The number one arch enemy of concrete is water. Not only can water create harmful health risks with the growth of mold and mildew and create numerous problems for homeowner’s foundations but it can also be a carrier for salts and chlorides that can damage reinforcing steel in concrete leading to spalling and cracking. In order to prevent water from damaging concrete basements, driveways and other surfaces a waterproofing concrete sealer should be used. A lot of sealers on the market are elastomeric, latex based or acrylic based and while they can temporarily help to reduce water is only a matter of time before they delaminate. Since they are unable to penetrate but instead coat the surface it is more like putting a bandaid on the problem instead of sealing from within.
By using a penetrating, impregnating sealer that densifies and hardens concrete and also provides a hydrophobic surface barrier you can ensure a fully waterproofed substrate. One of our favorite concrete waterproofers is Lithi-Tek LS 9500. This sealer is an invisible, penetrating concrete sealer that will not only densify concrete, but it will waterproof and help to prevent deleterious organic growth. The chemically reactive and active ingredients seal the pores within the substrate adequately blocking surface moisture while still maintaining the concretes ability to breathe. It will not significantly modify substrate appearance or traction and will only wear away if the concrete surface itself wears away. New or existing concrete can be treated and performance can be improved in as little as two applications. The concentrated nature of the sealer allows for 1000 sq. ft. of coverage per coat from 1 gallon (two coats are recommended so each gallon will yield 500 square feet worth of coverage) and it is now readily available at HomeDepot.com and Lowes.com. This sealer only costs about $0.10 per square foot per application; considering the cost to replace concrete is about $7.00 per square foot, sealing concrete with the 9500 is a worthwhile investment.
Have you ever wondered how the concrete floors that make up most large commercial buildings, retail or otherwise, remain so clean? They rarely exhibit signs of water or chemical spillage, as well as cracking or similar such things that mar the visual appeal. These floors are solid, clean, smooth, and never show the degradation that can affect your own concrete in your home or building.
The secret to the protection is not even really a secret. Concrete sealers are what give the concrete floors of commercial buildings their long-lasting strength and visually unblemished surfaces. With the incredible amount of traffic from feet, machinery, products, and pallets, the concrete floors would soon deteriorate under normal circumstances had they not been protected with a concrete sealer.
The best concrete sealer for large commercial floors would be an aliphatic urethane. Aliphatic urethanes are a type of topical concrete sealer whose large particles of sealant preclude the concrete sealing solution from passing into the concrete. Instead, the aliphatic urethane particles will puddle on the surface of the concrete to be spread out evenly during the application process if you are using a broom. If you elect to use a light pump sprayer, the application is even easier, though the result will be the same.
Aliphatic urethanes are concrete sealants that feature remarkable levels of protection against the most extreme conditions concrete could be subjected to. They offer excellent resistance to heat, UV radiation, water damage, chemical spills, abrasions, discoloration, and other such potential threats to the structural and visual integrity of the concrete. For it is true that the visual appeal of a commercial building’s floors is just as important as the structural integrity of said floors – shoppers do not want to be wandering around buildings whose floors are cracked, stained, and dingy.
Aliphatic urethanes are the best solution for the floors of a commercial building. And, if you have a project that needs to be completed overnight, before business begins the next day, you need to choose a polyaspartic concrete sealer. Polyaspartics are the wonder materials of the concrete sealing industry, featuring all of the same benefits of aliphatic urethanes with the added bonus of an exceptionally fast dry time – simply apply the polyaspartic at night and it will have completely dried and bonded to the concrete floor by the morning. Whichever product you opt for, you will be satisfied with the results.