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

 

 

Best Concrete Salt Guard

Posted: 7th October 2014 by admin in Concrete Sealers

Best concrete salt guard. Best salt guard for concrete and masonry.

Salt can damage concrete and masonry surfaces in two ways:

  1. Abrasion will cause surface wear which leads to issues, such as dusting.
  2. Salt will melt ice. The concrete will absorb the melted ice (water). The water will re-freeze within the pores causing the substrate to crack and spall from within the pores.

The best sealer you can use to protect your concrete and masonry surfaces from salt damage is a high solids Silane-Siloxane sealer. This type of sealer will chemically react and form a hydrophobic barrier within the pores causing water and other liquids to bead off the surface. By preventing the absorption of surface water, water will no longer be able to be absorbed into the concrete and freeze within the pores.

Some sources will suggest the use of a Densifier to stop damage. The problem with a Densifier (sodium and lithium silicate) is that Densifiers do not cause water to bead off the surface. Their primary use is to increase surface strength, but increasing surface strength does NOT stop water absorption and therefore, won’t stop salt damage to concrete. If you need to apply a Densifier, be sure to follow the application with a silane-Siloxane a few days later.

If you want to change the appearance of your concrete or masonry surface you can apply a decorative coating to the surface. For interior surfaces (garage floors) you can use an epoxy or aliphatic urethane. For exterior surfaces, you can apply an acrylic.

BEHR Concrete Stain Review

Posted: 30th September 2014 by admin in Product Reviews

BEHR concrete stain is not a concrete stain. It is in fact a colored concrete acrylic which can be very confusion to consumers. With traditional acid based stains, a liquid is applied to the concrete to dye the concrete. Traditional stains do not leave behind a film or coating on the surface. Once concrete has been stained, a protecting coating can be applied to protect the concrete and the color.

If you use the BEHR concrete stain, you can’t apply anything to the surface. When it is time to reapply this product, you need to remove what is down and start fresh again.

We don’t like this product because if you read the reviews many consumers have been mislead and confused about this product. They will apply the BEHR concrete stain and then proceed with applying a coating over the stain. Much to their surprise, when you apply anything to the surface of the BEHR stain, both the coating and the BEHR product will start to peel up.

BEHR concrete stain is NOT a stain. It is in fact a colored acrylic coating and should be marked as such. For that reason, we give BEHR concrete stain a bad review. It is misleading, hard to maintain, and has a short life.

Foundation Armor AX25 Review

Posted: 30th September 2014 by admin in Product Reviews

The Armor AX25 is a Siloxane infused acrylic sealer offering durability and performance over traditional acrylics. It high gloss finish offers more than just shine – it will repel everything from salt water and rain water to spilled drinks and food.

Performance: When traditional acrylics start to fade, the concrete is left fully exposed. Water will accumulate below the coating and can cause multiple issues including cracking, spalling, pitting and staining. When the acrylic component of the AX25 starts to wear, the Siloxane component remains in the pores on the surface, causing water and other liquids to repel. With the AX25 you get the benefit of using a water repellent sealer and a high gloss acrylic coating.

Price: When you take into consideration that you get two products for the price of one, and that the coating will last 2-5 years, the price is very reasonable.

Appearance: Concrete magazines and decorative concrete contractors rave about this product on their websites and blogs. The performance is unmatched and the gloss is significantly higher than most higher solids acrylics. All critics agree, this product looks as amazing as it performs.

 

Armor AX25 High Gloss Sealer

Armor AX25 High Gloss Sealer

Best High Gloss Paver Sealer

Posted: 27th September 2014 by admin in Pavers

The best high gloss paver sealers are going to be solvent based acrylic sealers that range from 25-30% solids. Here’s why:

  • Low solids solutions (10-20%) won’t yield as high of a gloss as a 25-30% solids solution mostly because low solids solutions tend to penetrate easier into a surface and won’t leave behind as much or a surface build.
  • Solvent based acrylic sealers win over water based acrylic sealers every time. Water based products don’t offer as much of a shine, their life is at least 1 year less than that of a solvent based acrylic, and when it is time to reapply you need to remove what is down. Solvent based acrylic sealers are easy to apply and very easy to maintain.
  • Acrylic sealers are the only decorative sealer that should ever be used on an exterior concrete surface. If you apply a non-breathable product like an epoxy or urethane, it will peel once moisture becomes present. Acrylic sealers are breathable and bond nicely to a variety of surfaces.

How To Apply A High Gloss Paver Sealer

Foundation Armor AR500 Wet Look Gloss Coating

FoundationArmor.com AR500 Wet Look Gloss Coating

The first step to applying a high gloss paver sealer is to choose a high gloss paver sealer. Consider a professional grade product, like the Armor AR500, that contains additives to aid with performance and life.

  1. Make sure the pavers are clean and free of anything that would prevent proper penetration and bonding. If you have a solvent based acrylic already down, make sure the surface is clean and any areas of blushing or peeling have been removed or repaired.
  2. Using a 3/8-1/2 roller, apply the first coat across the entire surface. Wait 4-6 hours and repeat with a second coat.
  3. Let dry.

Best Time To Apply Concrete Sealers

Posted: 27th September 2014 by admin in Technical

The best time to apply a concrete sealer will vary depending on where in the country you are applying the concrete sealer, and the type of concrete sealer you are using. For example, in the North East the best time to apply an acrylic sealer is in the fall because it is cool and dry. Does that mean you can’t apply an acrylic in the Spring or Summer? No. You can apply a concrete sealer during any season, you just want to take weather into consideration and alter application time.

Here are a few tips for sealing concrete:

  1. If you are applying an acrylic sealer to an exterior surface and the sun heats up the concrete to 100 degrees or higher, consider applying the acrylic sealer late in the afternoon or evening.
  2. Avoid applying an acrylic sealer to an exterior surface in the early morning. In most parts of the country, there will be “dew” on the ground in the morning. Acrylics are moisture sensitive and the dew will cause bubbles or a white haze.
  3. Don’t leave your concrete unsealed in the Winter. You can seal your concrete in the Spring, Summer or Fall, but don’t leave your concrete unprotected during the Winter. Freeze thaw cycles and de-icing salts will cause concrete to spall, pit and crack if not properly sealed.

Here are a few factors that impact sealer life and performance during application:

  1. Heat: If you apply a sealer to hot concrete in the middle of a hot day, the solvent or water base could evaporate before the sealer has a chance to react or cure.
  2. Water: Rain before or after an application will cause an acrylic to turn white, and it could dilute water repellent enough where they may not work. Make sure the concrete is completely dry during the time of application and be sure to keep your concrete dry for at least 24 hours after.
  3. Cold: If you apply a concrete sealer to an exterior application and the temperatures are below freezing, chances are the liquid sent will freeze to.

When it comes to sealing interior concrete there aren’t many limitations. Even basements always remain above freezing. The most important factor to take into consider when sealing interior concrete is choosing the correct sealer for your application.