Concrete, despite what you may believe, is actually not as tough and indestructible as it would appear. In fact, concrete problems occur all the time and all over the country because of the way it’s made. This is why concrete sealers and concrete coatings are so popular and necessary.
Concrete, you see, is porous and is therefore extremely susceptible to the water damage caused by freezing and thawing cycles, stains from spills, chemical exposure, abrasion, impacts and more. Concrete scaling, concrete pitting and concrete delamination are all common examples of concrete problems you risk running into without a concrete coating.
At Garage Force, we are your ally in concrete protection, offering the unrivaled protection of our revolutionary polyurea coating systems, which protect your valuable concrete floorings such as garage flooring, basement flooring and outdoor concrete flooring.
So, how do you protect concrete? There are many different options available out there, known by many different names such as concrete sealer, concrete coating, concrete protector and more. But essentially they are all one and the same in that their purpose is to adhere to the concrete surface and provide it some level of protection, which can vary depending on how much protection you seek.
Today, we’ll take a look at protecting a variety of concrete surfaces, from the outdoor spaces of your home or garage to the interior surfaces, as well as old and new concrete. We’ll end with a few application tips for those of you seeking to apply a concrete sealer on your own. Let’s begin!
Sealing Outdoor Concrete
No matter if you’re dealing with a stamped pool deck or patio, interlocking paver driveway, an acid-stained floor or an exposed-aggregate walkway, a good concrete sealer will provide the surface protection and keep it looking great for years to come. Some concrete coatings like a stain or epoxy will need re-application every few years, while a more durable concrete protector like the Garage Force polyurea coating will offer protection for a decade or more.
Sealing outdoor concrete is an essential piece of hardscape maintenance and those who go without a concrete coating often come to regret it down the road once those nasty concrete problems rear their ugly heads and they’re forced to pay for costly new concrete. Save yourself that trouble and invest in a concrete protector.
There are many different types of concrete sealers, so read our helpful guide to choosing the best concrete coating and learn the individual difference and advantages. Any concrete sealer you pick, though, will protect against exposure to the elements and help prevent discoloration, stains and even flaking. Most concrete protectors you choose will protect against:
- Oil stains
- Tire marks
- Deicing salts
- Yellowing or fading
- Water damage
- Dirt, mud and mold
- Lawn care chemicals
You should seal all types of outdoor concrete, whether it’s plain concrete, stamped concrete, stained concrete, exposed aggregate, colored concrete or beyond. Outdoor concrete is uniquely exposed to the elements of nature at all times, and depending on where you live in the country, those environmental factors can be far more severe.
For outdoor concrete, it’s best to choose a concrete coating that is UV resistant, slip-resistant (even when wet) and breathable. A polyurea coating from Garage Force comes in five different types to best suit your needs and preference, while all providing unrivaled protection against UV light, abrasion, chemicals, impacts and more.
Sealing Concrete Floors
When properly sealed, concrete flooring is an extremely durable and sound choice for flooring. This is true in both commercial and residential properties such as a basement or garage. A concrete coating is the best way to ensure the concrete flooring looks its best and functions well for years to come. A good concrete coating will:
- Prolong the life of a floor
- Enrich and preserve its appearance
- Provide resistance to scuffs and stains
- Prevent moisture problems
Traditionally, epoxy flooring has been the common choice for sealing indoor flooring spaces, especially garages. However, epoxy flooring does not provide the full range of protection, life expectancy or durability of superiors concrete protectors such as polyurea coatings.
Garage flooring especially requires great protection because it is subject to all kinds of chemicals and abrasive components, which is why a polyurea is the unquestionable top choice. Polyurea coatings are extremely tough and durable, resist UV damage, chemical damage and abrasive/impact damage.
Also, compared to epoxy flooring, which takes several days to install, polyurea coatings install in 24 hours or less when done by a professional.
Sealing Concrete Countertops
Sealing is the final and most important step when installing concrete countertops in a kitchen or bathroom because it provides them with a waterproof layer, as well as preventing food stains and scratches.
The best concrete sealers for countertops are:
- Heat and scratch-resistant
- Low-odor, with zero VOCs
Concrete sealers designed for countertops come in many different levels of sheen, including matte to a high gloss, depending on your preference. If you have shorter time constraints, there are even fast-curing countertop sealers that reduce the downtime. For maximum protection and shine, some people even apply a food-safe wax finish on top of the concrete sealer.
Sealing New Concrete vs. Old Concrete
Often times, choosing which concrete coating to apply depends on the concrete surface itself. Is the concrete new or is it old? If you’re dealing with new concrete, then protection should be your top priority. The great news is, you can select a concrete protector that provides the most protection without sacrificing the aesthetic appeal you’re looking for.
Concrete protectors are great for new concrete because they protect your investment in the concrete, which can be extremely pricey to pour properly, especially if it’s a large area like a garage floor. A polyurea coating, for example, will provide the most superior level of protection against practically anything, while still allowing you to choose a look that fits your vision for the space.
However, if you’re dealing with old concrete, then it’s likely not worth your money to go all-out on the best concrete coating available. Sealing old concrete can be done with a cheaper epoxy flooring, that will allow you to both upgrade the appearance of the flooring while gaining some protection as well. This is much cheaper, you can likely install it yourself and if you decide to upgrade to new concrete down the line, you can consider a stronger coating then.
Concrete Sealer Application Tips
If you decide to choose the superior protection of a polyurea coating, then we strongly suggest you allow a professional to handle the installation. At Garage Force, we not only develop the best concrete coating systems, but we also offer the most experienced, professional installation as well. Plus, polyurea coatings install much faster than other concrete coatings, so we can finish the job any time of year and in 24 hours or less in most cases.
For you DIYers out there who are looking to install an epoxy flooring or some other concrete sealer, here are some helpful installation tips:
- The surface must be clean and dry to ensure good adhesion
- Allow new concrete to cure fully prior to sealing
- Seal concrete when the weather is dry and above 50 degrees Fahrenheit
- Always apply sealer in thin layers
- Two coats will provide the best protection
- Solvent-based sealers are best spray applied
- Water-based sealers are best applied by roller
- If you have textured concrete (broom finish or stamped), the sealer may pool if applied too thickly
As with any DIY project, it’s important that you have all the protective gear and necessary equipment before you start the project. It’s also advisable that you do as much research as possible beforehand and carefully follow the instructions outlined by the concrete sealer you are using because most do not work the same way.
Garage Force is the industry leader in concrete coating solutions, developing the most revolutionary concrete protector on the market. Our polyurea coating systems are 20 times stronger than traditional epoxy flooring, creating a seamless membrane to protect your concrete flooring from chipping, cracking, spalling, pitting and more.
Our polyurea coating systems are incredibly easy to maintain, are durable, slip-resistant and are extremely resistant to abrasion, impact and water/chemicals. And to top it all off, they look amazing!
Perfect for residential or commercial concrete flooring, keep your concrete from cracking under pressure and protect it with Garage Force’s extremely effective polyurea coating systems! Contact us today for a free quote and to schedule your installation!