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How to select the correct sealer for indoors and outdoors

Concrete sealers are a small investment when you consider the time and money that you can waste by having to re-lay or repair surfaces due to inadequate protection.

They protect the aesthetic appeal of your floor by preventing contamination, abrasion, cracking, efflorescence leaching and much more.

Understanding the difference between indoor & outdoor sealers is essential to a successful installation.

Is the concrete indoors or outdoors?

This simple question determines what sealers can be used successfully. Generally speaking, outside areas must have UV stable sealers applied and keep in mind gloss finishes will be slippery when wet so an anti-slip additive will be required, or select from the penetrating sealer range to avoid the slip issues.

It can be a better option to use penetrating sealers in outdoor areas because of the slip issues & also because they aren’t susceptible to moisture problems. Penetrating sealers soak into the concrete whilst still allowing the concrete to breathe, unlike topical sealers that lock the moisture in with no means of escape. This can cause delamination & discoloration of the sealer. Penetrating sealers are available in either a natural or wet look finish, so they can basically go unnoticed if that is the preferred look or they can darken & enhance.

If you use a concrete sealer that isn’t designed for an outdoor environment then they are prone to breaking down with UV exposure over time, they can also change colour & lose their clarity.

If the concrete is indoors then you need to consider what sort of area it is going into.

Is it a wet area? Do you need slip resistance? Does it get direct sunlight through open doors or windows?

All of these things will be important in selecting the right sealer that will last and look great for years to come. UV Stable sealers are often used indoors when areas receive a lot of natural light. They also protect colour if you are installing a coloured epoxy or acid-stained floor.

It is also very important to know the moisture levels in the concrete (whether it is indoors or outdoors) so that you can either choose to treat the moisture issue with a moisture barrier, allowing you to use a sealer of your choice after treatment or choose a penetrating sealer that won’t delaminate due to moisture content.

Once again asking questions of your client & knowing the products that are available will help you make the right selection, we hope this has helped to take the confusion out of selecting the correct sealer.

* The above information is to be used as a guide only and Con-Treat accepts no responsibility for any consequence resulting from the advice contained herein or verbally.

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