A lot of homeowners opt for concrete floor to avoid frequent maintenance issues commonly associated with wood, not to mention concrete guarantees more longevity than the former. Though concrete floors indeed often last longer and are definitely more durable than wooden ones, according them lifetime permanence by themselves is a little bit exaggerated. Believe it or not, your concrete floor will not be able to survive decades of wear and tear if you would not take care of it. It isn’t particularly immune to the combined attacks of weather, friction and other external elements. As a wise homeowner, your role in ensuring that your floor lasts its lifetime includes giving it the necessary protection. One way of doing this is coating the floor with a concrete floor sealer.
Basically, a concrete sealant is a form of protective film that you apply to the floor surface. The substances present in the sealant prevent abrasions to the surface of the material. Depending on the type of the sealant used, the protective film it creates also filters the seeping of liquids and other chemicals through the concrete’s pores. Sealants also prevent the accumulation of dirt and dust on the surface of the floor, and helps in keeping its brand new look.
Sealing concrete with chemicals and other substances is actually not a new practice. It’s an age-old tradition dating back to the glory days of cathedrals and basilicas, wherein masons will coat the stone surfaces of the structures that they have built as part of the finishing touch. In the older days, this could be a tedious process, and is most often left to the experts. Sealants are also pretty hard to purchase those days, so most homeowners either have to call in a good artisan or just leave their concretes untouched. Fortunately for you, however, getting access to sealants is a piece of cake nowadays. Applying them is also made easy and only requires basic knowledge.
Technology had also made important advancements to the use of sealants as protection for concrete. Your choices for concrete floor sealer are pretty abundant these days. Generally, there are two types of sealants available in the market: the water-based sealants and the solvent-based ones. For the outdoors, solvent-based sealers are good at that task. Solvent is a stronger base and is better in preventing seeps into the material’s surface. Water-based sealants are good for the indoors because they are not as strong a base as solvent and are thus better for areas where contact is not intensive. They are, however, easier to apply and to remove. Regarding aesthetics, solvent-based sealers often give the concrete a yellowish, glossy tinge after application while water-based ones keep the natural look of the material.
Based on their penetrating capacity, concrete floor sealers are also often classified as topical or impregnating. The impregnating types offer more penetration than the topical ones. Generally, impregnating sealants penetrate even underneath the surface of the concrete, and thus provide protection even to the layers below it.