The SealBest brand of concrete sealer offers a number of different benefits, such as waterproofing, resistance to concrete dusting, and even curing, though that last one is unlikely. It is salt and chemical resistant, making it a good choice for locations marked by cold winters with ice and snow. When plow trucks clean up the roads, they drop a large quantity of salt to help melt the ice and create a safer surface. However, this can be a problem for your concrete driveways and garage floors if your concrete sealer does not resist salt.
SealBest can be used for interior or exterior surfaces, though one should be careful of applying the sealer in places sitting for long periods in direct sunlight. The UV rays and radiation can yellow your concrete, especially if it is located outside. The sealer itself is a water-based variety, making it much safer for the environment than a solvent-based product. However, it will likely not last as long, making periodic reapplication necessary to fully protect your concrete, ensuring it retains its color and strength.
The SealBest offering is an acrylic sealer, making it ideal for decorative concrete and more delicate surfaces, such as pool decks, patios, and driveways made up of pavers. The sealer can be easily applied with a typical garden sprayer or a roller, making it a good option for the average homeowner who does not have a variety of high-tech equipment on hand.
Eagle’s Natural Seal concrete sealer is a popular sealing choice commonly found in Lowes and Home Depot stores across the country. The ease of purchase may be their strongest selling point, as their product can’t compare to some of the more specialized and reliable concrete sealers from online manufacturers and distributors. While it is less expensive than some of those more specialized products, it will likely not last as long or perform as well, requiring multiple coats over the years and costing you time and money.
Eagle Natural Seal is a water-based silane/siloxane concrete sealer. The silane/siloxane sealers are different from the silicates in a few important ways. Both sealers are penetrating sealers but the silicates tend to have a smaller sized penetrating particle and a better for colder climates. A silane/siloxane concrete sealer is a stronger choice for a variety of porous concrete surfaces, such as cinderblocks, concrete blocks and masonry. The higher the percentage of silane/siloxane the better the sealer is. Look for silane/siloxanes that are at least a 20% – 40% blend. Eagle Natural Seal does not disclose this information.
Silane/siloxane concrete sealers are available solvent based water based. Water based silane/siloxanes are VOC compliant in every state but solvent based varieties tend to last longer and dry quicker.
Behr, a famous name in an otherwise cluttered industry, is best known for its extensive line of paint products. However, they also produce a basement and masonry waterproofer, breaking into a market traditionally dominated by more specialized companies.
Their waterproofer is a surface sealer that will not penetrate into the surface of your concrete to react chemically to block out moisture. Instead, the solution is applied to the walls or floors like a paint, which will help block water from seeping into the concrete from the surface. However, if you have hydrostatic pressure pushing up from beneath the concrete underground (especially in places near bodies of water with high water tables), the water will come up through the concrete. This water will filter through the concrete’s pores until it reaches the surface, which will cause the sealer and paint to bubble, flake, peel, and may even lead to efflorescence.
If you are not worried about water coming through the concrete from the opposite side, then the Behr Waterproofer is an adequate option. However, it has ingredients – such as magnesium silicate hydrate and titanium dioxide – that are on the New Jersey State Right to Know List and the Pennsylvania State Hazardous Substances List. Additionally, under California Prop 65, it is disclosed as containing a chemical known to the state of California to cancer, birth defects, and other reproductive harm. While this does not mean it is inherently dangerous if you take necessary precautions during the application process, it would make sense to consider other, less harmful options on the market.
The Thompson’s WaterSeal Clear Waterproofer is a multipurpose product that can be used on wood, brick and concrete. The same formula has been around for years without any new or innovative efforts to improve the performance. The key features of this product is that is prevents water damage, but it is not nearly as effective as other waterproofing sealer options.
Other reviews of Thompson’s WaterSeal state that the product doesn’t last more than a few months, if that. If you are going to invest your time and energy into finding a high quality sealer that will not need to be constantly reapplied we recommend trying a silane/siloxane blended sealer.
The product has an extremely high VOC content, making it a bad choice for states like California, New Jersey, New York, and others with strict environmental regulations. It is also not the best choice if you yourself care about the environment. If you do decide to use this product, make sure to take extreme care in its application and storage.
Dry-Lock is a company typically found in local and retail hardware stores across the country. Given the nature of the market for concrete sealer, Dry-Lock can be the only option for purchase in one of the big-box chains, like Lowes or Home Depot. However, that does not necessarily mean it is the best, or even the most cost effective, option.
The Dry-Lock Masonry Waterproofer has a lot in common with the Behr Masonry Waterproofer. It is a ready-mixed, low odor formula that protects against water while allowing moisture to pass through the concrete naturally. It is easily applied with a brush and a roller (like pretty much all concrete sealers), and it has a low VOC content.
However, the Dry-Lock Masonry Waterproofer is a latex-based paint-type of surface protection. It isn’t even as strong as Behr’s offering, which is an acrylic solution. Dry-Lock, despite its claims, could potentially flake and bubble, even leading to efflorescence. Efflorescence, which Dry-Lock cannot guarantee to prevent and remove completely, is a situation that occurs when salts within the concrete are pushed to the surface by water that leaks in through the opposite side. The condition is not functionally damaging, but it harms the visual appeal of the concrete surfaces, which bothers many homeowners.