Applying a sealer is a crucial step in the process of installing a decorative concrete floor. It’s not just about completing the job; it’s about ensuring the floor’s durability and appearance over time. Also, concrete sealers are at the forefront of protecting your concrete floor. They act as a shield against the elements, such as weather exposure, water, grease, oil stains, abrasion, and deicing salts. Further, they enhance the natural beauty of the concrete, making it easier to clean and maintain.
The key to a successful sealer application is doing it correctly. Each stage of the process matters, and the final outcome depends on it. Taking the time and effort to apply the sealer properly will not only extend the life of your concrete floor but also keep it looking great.
So, don’t skip this essential step in your decorative concrete floor installation process.
Why Sealing Your Concrete Floors Matters
No one wants mouldy floors in their home or workspace!
Without proper sealing, moisture can seep into the concrete, providing an ideal environment for mould and bacteria to thrive. In contrast, a well-sealed floor acts as a barrier in blocking moisture coming from concrete floor and inhibiting the growth of these multiple harmful microorganisms. Meaning? Your floors remain in top condition.
Properly sealed concrete floors exhibit increased durability. They are protected from the harsh effects of the environment, including potential issues like cracking and scaling. Regardless of how frequently your floors are used, sealing them provides a robust defence against damage.
Moreover, sealing your concrete floors significantly increases their lifespan. When applied rightly, a quality sealer can add approximately 25-30 years to the life of your floors. It means your investment in concrete flooring will yield long-lasting benefits.
Protection from Damage
An effective sealer delivers safety against various forms of damage, such as:
- Oil spills
- The sun’s harmful UV rays
- The impact of changing weather conditions
By choosing to seal your concrete floors, you’re maintaining that they will withstand the test of time and remain in an excellent state.
Preservation of Color
Many people opt to add colour to their concrete floors, a popular choice this and the past few years. However, concrete surfaces exposed to the elements can easily lose their vibrant hue. Sealing your concrete floors plays a vital role in preserving the floor’s colour, guaranteeing that it stays fresh and deep for probably as long as your building is standing tall.
Let’s Get Started
Preparing Your Concrete Floor for Sealing
Getting your concrete floor ready for sealing is just the first part, and it can be just as important as the actual sealing itself. If you aim to seal your floors effectively, thorough preparation is paramount. Further, here’s how to prepare your concrete floor for sealing:
- Empty the room of all items you intend to seal.
- Use a putty knife to remove the skirting boards from the walls.
- Sweep up any debris or dirt present on the floor.
- Also, promote good ventilation by opening all the windows in the room.
- Apply a degreasing product to the floors to remove any grease and oil stains.
- For areas with excessive oil buildup, use a wire brush to scrub the concrete surface and help extract the excess oil.
- Further, mop the concrete floor with a wet mop to confirm it’s thoroughly rinsed.
- Allow ample time for the floors to completely dry.
- If there are cracks in the concrete, fill them with quick-drying concrete filler.
Getting Rid of Old Sealant
If your concrete floor has had a previous layer of sealer applied, it’s necessary to clear it to prepare the concrete underneath for resealing. To do this, use a stripping chemical. Nevertheless, make sure to exercise caution and wear protective clothing when handling these chemicals.
If you’re uncertain about whether your concrete floor has an existing sealant, you can conduct a simple water test. Pour a small amount of water onto the floor.
- If the water forms beads, it means your floor is sealed.
- If it quickly soaks into the concrete, you likely don’t have any sealant on the surface.
Applying Concrete Sealer with Care for Maximum Protection
To achieve the best results and maximum protection, follow these steps when applying a concrete sealer:
- Only apply the sealer to a fully dried and cured concrete floor. You can test its readiness by trying it in a small, inconspicuous area first.
- Make sure the room is well-ventilated.
- Now, use a brush or rollers to apply your chosen concrete floor sealer, following the provided instructions.
- Let the first coat dry before applying a second layer.
- Apply thin coats in different directions to prevent the sealer from accumulating in one area.
- While allowing the sealer to dry fully, avoid any foot traffic or exposure to moisture.
Keep in mind that taking extra care during the application process yields better results and simplifies the process of applying a second layer if needed.
Maintaining Your Sealed Concrete Floor for Longevity
A brief note on keeping your sealed concrete floor in good shape over time. Although there isn’t much ongoing maintenance, you need to promptly clean up any spills and stains. Further, it helps prevent them from affecting the floor’s appearance and its ability to withstand future spills.
Additional Information On Sealing Your Concrete Floor
Rolling vs. Spraying Concrete Floor Sealer
When it comes to applying concrete floor sealer, professionals often prefer spraying for more consistent coverage. Sprayers are faster and more efficient, making them a go-to choice for large floors. Many contractors combine spraying with back rolling to work the sealer into the floor and improve adhesion. However, the roller you use doesn’t shed lint into the sealer during application. Also, always consult the sealer manufacturer for any recommended application tools.
Sealer Compatibility with Decorative Treatments
Consider the type of surface your sealer will be applied to, whether it’s stained concrete, a floor overlay, or a polished and dyed floor. Verify with the sealer manufacturer if their product is compatible with your decorative treatment. Some sealers may react with certain overlays or colouring agents. This can lead to unwanted side effects like blistering, bubbling, or bleeding.
Protection Against Scuffs and Stains
For decorative interior floors, a high-build sealer with good resistance to scuffs and staining, like polyurethane or epoxy, generally offers the best safeguard and is more manageable to maintain, especially in high-traffic areas.
Further, softer acrylic sealers may require regular maintenance with multiple coats of a sacrificial floor finish or wax to prevent wear and black heel marks.
Toxicity of Concrete Sealer Fumes
When working indoors, it’s safer to opt for water-based sealers over solvent-based ones. Yes, especially if ventilation is limited. Solvent-based concrete sealers are highly flammable and emit toxic fumes that can be harmful to breathe in. Additionally, they may contain volatile VOCs. Always check the VOC content for safety.
Choosing the Right Sheen
For the desired sheen on your floor, select a sealer with a medium- to high-gloss finish if you desire the polished marble look. Most acrylic sealers come in various sheen levels, and you can also find film-forming sealers with matte or low-gloss finishes for applications where a high shine is not expected.
How Often to Seal Your Concrete Floors?
As you’ve noticed, sealing your concrete floor is not a lengthy task, and it brings numerous advantages. We suggest sealing your concrete floors every 2-5 years to maintain their good condition.
A high-quality concrete sealer, applied with care, is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to achieving a superb concrete floor. The other essential component is obtaining a top-notch concrete mix for your flooring, and that’s where Pro-Mix Concrete steps in.
We offer premium concrete mixes for floors, whether it’s for your home or your business, delivering a cost-effective and adaptable service throughout the UK.