Types of Penetrating Concrete Sealers

Worker laying concrete sealant

Concrete sealing is essential to provide different degrees of hardening and densification with stain and water repellency. There are two main categories of concrete sealers; topical and penetrating sealers. Topical sealers form a protective film which adheres to concrete surfaces.

Penetrating sealers penetrate the concrete surface and form a protective barrier through a series of chemical reactions. These concrete sealing products do not change your surface’s look or leave a sheen. Here are the main types of penetrating concrete sealers.

Silicate Sealers

These are also called concrete densifiers. Silicate concrete sealers penetrate the surface and through a chemical reaction from a permanent CSH {calcium silicate hydrate} barrier within the surface pores. These sealers do not change your concrete’s look and increase your concrete’s strength by about 45%. The two main categories of silicate concrete sealers are lithium and sodium. Sodium silicate acts slower than lithium and is better suited for porous concrete.

Silane Sealers

These are among the most popular penetrating concrete sealers. Silane sealers penetrate concrete and chemically react to form an invisible water-repellent barrier. The sealers do an excellent job of repelling water, salt, and other impurities but not oil. Silane sealers have the slightest penetration among all sealers and hence provide minimal protection. They are best suited for porous surfaces since they allow the surface to breathe.

Siliconate Sealers

These sealers have medium-sized molecules and are ideal for porous and dense surfaces. They penetrate concrete surfaces and form insoluble hydrophobic membranes while remaining breathable. Siliconate sealers have the best repellence against salts, stains, oils, grease, and water. They also make excellent primers or base coats for adhesion of topical sealers.

Silane siloxane and silicate sealers are applied on fully cured surfaces and are hence applied after 28 days. Siliconate sealers can, however, be used on fresh concrete surfaces. Penetrating sealers typically last as long as your concrete surface.