There are many different types of sealers from penetrating densifiers to surface coatings, water based to solvent based, clear or coloured, non-slip and there are still more.
To get the most suitable treatment we need to take into consideration the following:
How you want to use the surface on completion?
What you want to use the area for?
Why you want to seal the area?
Many of these answers might be as simple as to stop the concrete from Dusting, make the surface harder wearing and easier to clean and also make it Anti-slip.
|Sealer Type||How They Work||Primary Applications||Type Of Finish||Performance|
|Penetrating sealers (includes silanes, siloxanes, and silicates)||Penetrate and react chemically within the capillaries of the concrete to shield against moisture penetration and deicing chemicals.||Exterior concrete surfaces subject to corrosion and freeze-thaw damage Where a natural, matte finish is desired||Provide invisible protection without changing the surface appearance or leaving a sheen.||Provide excellent protection against outdoor exposure conditions. Most products are also breathable, allowing moisture vapour to escape.|
|Acrylics||Form a thin protective film on the concrete surface. Available in both solvent- and water-based formulations||Both exterior and interior concrete On projects where easy application and economy is important To enhance the beauty of coloured, stamped or exposed- aggregate concrete On fast-track projects, since acrylics often dry to the touch within an hour||Available in a range of sheen levels. Solvent-based acrylics generally enhance colour better than water-based products.||Provide good protection against water and chloride intrusion, but usually wear faster than polyurethanes and epoxies. Solvent-based acrylics generally perform better than water-based products for outdoor use. On indoor surfaces, softer acrylic sealers usually require regular maintenance with several coats of a sacrificial floor finish, or wax, to prevent wear and black heel marks.|
|Polyurethanes||Form a high-build protective film on the concrete surface. Available in both solvent- and water-based formulations||Both exterior and interior concrete On floors in high-traffic areas, to provide good resistance to scuffs and staining To enhance the beauty of coloured, stamped or exposed- aggregate concrete counter-tops||Available in a range of sheen levels. Finish is transparent and non-yellowing.||Nearly twice as thick as acrylic sealers and produce a very durable chemical- and abrasion-resistant finish. Most urethanes are moisture intolerant until they cure, so no water should be present on the surface when the sealer is applied.|
|Epoxies||Form a high-build protective film on the concrete surface. Most are two-component products mixed prior to application.||On floors in high-traffic areas Cement-based overlays Concrete countertops May yellow with UV exposure, so generally limited to interior use||Available clear or pigmented, if you wish to add colour. Most products impart a glossy finish.||Produce a hard, long-wearing, abrasion-resistant finish. Also offer excellent water repellence, but some products are impermeable and could trap moisture in the concrete.|