Protect your garage floor or its brand new finish with garage floor sealer.
What does sealer do for the garage floor? Besides enhancing the appearance, it protects the floor from stains such as oil and grease, chemical spills, road salt, and everyday wear and tear from vehicle or any kind of traffic.
|Standard garage floor with easy to apply, high gloss acrylic sealer.|
There is no single best sealer. If you want something inexpensive and easy to apply, get an acrylic sealer, either waterborne or solvent based. For durability and longevity, use epoxy and/or urethane sealers. So which type do I recommend? It depends...
Acrylic sealers are the most commonly used sealers because they are breathable, easy to use, and relatively inexpensive. They are used to cure garage floors as well as provide protection. There are two types of acrylic sealers, water based and solvent based. Solvent based sealers are stronger and last longer than their water based counterpart. However, they are much more toxic and have a very strong odor. Solvent based sealers are usually your best bet for garage floors if you can tolerate the smell for a while. Water based sealers are ideal if toxicity and odor is a major issue.
|*For freshly poured garage floors, there's no question. It must be a breathable acrylic sealer. Concrete needs to cure for at least 45 days before it's ready for non-breathable coating.*|
Epoxy and urethane sealers provide the best protection for any concrete floor because of thier strength. These sealers are like putting a sheet of hard plastic over the floor. They are expensive but well worth it because you will probably never have to seal the floor again.
But epoxies and urethanes are not always a ise choice. This depends on whether or not moisture is travelling through the concrete. If there's a vapor barrier (plastic sheeting) underneath the floor then moisture won't be a problem. Most garage floors don't have the plastic underneath. So why is this a problem? concrete with moisture moving up from the subgrade must be able to breathe to allow it to escape. Epoxy and urethane sealers aren't breathable and will prevent the moisture from escaping which could cause structural damage to the surface of the floor.
There's an easy way to test for vapor transfer. Lay down a small (1 sq ft) sheet of clear plastic and tape down all four sides. Wait 24 hours and see if any moisture has accumulated. If so then then you should use an acrylic sealer.
Important: Urethane sealer does not bond well with bare concrete, so you must apply a primer (water based epoxy) first.
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