Concrete floors are increasingly being viewed as a versatile and durable flooring option--even for the interiors of homes. Of course, those who are considering installing concrete floors should be aware of the importance of sealing them. If you would like to learn more about the many benefits of this process, read on. This article will act as a helpful introduction to the subject of concrete floor sealing.
Types Of Sealer
There are two principal types of concrete sealer on the market today: film forming and penetrating. As their name would imply, film forming sealers act to create a durable and impenetrable layer on the concrete's top layer. Penetrating sealers, on the other hand, seep down into the concrete, thus filling up the pores and preventing moisture to take up residence.
Film forming sealers are the better option for most residential applications. That's because, while penetrating sealers help prevent cracks and other structural issues, they are not always as effective at preventing stains, scratches, and other surface issues. Not only will a film forming sealer reduce the likelihood of the concrete suffering such forms of damage, but it can always be rebuffed and polished to eliminate minor cosmetic blemishes.
More About Film Forming Sealers
It is important to realize that, even in the world of film forming sealers, there are still plenty of variations. These break down into three main categories, each with their own set of benefits and drawbacks:
- acrylic sealers
- polyurethane sealers
- epoxy sealers
Acrylic sealers allow for a highly transparent finish. This makes them especially prized when the underlying concrete includes decorative elements such as stamps, unique coloration, or exposed aggregate. Unfortunately, acrylic sealers also require a lot of upkeep to keep them from being marred by scratches and scuffs.
Polyurethane sealers are thus considered a good compromise between aesthetics and durability. They offer an attractive finish that doesn't need frequent waxing or buffing. Epoxy sealers perform in a similar way, but offer the additional attraction of being available in a virtually endless array of colors, ideal for those who hope to coordinate their floors with the rest of their décor.
For those who aren't scared of putting in the work, it is theoretically possible to apply a film forming concrete sealer on your own. Yet it's important to realize that, just like wall paint, these sealers give off potentially dangerous fumes. This will be more of a threat for those who opt for a solvent-based film forming seal. Water based sealers, on the other had, have a lower VOC content, yet will still require that you have some sort of ventilation system in place.
For more information, contact companies like Stephens & Smith Construction Inc.