Published Sunday 24th of November 2013 // Updated Thursday 23rd of February 2017
If you have concrete in your home such as a garage floor, basement walls, or roof tiles you know that you need to seal these surfaces in order to protect them and ensure they last as long as they can. There are two basic types of concrete sealers on the market today: acrylic and penetrating.
Penetrating sealers are good for certain types of concrete, as they penetrate deep within the surface of the material to block out water and various other potential harms. The penetrating solutions consist of small particles of sealant (typically a silicate, or a silane/siloxane) suspended in some sort of vessel (such as sodium or lithium) that will transport the sealant particles through the surface pores into the concrete. Once in the concrete, the particles will react chemically to fill the air bubbles and protect the concrete from moisture damage.
Acrylic sealers, on the other hand, are substances that will not penetrate the surface. They will instead form a protective film on the surface of the concrete, helping to protect the concrete by making it water resistant. Its almost as if you have put a raincoat on the concrete any good acrylic sealer will cause the water to bead and roll off your concrete. The acrylic sealer mixture consists of larger particles than penetrating sealers. The larger particles will not fit through the surface pores to penetrate into the concrete, instead pooling on the surface to be brushed out evenly to protect your material. Acrylic sealers tend to be less expensive and better for most aesthetically delicate concrete, such as decorative concrete. If there is no danger of water seepage through the bottom of the concrete, then acrylic sealers are a great choice.
Once you've decided on an acrylic sealer instead of a penetrating sealer, you must choose between a solvent- or water-based acrylic sealer. The water-based sealers will not last quite as long as a solvent-based sealer, but they tend to have lower VOC content, which may make them the only choice in such states as California with strict environmental regulations. If you decide on the solvent-based sealer, it is important to remember that you must apply it in a well-ventilated area, as the fumes can be harmful to your health. Similarly, the solvent-based acrylic sealer will darken the surface of your concrete, resulting in a healthy glisten if you prefer a more muted, matte finish to your concrete, it may be better to consider a water-based acrylic sealer.
Cryli-Tek 5505 is a solvent-based acrylic sealer that actually meets all VOC regulations, making it a great fit for those who want the solvent-based option. However, if you prefer a water-based acrylic sealer, the Cryli-Tek 5500 is an excellent option.