In some cases, there is a little amount of reinforcement, or better concrete mix ratios are used to improve the quality of the concrete in terms of its strength and weight-bearing capacity. After the cement dries, it still retains a little margin of porosity and brittleness.
This causes it to erode and corrode due to the countless reactions of the atmosphere, growth, and water or moisture. To protect the concrete, you shield it from these weathering agents by means of a floor sealant. It can be used for the finishing of the concrete surface and also protect it from external corrosion.
Based upon several sealant reviews and research conducted by certain institutions, such as National Ready Mix Concrete Association, American Concrete Institute, and Portland Cement Association, there are certain factors that contribute to the corrosion of concrete.
These factors include, freezing, thawing, alkali-silica reaction (ASR), chemical intrusion, and more commonly, corrosion of reinforcements. To prevent the effects of these elements of corrosion, agents such as wax and linseed oil have been used in the past.
The effect was reasonable, but the success rate of these sealants was not overwhelming. Most floor sealers, and related products such as concrete floor paint sealer, are very effective, and at the same time have a longer life period.
Similarly, interior floor sealer is used for polishing interior surfaces. Concrete sealers for stained concrete are also available.
These floor sealers can be broadly divided into two types, namely, the topical sealers and the penetrating surfaces. As the name suggests, the topical concrete floor sealants are applied on the upper surface and do not react with the concrete. The topical sealers tend to enhance the appearance of the floor by providing a glossy finish.
Penetrating sealers are basically reactive, and tend to mildly react with the upper surface of the concrete flooring, and hence are applied when the concrete is slightly moist. They form a certain clot or a permanent barrier on the cement surface.
There are 5 principle raw materials which are used to make these floor sealers. These include, acrylic resins, epoxy/urethane systems, silanes, silicates, and siliconates.
- Acrylic resins are most economical, small and topical in nature. These resins form a thin membrane on the flooring. This is the most economical of all the sealers. However, owing to the extremely smooth surfaces, the addition of an anti-skid material is required.
- Epoxy/urethane systems are also topical sealers and irrespective of their slightly higher cost, the quality of these systems is very good. This system is also used in factory flooring or other heavy-duty flooring.
- Silicates are moderately large and help in the sealing of moderate porosity. A woody appearance can be gained with the help of premium silicate blends like lithium silicates, if they are sufficiently burnished.
- Siliconates are bigger than silanes and also cost a lot. These penetrating sealers are used for heavy-duty flooring such as driveways or office floors.