Best Basement Sealer

Posted: 28th October 2014 by admin in Basement Sealers

A sealer and a coating are very different from one another and there is often a lot of confusion that surrounds basement sealers. Use this article as a resource to explain the types of basement sealers so you can made a more educated buying decision.

Sodium and Lithium Silicate Sealers: Silicate based sealers, like sodium and lithium silicates, are Densifiers. They chemically react with the free lime and calcium in concrete to form CSH within the pores. Each type of sealer forms the exact same CSH structure, the difference between the two being how fast the structure is formed (lithium reacts faster). The CSH structure formed will partially fill in the pores of the concrete. The pores aren’t completely filled and the concrete will remain breathable. Through densification, the movement of water and moisture can be reduced.

The downfall to silicate based sealers is that the size of the CSH structure formed can’t be predicted, controlled, or even measured. The size of the structure will vary from pore to pore and is dependent on the amount of free lime and calcium present, the applied solids percentage, the porosity of the concrete, the amount of moisture present within the pores, and other factors. Multiple coats are required and a full reaction cycle can take up to 90 days.

Silane-Siloxane and Silicone Sealers: Silane-Siloxane sealers are silicone based sealers. They chemically react to form a hydrophobic barrier within the pores. The benefit to going with a Silane-Siloxane blend sealer is that it takes the benefits of each of the three types and eliminates the weaknesses. High solids (10% water based, 40% solvent based) will provide the best protection below the surface and on the surface.

Silane-Siloxane sealers are breathable. They can reduce moisture and will stop virtually all water absorption. They help to reduce dusting, mold and  mildew, efflorescence, and moisture. When used in a basement application, moisture will be reduced. It can’t be stopped because Silane-Siloxane sealers are breathable, but moisture can be reduced as much as 40%.

Epoxy Sealers: Some epoxy coatings, like the ones manufactured by Foundation Armor, are designed to stop 10-24 LBS of moisture. If there is a requirement by flooring contractors to bring moisture down to below 3 LBS, an epoxy designed to hold back moisture is the most guaranteed solution.

Paint: Do your self a favor and avoid paint at all costs. Paint chips, peels, flakes, and doesn’t last. It is very sensitive to moisture and doesn’t hold a strong bond.

Sealing a Basement

There are a few steps that can be taken to reduce moisture. The products you require to seal your basement will be dependent on your budget, the source of water/moisture, and the amount of water/moisture penetration.

  1. Seal joints and cracks. The first step to stopping water and reducing moisture is to seal the joints (floor joints and coveseams), wall cracks and floor cracks. Some cracks need professional grade concrete repair products while others can get by with the use of a silicone grout, or similar product.
  2. Seal the walls and the floor. Moisture comes in through any concrete below grade. If you are looking for a preventative solution, or to reduce moisture, a sealer alone may be sufficient. If you need to bring moisture down to below a certain point, you may require a coating like the epoxy mentioned above.
  3. Install a drainage system. If large amounts of water enter into the basement during or after heavy rain storms, or in the Spring, consider installing a drainage system around the perimeter of the exterior to divert water away from the foundation/basement.
  4. Seal the outside. Use a water repellent Silane-Siloxane sealer to seal any exposed concrete on the exterior. Should water or snow be pushed against the concrete, it will be repelled and won’t absorb into the concrete and penetrate through into the basement.

Products:

  • Armor SX5000
  • Foundation Armor S2000
  • Foundation Armor Epoxy

Best Acrylic Concrete Sealers

Posted: 28th October 2014 by admin in Acrylics

Best acrylic concrete sealers. Best acrylic sealers for concrete. Wet look and high gloss acrylic sealers for concrete.

Not all acrylic sealers are treated equal. Everything from the resins and solvents vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. The cheaper the product, the cheaper the raw materials, the shorter the life. Here are a few buying tips when it comes to using the best acrylic concrete sealer.

  1. There are acrylic co-polymer sealers and acrylic lacquer sealers. Acrylic lacquer sealers are made from a 100% pure acrylic blend and acrylic co-polymers sealers are blended acrylics (they contain Styrene). Acrylic co-polymers are most commonly also known as Cure N Seals. The Styrene pushes water away from the coating and is less sensitive to moisture during the application process. Pure acrylics are more sensitive to moisture during the application process but they provide a more durable end coating.
  2. Some acrylic sealers are designed to penetrate deeper than others and will result in a “wet look.” For example, the Armor AR350 is designed to penetrate into the concrete and cause it to go through a wetting process. During this process, a durable surface film is formed, locking-in the wet look. The AR500 on the other hand bonds primarily to the surface and will leave behind a durable gloss coating, without the dramatic wet look. Learn more/buy Armor Acrylic Sealers.
  3. Resins and solvents are what make up an acrylic sealer. Those two components alone contribute to the significant variance in life and performance. Companies like Foundation Armor will use a higher quality blend of resins and solvents which are reflected in the life and performance of their products. They will outlast and outperform residential-grade products like Eagle Sealers, H&C, and BEHR. Price is most often a direct reflection of quality. Spending a few dollars more could result in a longer life and better performance.

 

Foundation Armor AX25 High Gloss Pool Deck Sealer

Foundation Armor AX25 High Gloss Pool Deck Sealer

 

Armor AR500 High Gloss Sealer

Armor AR500 High Gloss Sealer

Foundation Armor AR350

Foundation Armor AR350

Resources:

Best Penetrating Concrete Sealer

Posted: 27th October 2014 by admin in Concrete Sealers

Best penetrating concrete sealer. Best penetrating concrete sealers. Best penetrating sealers for concrete.

A penetrating sealer is designed as a sealer that penetrates into the concrete and works below the surface from within the pores. Below is a list of the top penetrating concrete sealers:

Silane-Siloxane water repellent sealer: A Silane Siloxane water repellent sealer, like the Armor SX5000, creates a hydrophobic barrier within the pores of the concrete. They are designed to repel water, reduce moisture, and protect concrete from the damaging effects of the absorption and exposure of both elements. Silane-Siloxane sealers, which are silicone based sealers, will reduce cracking, spalling, pitting, mold and mildew, efflorescence, and staining. When searching for a Silane-Siloxane water repellent consider a 10.5% solids water based, or a 20-40% solids solvent based. Learn more about silane-Siloxane sealers.

Silicate Densifiers: Silicate Densifiers are most commonly sodium or lithium based. They chemically react to form CSH within the pores and increase the strength of the concrete through densification. Silicate based sealers should only be used to increase the strength of concrete as they offer little to no other benefits. They have been linked to reducing the movement of water and moisture, but they don’t prevent the growth of mold and mildew, nor do they prevent staining or salt/ice damage. If you need to increase the density of your concrete, use a silicate first followed by a Silane-Siloxane a few days later.

Acrylic Sealers: Acrylic sealers fall more under the category of a coating because they leave behind a surface film. Learn more about the best acrylic sealers.

Best Garage Floor Coating

Posted: 24th October 2014 by admin in Garage Floor

There are a few types of coatings that can be used to coat garage floors, the most common being an epoxy coating or an acrylic coating. The problem with epoxy and acrylic coatings is that they don’t offer scratch resistance and they will soften if exposed to oil or gas for long periods of time.

A better alternative is an aliphatic urethane coating, such as the Armor UTN60 by Foundation Armor. The Armor UTN60 is packed with additives for scratch and abrasion resistance, oil and gas resistance, chemical and acid resistance.

Armor UTN60 in Arabian Sand

Armor UTN60 in Arabian Sand

 

Armor UTN60 Garage Coating

Armor UTN60 Garage Coating

How to Install Garage Floor Coating

How to Install Garage Floor Coating

 

Best Concrete Sealer for Stamped Concrete

Posted: 24th October 2014 by admin in Stamped Concrete

Best sealer for stamped concrete.

Foundation Armor AX25 High Gloss Pool Deck Sealer

Foundation Armor AX25 High Gloss Pool Deck Sealer

Penetrating Stamped Concrete Sealer

A penetrating sealer is designed to work entirely below the surface, without changing the look or color of the concrete. The best type of penetrating sealer is a Silane-Siloxane sealer however, because penetrating sealers don’t leave behind a surface coating, any color will be left exposed. If you have a stamped colored concrete area, you should instead consider the use of an acrylic sealer.

Wet Look – High Gloss Stamped Concrete Sealer

The best type of wet look and high gloss sealers to use on stamped concrete is an acrylic based sealer. Under this category there are water and solvent based acrylics, acrylic co-polymers, and various solids level acrylics. Which type of acrylic sealer is best for your application depends on your need and your budget.

Acrylic Sealer Reviews:

 

Foundation Armor AR350 Satin Sheen Concrete and Paver Sealer

Foundation Armor AR350 Satin Sheen Concrete and Paver Sealer

 

Armor AR500 High Gloss Sealer

Armor AR500 High Gloss Sealer

How To Properly Apply an Acrylic Sealer

Posted: 17th October 2014 by admin in Acrylics

There is a right way and a wrong way to apply an acrylic, and applying an acrylic sealer the right way can lead to an increase in life and performance.

Most people apply acrylic sealers in the morning before the sun comes up and the concrete heats up. The problem however with mornings is that there is  usually a lot of dew. Morning dew looks like droplets of water and can easily be seen on grass and cars. It can appear after a rainstorm, or can appear from a drastic temperature change. It can also appear when water moves from below ground to the surface where it will evaporate.

Acrylic sealers are very sensitive to moisture. If you apply an acrylic coating to a moist area that is either wet, or will release water shortly after application, it can cause blushing (white surface haze) or delamination. It can also cause bubbles. Here are a few tips when it comes to applying a solvent based acrylic sealer:

  1. Apply the first coat in the late afternoon or evening when there is no dew on the ground and when the concrete or paver surface has had a chance to cool.
  2. Do not apply an acrylic immediately after a rainstorm, or when it is expected to rain for 24 hours after.
  3. Space the coats out by 16-24 hours. This will give the solvents in the first coat time to evaporate (and for the first coat to cure). This will allow the second coat to provide a more durable wear surface.
Foundation Armor AX25 High Gloss Pool Deck Sealer

Foundation Armor AX25 High Gloss Pool Deck Sealer

Foundation Armor AR350

Foundation Armor AR350

Armor AR500 High Gloss Sealer

Armor AR500 High Gloss Sealer

 

 

Water Based Acrylic vs Solvent Based Acrylic

Posted: 17th October 2014 by admin in Acrylics

There is  a lot of information on the web about water based acrylics and solvent based acrylics, but much of that information is false. There are major differences between the two types of acrylics and going with the wrong chemical based could cost you hundreds.

Water based acrylics have the benefit of being low VOC. They can ship almost anywhere in this Country and are easy to come by. The largest problem however with water based acrylics is that they are impossible to maintain. In a few years when it comes time to recoat the acrylic, you have to remove every ounce of water based acrylic that is currently on the surface, clean the surface, let the surface dry, and reapply. You CAN’T apply a water based acrylic over a previously sealed surface. It won’t bond.

Solvent based acrylics are available everywhere, but you have to choose a VOC that meets local guidelines. For example, most everywhere, a 250 VOC is fine but in some states, like California, you need to be at 100 VOC or 50 VOC. The benefit to solvent based sealers is that they are very easy to maintain. In a few years when the solvent starts to wear, you just apply more to the surface. If you experience blushing (a white haze) you can repair the coating with Xylene or a Blush Repair product.

You can’t mix water and solvent based products. The solvents will attack the water based product that goes over or under the solvent. If you have the ability to purchase a solvent based acrylic, it will be your most cost effective option. Solvent based products also tend to offer a higher gloss, longer life, and more durable wear surface.

Acrylic Sealer Reviews:

Best Sealer for Green Concrete

Posted: 15th October 2014 by admin in Concrete Sealers

Green concrete, also referred to as new or freshly poured concrete, should be allowed to fully cure before applying a sealer to the surface. Curing compounds, and acrylic cure and seals can be used as early as 24 hours after the pour, but if you are looking for a protective, penetrating sealer, the concrete should be fully cured (28 days) before applying.

New concrete tends to be structurally sounds so there isn’t much of a need for a silicate based sealer. Silicate based sealers, like sodium and lithium silicate, chemically react to form CSH within the pores. They are designed to increase the strength and density of the concrete. If you feel you need an increase in surface strength, you can apply a silicate sealer BUT consider also applying a water repellent over the surface.

Water repellent sealers are the best type of sealer to use on green concrete. The best type of water repellent sealer to use is a 40% solids Silane-Siloxane sealer. Silane-Siloxane water repellents are 100% breathable sealer designed to repel surface water and other liquids. They prevent the damaging effect of water absorption, such as freeze-thaw damage, cracking, spalling, pitting, and salt damage. Silane-Siloxane sealers can also reduce the growth of mold and mildew, and the formation of efflorescence.

Best Concrete Sealer for Driveways

Posted: 15th October 2014 by admin in Concrete Driveways

Best concrete sealer for driveways. Best concrete driveway sealer for stamped concrete, poured concrete, broom finished concrete, and concrete paver driveways.

There are two primary categories of sealers sealers that can be used to concrete driveways. The first type of concrete sealer is a Silane-Siloxane water repellent sealer, and the second type of concrete sealer is an acrylic based sealer.

Silane-Siloxane Water Repellent – Silane-Siloxane water repellents, like the Foundation Armor SX5000, are breathable water repellent sealers. They work below the surface and won’t leave behind a surface film. They don’t change the look or color of the concrete driveway and they will provide years of protection against freeze-thaw and salt damage, dusting, cracking, spalling, efflorescence, mold and mildew. Consider a high solids solution over a lower solids solution as solids are associated with active materials. 20-40% is typically a good solids range.

Acrylic Sealers: Acrylic sealers are what give concrete a wet look, satin sheen, or high gloss finish. They are available in a variety of solids (25-30% being the most popular), and some have additives (such as the Armor AX25 Siloxane infused Acrylic).

Armor SX5000 & Armor AR350

Armor SX5000 & Armor AR350

Foundation Armor AX25 High Gloss Pool Deck Sealer

Foundation Armor AX25 High Gloss Pool Deck Sealer

Armor AX25 High Gloss Sealer

Armor AX25 High Gloss Sealer

 

Foundation Armor AR350

 

 

Best Paver Sealers

Posted: 15th October 2014 by admin in Pavers

Best paver sealers for sealing concrete pavers.

There are two types of sealers that can be used to seal pavers. The first type of paver sealer is a Silane-Siloxane water repellent sealer, and the second type of paver sealer is an acrylic based sealer.

Silane-Siloxane Water Repellent – Silane-Siloxane water repellents, like the Foundation Armor SX5000, are breathable water repellent sealers. They work below the surface and won’t leave behind a surface film. They don’t change the look or color of the pavers and they will provide years of protection against freeze-thaw and salt damage, dusting, cracking, spalling, efflorescence, mold and mildew. Consider a high solids solution over a lower solids solution as solids are associated with active materials. 20-40% is typically a good solids range.

Acrylic Sealers: Acrylic sealers are what give pavers a wet look, satin sheen, or high gloss finish. They are available in a variety of solids (25-30% being the most popular), and some have additives (such as the Armor AX25 Siloxane infused Acrylic).

Foundation Armor AX25 High Gloss Pool Deck Sealer

Foundation Armor AX25 High Gloss Pool Deck Sealer

Armor AX25 High Gloss Sealer

Armor AX25 High Gloss Sealer

 

Foundation Armor AR350