After installing or fixing concrete, a sealant is applied to protect the concrete from damage. It blocks contaminants, such as oil, stains, and other chemicals, from seeping into the concrete and possibly corroding it. It also keeps the concrete from becoming scratched or abraded and gives it a coat of gloss. There are four types of concrete sealants: penetrating sealers, acrylics, polyurethanes, and epoxies. The sealant types differ in both performance and purpose.
Penetrating sealers include silicates, silanes, and siloxanes. They are used to provide protection to outdoor surfaces that are prone to corrosion hazards and harsh environmental conditions, such as freezing temperatures. Penetrating sealers protect the concrete without visibly changing its natural appearance, so expect a matte finish when the sealant has dried. This type of sealant allows surface moisture to evaporate while protecting the concrete from being damaged.
Acrylics can either be water- or solvent-based, and they are used for thin protection on both exterior and interior concrete surfaces. An acrylic sealer is commonly used for its easy application, and it can provide protection and enhanced color for decorative concrete projects. It dries quickly, which makes it perfect for projects on a tight deadline. The amount of gloss it leaves will depend on your preference, since acrylics come in various levels of sheen.
Polyurethanes are one of the more durable choices for sealant, and they leave a transparent finish that does not yellow with sunlight exposure. Polyurethanes are good for both interior and exterior surfaces and are perfect for high-traffic areas. Curing polyurethanes takes a lot of time, but they provide high-quality protection and will last years.
Epoxies are strong sealants that are used indoors, because they tend to yellow with UV exposure. They resist abrasion and other scuffs that can damage concrete, so they will fare well when applied in high-traffic areas and countertops. Epoxies can come as a clear or pigmented solution, depending on your preference, and most epoxies come with a glossy finish.
If you plan to put a sealant on your indoor concrete countertop and want a good mix of both protection and easy application, use Z Aqua-Poxy. This water-based sealant combines the high level of protection given by an epoxy and the ease of use that comes with water-based concrete sealants. It doesnt darken the surface and has a medium gloss finish, perfect for any surface inside your home.