Concrete sealer is a remarkable way to prolong the life of such things as sidewalks, patios, and driveways. Yet, thanks to the profusion of different sealers on the market today, it can be hard to determine which one is right for you. If you would like to learn more about what factors to keep in mind when choosing a concrete sealer, read on. This article will outline two key aspects to consider.
It is vital that you keep in mind the degree to which a particular sealer will alter the traction of the concrete surface. Sealers with a more slippery finish will greatly increase the difficulty of maneuvering safely. Even identical sealers may produce vastly different results, depending on the amount applied. Ultimately, the traction of a sealer will be determined by these three things:
- sealer's thickness
- texture of the concrete
- additives used to boost traction
Generally speaking, the thicker the sealer, the more slippery it will be. Yet even two sealers of identical thickness will produce different amounts of traction, depending on how textured the underlying concrete is. As you might assume, smooth concrete tends to result in a more slippery sealer. Rougher surfaces, such as those associated with broom finished concrete, tend to promote more overall traction.
Additives are often added to improve the traction of a sealer. Often such additives are comprised of plastic grit--or even sand. These substances are applied to the surface of the still-wet sealer. Be aware that, while they will help increase traction in the short term, over the course of years such additives tend to be worn away through constant friction.
Most of the sealers on the market today use acrylic resin as their principal ingredient. Yet the supplementary ingredients may vary greatly, including everything from epoxy, to polyurethane, to silicone. The composition of a particular sealer tends to have a strong effect on its overall appearance--especially where glossiness is concerned.
In fact, gloss varies so greatly from one sealer to another that a special 0 to 100 scale is used to express it. A sealer with a rating of zero will have almost no gloss at all. The higher the rating, the greater the amount of gloss.
Gloss is largely a matter of preference. Consider how you would like your concrete to end up looking, and then select a sealer with an equivalent rating. A close inspection should reveal the gloss rating of a particular sealer listed on the outside of its packaging.
Whether you have broom finish or stamped concrete, be sure to keep sealers in mind.