Is there such thing as an oil repellent concrete sealer? The answer is yes. There are two different types of oil repellent products for concrete: coatings and penetrating sealers. Can a penetrating sealer stop oil? The answer is yes. But not all penetrating sealers can stop oil. Penetrating concrete sealers like silicates, siliconates, and silane/siloxanes will not be resistant to oil on their own. In order for a penetrating sealer to resist staining it needs to possess a fluorocarbon.
What is a fluorocarbon? Toefco writes a great article explaining the introduction of fluorocarbons: “A fluorocarbon is a chemical compound that contains many strong carbon-fluoride bonds. The fluorine in a fluorocarbon is electrically negative, which gives it the property of not bonding easily with other materials. That’s what makes a fluorocarbon non-stick. A fluorocarbon is an umbrella term, and it includes many other products with trade names that you may have heard of, including Teflon. The first fluorocarbons were developed in the 1930s by Dupont, but hundreds of variations now exist.”
By combining penetrating sealer technology with these fluorocarbons manufacturers are able to create oil repellent penetrating concrete sealers. If you are looking for testing data to verify the effectiveness of penetrating sealers with oil protection, the PCI (Paint and Coating Industry) publication evaluated the effectiveness of penetrating sealers formulated with fluorocarbons from 3M. They put the products through vigorous tests and concluded that penetrating sealers with fluorocarbons demonstrate “significant improvements to stain resistance and oil repellency and good retention of performance through repeated cleaning and weathering. And such they can be considered as a stain protection solution for a wide range of surfaces and environments.”
Should I use a coating or a penetrating sealer to stop oil? Acrylic coatings are available in water based or solvent based versions and although they may help to repel oil by coating the surface of the concrete they do not have a very long life span and usually need to be reapplied every year, especially if they are exposed to deicing salts. Urethane coatings will repel oil and are highly resistant to chemicals; however, they can only be used indoors and they will leave more of a gloss finish. You also usually need to grind or etch the floor prior to applying a urethane coating. We really like penetrating sealers for for a few reasons. 1. They will never yellow, fade or peel. 2. They leave a natural finish and will not change the look of the concrete. 3. They are deicing salt resistant. 4. They have a lifespan of 5+ years. 5. If mixed with a fluorocarbon they are resistant to staining. To answer the question, Can a sealer reduce oil stains? Yes, a penetrating sealer can reduce oil stains if a fluorocarbon is used in conjunction with the formulation.
How can I stop oil from staining my concrete? Our recommendation is to use a penetrating sealer with a fluorocarbon, some examples are below.
- Ghostshield Siloxa-Tek 8510: A clear, solvent-based, silane, stain resistant water, salt and oil repellent penetrating sealer. It will protect against deicing salts, oils, grease and food. Retails for $399 per 5 gallon pail.
- BASF’s Masterprotect 1001: A clear, solvent based, silane, penetrating water repellent sealer with an oleophobic additive. It is frequently used in commercial applications by contractors and retails for $420 per 5 gallon pail.
- Prosoco SLX 100: A clear, solvent based, silane, water & oil repellent that combines water and oil repellency on most substrates to prevent staining by waterborne and oily substances. Retails for $1090 per 5 gallon pail.