Seal the Deal

ChemMasters Newsletter: Vol 1 Issue 5

 
Seal the Deal is intended to be an informative and educational publication for ChemMasters’ network of independent manufacturer’s representatives, distributors and contractors. We don’t want to make you chemical engineers, but we do want to help you feel better informed and more comfortable discussing construction chemicals. If there are specific products or topics you would like to see addressed in a future issue, please contact John Fauth.










Choosing A Sealer That's Right For You


Choosing the right sealer seems simple enough… just ask which one is the best… right? That's the question every manufacturer hates to hear, because "best" is a relative term and there's no one product that is best for all people and all applications. In order to make a product recommendation, there are a few questions to ask:

What type of concrete finish do you have? Concrete generally has four different types of finishes; broom finished, smooth troweled, stamped, and exposed aggregate. Concrete pavers can be considered a fifth finish. Each of those finish types has unique considerations when choosing a sealer:

Film Forming Sealers vs. Penetrating Water Repellants



Film formers darken concrete, develop color and appear glossy.



Penetrating water repellants prevent water absorption, protect against freeze/thaw damage, and do not change the appearance of concrete.

It really depends upon your personal preference and what your expectations are for cosmetic appearance.

Film forming sealers come in two varieties; water-based and solvent-based. Both have different performance and aesthetic qualities:

Water-Based Sealers
  • Low Gloss
  • Minimal darkening of concrete
  • Increased Chemical Resistance

Solvent-Based Sealers
  • High Gloss
  • Darkens concrete
  • Increased color development

On the other hand, penetrating water repellants will protect your concrete from water intrusion, deicing chemicals and freeze/thaw damage, but leave the appearance unchanged and provide little to no protection from staining.

Film forming sealers are often recommended for:
  • Stamped Concrete
  • Exposed Aggregate
  • Broom Finished Concrete
  • Some Pavers

Penetrating water repellants are often recommended for:
  • Smooth Troweled Concrete
  • Broom Finished Concrete
  • Natural or Manmade Stone
  • Pavers

Service Environment

Is your concrete around a pool deck which might favor a penetrating sealer? Or surrounded by large trees, under the table and grill and in need of stain protection provided by film forming sealers? Always consider what elements and contaminants your concrete will be exposed to.

Tree sap, fertilizer, food and beverage spills can all stain unsealed concrete.

Film forming sealers are often recommended for:
  • Stain Protection
  • Modest Chemical Protection
  • Freeze/Thaw Protection
  • Prevention of Water & Salt Absorption

Tip: Use Slip Stop additive in film forming sealers for applications around pool decks and other potential slip & fall environments.

Penetrating water repellants are often recommended for:
  • Freeze/Thaw Protection
  • Prevention of Water & Salt Absorption

Appearance

There are many elements that impact appearance, including darkening of concrete, color development of colored concrete, gloss level, penetration, etc. In each case, solvent-based film forming sealers will do so more than water-based versions, while penetrating water-repellants will generally not change the cosmetic appearance at all.

Film forming sealers are often recommended for:
  • Stamped Concrete
  • Exposed Aggregate
  • Broom Finished Concrete
  • Some Pavers

Penetrating water repellants are often recommended for:
  • Smooth Troweled Concrete
  • Broom Finished Concrete
  • Natural or Manmade Stone
  • Some Pavers

Light Stability

All sealers do not have the same stability when exposed to UV sunlight. Some sealers may turn yellow or brown from prolonged exposure to sunlight.

  • Most penetrating water repellants are UV stable.
  • Only film forming sealers made with UV stable resins are truly non-yellowing. Others are blended with UV absorbers which only delay the onset of yellowing.

Color Development

Some versions of stained or colored concrete may look dull and dusty prior to application of the right sealer. At other times it's preferable to maintain the original appearance of a substrate.

Solvent-based film forming sealers enhance color development.

Penetrating water repellants are often used when the owner prefers to maintain the original substrate appearance. Penetrating water repellants are often recommended for:
  • Smooth Troweled Concrete
  • Broom Finished Concrete
  • Natural or Manmade Stone
  • Some Pavers

Solvent-based film forming sealers can darken the appearance of concrete, enhance color development, develop a high gloss "wet look" appearance, and wet out antiquing release agents. As a result, film forming sealers are often recommended for:
  • Stamped Concrete
  • Exposed Aggregate
  • Broom Finished Concrete
  • Some Pavers

Having some expectations about what you want your concrete to look like and what you want it protected from will better enable you to choose a sealer you'll be happy with today and for years to come.

Examples of ChemMasters Penetrating Sealers:

Polyseal EZSpallGuard WB 10

Penetrating Siloxane Low-VOC Water-Based Concrete Sealer & Waterproofer
SpallGuard WB 10 is a penetrating, chemically reactive, solvent-free, silane modified siloxan emulsion designed to be a moisture and water repellant for concrete and masonry.

AquanilPlus40AAquanil Plus 40-A

Low VOC Solvent-Based, Penetrating Silane Sealer
Aquanil Plus 40-A is a penetrating, chemically reactive alkyltrialkoxy, 40% solids, solvent based silane sealer that repels moisture and water from concrete and masonry.

AquanilPlus100Aquanil Plus 100

Penetrating Silane Sealer for Concrete and Masonry
Aquanil Plus 40-A is a penetrating, chemically reactive alkyltrialkoxy, 40% solids, solvent based silane sealer that repels moisture and water from concrete and masonry.





Examples of ChemMasters Solvent-Based Film Forming Sealers:

Polyseal EZPolyseal™ EZ

Bubble Resistant Low-VOC Cure and Seal
Polyseal EZ is a proprietary formulation that resists bubble formation, cobwebbing, and stringing commonly associated with low-VOC cure and seals.

Traz 25-ATRAZ™ 25-A

Low-VOC Solvent-Based Methyl-Methacrylate Concrete Sealer
Traz 25-A is a film forming sealer for concrete and masonry. Traz 25-A is formulated with methyl methacrylate polymers that develop high gloss and are more chemical resistant than standard acrylic sealers.

400AStamped & Decorative Concrete Sealer 400A

Slow Evaporating, Low-VOC High Gloss “Wet Look” Sealer
Film forming sealer manufactured to provide 200-300% more working time on stamped, exposed aggregate, and other decorative concrete than traditional low-VOC sealers.





Examples of ChemMasters Water-Based Film Forming Sealers:

Safe Cure & Seal 309Safe Cure® & Seal 309

Economical Indoor Concrete Cure and Seal
Safe-Cure® & Seal 309 is a water emulsion, styrene acrylate copolymer curing and sealing compound for concrete. Safe-Cure® & Seal 309 is low-odor product that produces a medium gloss film.

Polyseal WBPolySeal™ WB

Pure Acrylic Non-Yellowing Cure and Seal
Polyseal WB is a high solids, water-based, non yellowing, acrylic concrete curing and sealing compound. This state-of-the-art proprietary formulation forms a tough acrylic film to effectively cure fresh concrete and protect older concrete.