicate concrete sealers, encompassing variations like sodium, potassium, and lithium silicates, serve as a subset of concrete treatments primarily known as densifiers and dustproofers. Each type, while chemically distinct, shares the primary function of penetrating the concrete’s porous surface to initiate a chemical reaction. This reaction involves the silicate component and the free lime or calcium hydroxide present in the concrete. When the two react, they form calcium silicate hydrate, which fills the concrete’s pores, thereby increasing its density and durability. This process not only results in a hardened floor but also significantly reduces dusting from the concrete surface. When used appropriately, silicate sealers can vastly enhance the resilience and longevity of a concrete floor, making it less susceptible to wear and tear.


Silane concrete sealers are specialized treatments primarily utilized for their ability to inhibit salt penetration, making them vital for preserving the integrity of exterior concrete structures. These sealers work on a unique principle: while they allow water to permeate through the concrete’s pores, they are adept at trapping salt molecules on the surface. This is particularly beneficial for structures where rebar, a reinforcing steel mesh, is encapsulated within the concrete. By preventing salts, which can be carried by water, from penetrating deeply into the concrete, silane sealers reduce the risk of rebar corrosion. When rebar corrodes, it expands, leading to spalling and compromising the concrete’s structural integrity. Concrete sealers can effectively extend the lifespan of exterior concrete structures and safeguard against potential damage caused by salt-induced rebar rusting.


Acrylic concrete sealers are popular choices for a range of concrete finishes due to their versatility and ease of application. Typically water-based, these sealers form a thin film on the surface of the concrete, providing a protective barrier against environmental factors and minor abrasions. While they can enhance the concrete’s appearance by imparting a slight sheen, they’re best suited for areas with low traffic or minimal use due to their relatively softer finish compared to other sealer types. Additionally, because of their water-based composition, acrylic sealers often have a faster drying time and are more environmentally friendly, but they may require reapplication more frequently to maintain their protective properties and aesthetic appeal.


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.

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    About & Contact us

    Industrial Concrete Services is a North American company based in the state of Maine providing concrete floor services in the New England states and beyond. ICS is a leading installer in diverse market segments.

    Our company has earned recognition for undertaking large, complex projects, fostering innovation, embracing emerging technologies, and making a difference for our clients, our employees, and the community.

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    • 87 Industrial Park Rd. Saco, Me. 04072 (View map)