There are many types of concrete sealers available on the market. In this article, we limit our scope to two common types of concrete sealers: siloxane-silane penetrating sealer and acrylic membrane sealer. These are two commonly used sealers in colder climates like Ohio (where Perfect Power Wash is headquartered). We look at the differences between the two and in what situations they are best suited for.
Siloxane-Silane Penetrating Sealer
The best sealer for driveways, patios, and pool decks in cool climates is a siloxane-silane sealer. Siloxane-silane sealers are penetrating, meaning they soak into the concrete. They can only be applied to porous surfaces such as poured concrete, bluestone, pavers, brick, etc. Stamped concrete cannot be sealed with a siloxane-silane sealer because it is not a porous surface like the others (get more information on the types of concrete). Additionally, siloxane-silane sealer lasts about two years on horizontal surfaces.
Siloxane-Silane Sealer Pros
Using a siloxane-silane sealer is perfect for areas that face inclement weather. Untreated concrete soaks up water like a sponge. When that water freezes, it expands up to 9% of its original volume. This expansion causes stress on the concrete and will ultimately result in expensive damages. Untreated concrete will chip, pit, and eventually crack. Siloxane-silane sealers strengthen the concrete and help prevent damages caused by freeze-thaw conditions. It also helps protect against deicing chemicals and salt stains. A siloxane-silane sealer also prevents slipping in cold/wet conditions which makes it excellent for pool decks and driveways.
Siloxane-Silane Sealer Cons
Inherently, a siloxane-silane sealer is virtually imperceptible. It has no gloss finish and the untrained eye might not even know it is there. Stamped concrete cannot be sealed with a siloxane-silane sealer because it is not porous. Summarily, siloxane-silane sealer protects concrete without changing the way that it looks.
Acrylic Membrane Sealer
An acrylic sealer is best used for non-porous surfaces such as stamped patios, basements, and garage floors. Acrylic sealer is a membrane sealer, meaning that it sits on the top of concrete and stone surfaces. While mostly used on covered surfaces, acrylic sealer can be used on driveways if the climate is warm and dry.
Acrylic Sealer Pros
Acrylic sealers are mostly used for cosmetic reasons. Depending on the brand and type, an acrylic sealer is great for homeowners looking for a colored or sheen look to their stamped concrete.
Acrylic Sealer Cons
What acrylic sealer does for the cosmetics of concrete, it lacks protection. If used on a driveway, the acrylic sealer will wear down as you drive over it. It also makes concrete surfaces more slippery and dangerous when applied to pool decks. Applying an acrylic sealer to a surface will also trap in existing stains until the sealer wears down. For example, if your driveway has organic stains caused by leaves, the acrylic sealer will preserve those blemishes until it wears down enough for the concrete to be able to breathe again.
Perfect Power Wash Sealer
At Perfect Power Wash, we use a premium siloxane-silane penetrating sealer. We are strong proponents of this sealer based on Ohio’s cool and wet climate. We take pride in being the absolute best when it comes to concrete maintenance and our track record shows it. Factoring in what we’ve mastered over 20+ years of business, we’ve created specialized cleansers to first remove dirt, mold, and mildew. Then, we use a safe pressure over the entire surface to flush out the pores which fully preps the concrete. We then apply our sealer which will help protect against cracking, pitting, and chipping. Get more information about our Concrete Wash and Seal.