Ashford Formula, a concrete sealing option manufactured by Curecrete Chemical Company, is a water-based sodium silicate sealer. The formula is the only concrete sealer offering by Curecrete Chemical, making it a highly specialized option.
The solution is clear and odorless with a low-VOC content that makes it legal for use in states like California, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey with strict environmental regulations. More and more states are beginning to adopt such regulations, making it likely that water-based sealers will be the application method of the future. That being said, solvent-based sealers certainly have their place, though adequate care must be taken on application.
As the Ashford Formula is water-based, it can be applied indoors as well as outdoors. Being a silicate sealer, the solution will penetrate through the surface pores of your concrete into the material. Once inside, the silicate particles will react chemical with the free lime and alkalis within the concrete, helping to densify the concrete while protecting it from moisture and water damage, as well as from the passage of harmful natural gases like radon and methane.
While most silicate sealers can be applied to any appropriate concrete surface without an issue, the Ashford Formula is designed specifically for floor use, and isn’t as well known for its use on walls. If you have basement walls that need attention, you’d be better off finding a company with a more extensive product line that offers some more flexible sealers.
Advertised as being suitable for interior or exterior concrete surfaces, Endur-O-Seal’s Hydra Seal concrete sealer is a penetrating sealer option similar to Applied Technologies Hydra-Block sealer. The Hyrda Seal is a water-based sealant, making it environmentally safer than a solvent-based product. It is also safer for use indoors, as the fumes aren’t as hazardous and the risk of flammability is not as high. It also has a low VOC content, which makes it legal in states like California, New Jersey, and New York with strict environmental regulations on concrete sealers and other such products.
The product in particular is a sodium silicate sealer that will penetrate past the surface of the concrete to bond chemically within the concrete. The chemical reaction will help protect the concrete from water leakage and seepage, all while allowing a certain amount of moisture to pass through the concrete’s pores. Concrete needs to release moisture in a controlled way in order to remain as strong and as durable as possible.
With protection from the incursion of water, moisture in basements would hopefully not lead to mold and mildew build-up – however, Endur-O-Seal cannot guarantee this with their product. Despite this, it is a solid product, if a little on the expensive side, that will help you protect your concrete surfaces.
Applied Technologies is a company that focuses on creating products that help waterproof your concrete, preventing moisture penetration and the various problems associated with that. Their Hydra-Block sealer is an example of that mission, protecting your concrete walls and floors from water, water vapor, radon, and methane gas.
The Hyrda-Block sealer is a water-based sodium silicate sealer. Sodium silicate sealers are penetrating solutions whose small particles of silicate will penetrate past the surface of the concrete into the material. Other sealers, such as acrylics, will not penetrate past the surface, leaving instead a protective film that will prevent moisture from seeping into the concrete from that one direction. For penetrating sealers, however, the particles will react chemically inside of the material to fill in the air bubbles found naturally in concrete, decreasing porosity while increasing protection.
The sealer will help harden the material and decrease concrete dusting, all while preventing the incursion of moisture and harmful gases. The sealer can be used on brick and masonry, as well as concrete and concrete blocks. With a dry time of 1-2 hours, Hydra-Block is a flexible and viable option for any project requiring a sodium silicate sealer.
The Liqui-Hard Sealer offered by WR Meadows is a water-based sodium silicate sealer. The sealer is a penetrating product, meaning the small particles of silicate will penetrate through the pores of the concrete surface to which it is applied. Once within the concrete substrate, the chemicals will react with other alkalis and chemicals within the concrete to help fill in the pores, densifying the concrete and protecting against moisture seepage and the passage of harmful gases through the material.
The WR Meadows product is one of the weaker sodium silicate products on the market. It’s ratio of silicate to water is 20/80, meaning the solution is a blend of 20% silicate to 80% water. The weak ratio means your concrete will not be as well protected, as there will not be as many particles of silicate to react within the concrete. The water is a non-entity in the protection of the concrete, serving merely as the vessel to transport the silicate particles within the material; it will evaporate soon after.
The weakness of the blend makes it a less desirable option when compared to other products that offer higher ratios, or even concentrated products you mix yourself, which are the best option. Aside from the weakness, the product is solid, with a low-VOC content that is VOC compliant in all states with strict environmental regulations. Because it is so weak, and so environmentally friendly, the use of the product may help your company earn LEED credits and the benefits that go along with success in the program.
The S1300 Pene-Krete concrete sealer offered by Super-Krete is a sodium silicate penetrating sealer that is good for your rougher, more durable concrete surfaces. The product itself is not one of the better offerings on the market. It is advertised as a revolutionary new product, though the rest of its qualifications are precisely the same of every other concrete sealing product, making it hardly new or hardly revolutionary.
Similarly, the S1300 Pene-Krete suffers because its blend of silicate to water is unknown. That does not bode well for the pre-mixed product, as you could be paying for a severely watered down version of the protecting sealant you need for your concrete. A poorly sealed concrete surface is prone to water and moisture damage, efflorescence, and the passage of harmful gases like radon and methane through the surfaces. While they can claim sodium silicate sealers protect against those problems, a watered-down version will not, leading to problems. Keep in mind concentrated concrete sealers are always the best choice.
The S1300 Pene-Krete sealer is manufactured in California and has a zero-VOC content, making it environmentally friendly and legal to sale in that state. As that state has some of the strictest environmental laws and regulations in the country, it should give the consumer peace of mind that they are purchasing a product with strong environmental credentials. However, the lack of disclosure of their silicate-to-water blend could potentially be problematic for any consumer serious about protecting their concrete.