Stone Technologies offers an entry level penetrating concrete sealer with its X-1 product. It is a sodium silicate sealer, meaning it will penetrate deep within the surface of the concrete in order to react chemically and protect your material from incursions of water or natural gas.
The ratio of silicate to water is good– a solution of 40% silicate protective particles mixed with 60% water. The amounts are far better than most pre-mixed penetrating sealers on the market, though it is still always advisable to buy a concentrated product that you can easily mix on your own. If that isn’t an option for you, however, the Stone Technologies X-1 is a great alternative choice.
The product also has zero-VOC content, making it environmentally friendly and safer for your health than a low-VOC product. It will also be legal in all states with strict VOC and environmental regulations. One of the only cautions with the X-1 concrete sealer is that it is a fairly strong solution, meaning it is not the right choice for aggregates or decorative concretes. While it will ensure protection for your concrete, you are better off choosing an acrylic surface concrete sealer for your more delicate materials.
Manufactured by Euclid Chemical based in Cleveland, Ohio, EUCOSIL Concrete Sealer is a sodium silicate sealer marketed in the U.S. and Canada. It is a water-based sealer, meaning it is safer for the environment than a solvent-based product, which would likely not comply with the strict VOC regulations of states like California and New Jersey, among others. However, a major drawback to this product is that the ratio of silicate to water can vary and can potentially be as little as 15% silicate to 85% water, which would not be very effective.
Euclid Chemical’s product will seal the concrete, helping protect it and your home from water seepage and the transfer of gasses, such as methane and radon, through your concrete. It will also help curb and remove concrete dusting, while also densifying the material to help increase its longevity and durability.
Euclid Chemical is unique from some other manufacturers and distributors of concrete sealer as their products, such as EUCOSIL Concrete Sealer, can actually contribute to LEED points for your business. Their environmental consciousness combines with a solid product that can help you protect your concrete without too much effort, though they are fairly expensive. Those with pre-existing eye, skin, and respiratory conditions should be warned, however, that exposure to EUCOSIL can actually aggravate and worsen their conditions. Be sure to consider all of your concrete sealer options before making a decision, and especially make sure you are applying the substance in a well-ventilated area to help mitigate any harmful effects.
Manufactured by Rust-Oleum, the S-20 concrete sealer is a silane/siloxane blend of penetrating sealer. The product is low-VOC, though not zero-VOC, and it also advertises low odor on application, making it legal in some of the states with stricter VOC regulations.
The OKON S-20 is supposed to be completely water-repellent, which it likely is, given the penetrating nature of the sealer. The product is even backed by a five-year water protection guarantee, though you need to undergo the project verification and post inspection process for the guarantee to be valid. The extra steps make the process slightly tiresome and likely not worth it.
The product also contains a low ratio of silane/siloxane blend. Featuring only 20% silane/siloxane mixture with an 80% ratio of water, the solution is a pre-mixed offering that is not as strong as some other, more concentrated products. The best option, of course, is to purchase a concentrated solution that you mix with water yourself, in order to ensure that you’re receiving the best level of protection and effectiveness for the money that you spend. Finally, the OKON S-20 is best applied by a low-pressure airless spray, which is a piece of material that may not be commonly found in homeowner’s garages and sheds, making it a better choice for contractors and other specialized groups as opposed to the average homeowner.
For more decorative concrete surfaces, such as patios or driveways made up of pavers, an acrylic surface sealer is a better choice than a penetrating one. A good acrylic sealer will be a clear topcoat that will not harm the color of your concrete while protecting the material from UV rays and mild weathering. H&C’s Wet Look concrete sealer is an acrylic option that will protect your concrete from the elements.
The acrylic nature of the sealer means the application will leave a thin, clear topcoat that will act as a raincoat for your concrete. Water will pool on the surface, not making it down into the concrete past the surface. The larger particles of the acrylic sealer will protect the surface of the concrete without sinking into the small pores. This option is good as long as there is no danger of water seepage from the opposite side of the concrete.
It also is not a long-term solution. Acrylic sealers have to be reapplied more often that penetrating concrete sealers, which can be a hassle for a hurried homeowner. They do, however, tend to be more inexpensive, which rarely makes their reapplication a costly venture. The H&C offering is a wet-look variety sealer, which means your concrete will always have a clear, slightly wet-looking coat, regardless of the weather. If you prefer a more matte, subtle finish, it would be better to look for a different variety of acrylic sealer.
A potential drawback to the H&C option is the lack of slip-resistance offered with the Wet Look sealer. Instead, you must purchase a secondary slip-resistance additive offered by H&C to mix in with the sealer in order to make your pool decks, patios, and various other surfaces safer.
The concrete sealer offered by Seal Krete is a water-based acrylic sealer, meaning it will provide protection only on the surface of your concrete. This option is good if you have decorative or more delicate concrete, such as a driveway, pool deck, or patio consisting of pavers. Acrylic sealers will not, however, penetrate the surface of the concrete to react chemically within the substrate, but they will offer a level of protection as long as water does not penetrate the other side of the concrete. If water gets in through the other side, the acrylic sealer on the surface will bubble and flake, leading to potentially costly repairs.
The Seal Krete sealer is water-based, meaning it is safer for the environment and healthier for the person applying it, as it does not have the harmful chemicals present in solvent-based sealers. The trade-off is that the sealer will not last as long before it needs reapplication, which can be problematic because acrylic sealers do not usually last as long as penetrating sealers in the first place.
The Seal Krete sealer is acceptable for surfaces like pavers, patios, and walkways – all more delicate surfaces than traditional concrete. The sealer will not change the color of your concrete surfaces significantly, which is good if you happen to like your concrete’s current color. The product is a solid choice for an acrylic surface sealer for your more delicate surfaces. The biggest drawback to the Seal Krete sealer is that it is so varied – rather than being specifically manufactured and produced for your concrete, it can also be applied to vinyl siding and corrugated metal, meaning it is not directly suited to your concrete. If you’re serious about protecting and rejuvenating your concrete surfaces, it is better to look for a more serious manufacturer/distributor that specializes in concrete sealers.