One of the most compelling reasons to use a concrete sealer is to help improve the aesthetics features of the slab, pavers, bricks or stone. Decorative concrete has become extremely popular and can be seen used in driveways and patios, interior and exterior floors, steps and walkways, pools and more. Now what is the best method of protecting all of these surfaces?
An acrylic concrete sealer would be you best option. Acrylic sealers come in water-based versions and solvent based versions. The biggest difference between the two is the VOC content, sheen and life of the product; meaning how often it lasts before needing to be reapplied. Solvent based acrylics tend to have higher VOC’s and solvent odors; however, they leave a higher gloss shine and last a few years longer than water based versions. Solvent-based sealers tend to be the strongest options when you are sealing an exterior substrate, or patio. When applying an acrylic sealer outdoors make sure that the manufacturer states their product is UV stable. If an acrylic is not UV stable and is used outdoors there are high risks of yellowing, peeling and flaking from the sun’s strong, harmful rays. Although solvent based sealers are great for exterior, decorative concrete be aware that they can make surfaces extremely slippery. They may add a beautiful high gloss finish, but if applied to a pool deck they could cause excessive slipperiness. Some manufacturers offer additives (to be used in conjunction with the sealer at the time of application) that help make the surface less slippery.
If you do not want a slippery high gloss surface you should consider a water based concrete sealer. They may need to be re-applied more frequently but they usually meet all VOC regulations and will offer a softer matte or satin sheen. Water based acrylic sealers usually last 1-3 years before needing to be re-applied compared to 2-5 years you would get from a solvent based concrete sealer.
Acrylic concrete sealers are one of the most common concrete sealers on the market today. Just be sure when you are shopping around that the sealer is a pure acrylic and not a blend of an acrylic and something else. Acrylic sealers are great for stamped decorative concrete patios, driveways and pavers and really do beautify and enhance concrete’s aesthetic appearance.
Our Take: We like Cryli-Tek 5500 with a nice low sheen that is non-yellowing and water based.