Choosing A Sealer That's Right For You

  • By Stephan Derrick
  • 16 Sep, 2016
Concrete Sealers | Stone Sealers | Driveway Sealers | Paver Sealers
So many different sealer types. Endless product options. How does one select the best sealer?

Film Forming Sealers vs. Penetrating Water Repellants

Choosing the right sealer seems simple enough… just ask which one is the best… right? That's the question every supplier 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 stone or concrete finish do you have? Concrete many different finishes; broom finished, smooth troweled, stamped, stenciled, sprayed, polished and exposed aggregate. Concrete pavers are also widely used and may people prefer to seal them. Stone pavers and tiles also come in different finishes: polished, honed, saw cut, etc......  Each of those finish types has unique considerations when choosing a sealer:
penetrating sealer, natural finish sealer, stone sealer, concrete sealer
A water repellant sealer in action. No change to appearance and no change to the slip co-efficient.
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:
  • Pattern Pave
  • Stamped concrete
  • Exposed aggregate
  • Spray on paving
  • Stencil paving
  • Decorative concrete
  • Concrete
  • Concrete pavers
  • Some slate

Penetrating water repellants are often recommended for:
  • Smooth Troweled Concrete
  • Broom finished concrete
  • Natural or man made stone pavers and tiles
  • Concrete pavers

 Your Environment Impacts On Sealer Choice

Is your concrete around a pool deck which might favour a penetrating sealer, simply because it is safer? 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, oils, coolants, fertiliser, food and beverage spills and even lawn fertiliser can all stain unsealed concrete and stone.

Film forming sealers are often recommended for:
  • General stain protection
  • Prevention of oil and coolant penetration
  • Chemical protection - including many alkaline and acidic spills
Tip: Use Slip Stop additive in film forming sealers for applications around pool decks and other potential slip & fall environments. But keep in mind this will reduce the longevity of your sealer.

Penetrating water repellants are often recommended for:
  • Areas where excessive moisture may be present in ground (salt damp around home or pavers is an indicator)
  • General stain protection without making surfaces slippery (ie around pool areas or sloped surfaces)
  • Prevention of oil and coolant penetration
  • Very modest chemical protection - alkaline and acidic liquids can damage sealers


Film forming sealer | Acrylic sealer | Sealer | Pattern Pave | Stamped Concrete | Concrete
A wet-look, film forming sealer applied to stamped concrete (also called pattern pave). The sealer not only looks great by enhancing the colours in the concrete , but it also protects the surface from fading and staining.

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:
  • Pattern Pave
  • Stamped concrete
  • Exposed aggregate
  • Spray on paving
  • Stencil paving
  • Decorative concrete
  • Concrete
  • Some pavers
  • Some slate

Penetrating water repellants are often recommended for:
  • Concrete
  • Exposed aggregate
  • Stone and concrete pavers
  • Some tiles
Film forming sealer | Acrylic sealer | Sealer | Pattern Pave | Stamped Concrete | Concrete
A film forming sealer applied to cobble-stone style stamped concrete.

Color Enhancement

Some versions of stained or coloured 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 colour development.

Penetrating liquid repellant sealers are often used when the owner prefers to maintain the original substrate appearance. These sealers retain a natural finish and NO CHANGE IN APPEARANCE and hence are often recommended for:
  • Concrete
  • Natural or man made stone
  • Some pavers
  • Some tiles

Solvent-based film forming sealers can darken the appearance of concrete, enhance colour 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
  • Pattern Pave
  • Stamped concrete
  • Exposed aggregate
  • Spray on paving
  • Stencil paving
  • Decorative concrete
  • Concrete
  • Some pavers
  • Some slate

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

Official Jetclean Blog

By Stephan Derrick 16 Sep, 2016
Choosing the right sealer seems simple enough… just ask which one is the best… right? That's the question every supplier 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 stone or concrete finish do you have? Concrete many different finishes; broom finished, smooth troweled, stamped, stenciled, sprayed, polished and exposed aggregate. Concrete pavers are also widely used and may people prefer to seal them. Stone pavers and tiles also come in different finishes: polished, honed, saw cut, etc......  Each of those finish types has unique considerations when choosing a sealer:
By Stephan Derrick 26 May, 2016
If you have ever wondered how Jetclean technicians get concrete driveways looking so good .... here is how we do it.  

Firstly, every driveway is different and the cleaning method is adjusted to suit. Plains concrete may be cleaned slightly differently to coloured concrete, stamped concrete, spray paving or exposed aggregate. Driveways with paint drops, oil stains, mould and algae all get a tailored cleaning process for the best outcome.

If the driveway is being cleaned because the concrete is to be sealed or even coloured, the process may even involve acid etching.

Jetclean technicians have pressure cleaning tools and a range of cleaning agents and treatments to optimise the cleaning outcome for all these situations.
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