Concrete is one of the sturdiest materials available, but just like everything else, it can break down and start flaking once enough time has passed. It will also take on distinct signs of use, such as persistent stains, particularly if you have concrete flooring in your garage and your car drips oil onto it. For this reason, sealing your concrete is essential, as it strengthens the material while making it more resistant to stains.
Apart from making your concrete stronger, it can also add style to your home. Polished and decorative concrete floors are becoming trendier than ever, as they are long-lasting while being low-maintenance. However, like other concrete floorings, their maintenance involves the correct installation and sealing. It is possible to seal your concrete yourself, but it’s best to have an experienced technician do it to maximise the material’s best qualities. Still, it helps to know what the process looks like so you can understand what goes into reinforcing your concrete floor.
Here is the process of sealing your concrete floor:
1. Clear the Area
Regardless of where you’re sealing your concrete, you’ll need to clear the area and remove everything that will get in the way. If you’re sealing the concrete in your garage, you’ll need to put your car elsewhere for the time being, along with furniture and other items you store there. It is essential to do this so you won’t have to keep moving everything around once you start the sealing process.
2. Clean the Floor of Debris
Sweep the area to clear it of dirt and debris using a broom or a leaf blower. Then, clear out grease stains and spills by using mineral spirits. It’s crucial to clean the concrete of stains to ensure that the sealer fully adheres to the concrete. Mop the floor a final time, then allow it to dry completely.
3. Use a Concrete Cleaner
Use a concrete cleaner like phosphoric acid masonry cleaner to prep your concrete for sealing. Spray or pour the solution and use a broom to scrub it onto the concrete thoroughly. When you’re done, use a hose to rinse it off, then allow it to dry before proceeding with the next step.
4. Fill In the Cracks
If you have cracks in your concrete floor, now is the best time to fill them in with caulk. Take a trowel and run it over the top of these cracks to ensure a smooth, even surface. Wait for the caulk to cure before sealing the concrete.
5. Select Your Sealer
In this step, you’ll be choosing your sealer. You have three types to choose from: epoxy, polyurethane, and acrylic. You can either spread, spray, or roll them onto your floor, which will all create a protective layer to it.
Epoxy sealers are sturdy and protect your concrete floor from grease stains, abrasions, heavy foot traffic, and other liquids, making them a great choice. However, you’ll need to mix two parts and apply them to the floor before it dries. If you want to change the look of your concrete, you can also purchase epoxy seals in different colours.
Polyurethane sealers are great for interior and exterior applications, offering a durable protective layer for your concrete floor. The coating is much thicker than acrylic while shielding your floor from UV rays. It’s important to note that it has a long curing period and is incredibly sensitive while drying.
Acrylic sealers are more affordable and water-based, making them better for indoor applications or solvent-based, ideal for outdoor settings since they are flammable. Water-based acrylic sealers are easier to apply, but they may alter the floor’s colour in the process. Alternatively, solvent-based acrylic sealers provide a more transparent finish, but they produce a powerful odour. Regardless, acrylic requires two coats for it to be fully effective.
6. Apply Sealer
Once you’ve chosen your sealer, use a paintbrush to apply it in even strokes along the edges of the floor. Then, pour the sealer into a painting tray and dip your paint pad or rolling brush into the tray and start applying the sealer along the edges you applied with a paintbrush. Be sure to use single layers across the floor to avoid puddling layers. Wait for it to dry, and repeat the step to add a second coat.
Conclusion (choose a professional concrete sealer)
Sealing your concrete is an essential part of extending its lifespan and making it more durable. However, it’s best to entrust the job to a professional concrete sealer. They will guarantee a perfect finish, preventing expensive errors that can compromise your floor’s strength.
Phoenix Reinforcing is a concrete reinforcing business in Queensland with expert concrete sealers that perform this work every day. We specialise in reinforcing sales, decorative concrete products, scheduling and estimating, and many more. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you!