There’s a good chance that you have some concrete in and around your home. Concrete is a commonly used material in both residential and commercial applications. It has many uses, including being used as a driveway, patio, flooring, and countertop. Most concrete surfaces will be sealed to protect them from stains and other damage.
When it comes to what type of sealer to use on your surface, there are two main types: Epoxy and Acrylic Concrete Sealers (including water-based acrylic sealers). Each type of sealer provides different benefits for different jobs. Both epoxy and acrylic coatings are widely available at local home improvement stores or online retailers like Amazon.
What is the difference between epoxy and sealer?
The major difference between epoxy and sealer is that epoxy is a coating that bonds to the concrete, while sealer is a coating that bonds to the epoxy. Epoxy can be considered a type of sealer. Sealer adds a protective layer to the concrete and it prevents dusting, provides stain resistance, and also offers chemical resistance. It can also enhance the appearance of suffused concrete or give it a glossy shine.
Epoxy consists of 100% solids (has no solvents). It offers excellent adhesion properties and provides thickness over concrete floors. Epoxy comes in two parts system including resin and hardener which creates a strong bond between them when mixed together.
Table of Contents
- What is the difference between epoxy and sealer?
- Should I seal concrete before epoxy?
- Can you use epoxy to seal concrete?
- What is best to seal concrete with?
- How long does epoxy sealer last?
- Does epoxy waterproof concrete?
- How long does concrete have to cure before you can epoxy it?
- How long after pouring concrete can you epoxy it?
Should I seal concrete before epoxy?
Yes. It is very important to seal the concrete before applying epoxy. Properly seal the surface by using an acrylic water-based sealer or a penetrating solvent based sealer. A single coat of either type of sealer will add depth and clarity to the slab and allow for long-lasting adhesion of the epoxy coating.
Can you use epoxy to seal concrete?
There are many different ways epoxy can be used on concrete. You can use it as a sealer, you can use it as a coating, you can use it as a primer, you can use it as a topcoat, you can even use epoxy as grout or stain or filler. It is important to note that epoxy is not meant to be used to coat all surfaces of your home. In fact, most people do not even realize that there are certain types of surfaces that should never be coated with any type of epoxy.
In order for your surface to work with the epoxy sealer, it must have some sort of finish on it. If there is no finish on your surface then the epoxy sealer will simply peel right off and leave behind nothing but an ugly mess. The best way to tell if there is already a finish on the surface is by rubbing your hand over the concrete and seeing if anything comes off in your hand. If something does come off then this means that there already is a protective coating over the concrete which will keep out any moisture from seeping into the cement underneath.
What is best to seal concrete with?
Epoxy is the superior choice for sealing your concrete. It’s more expensive, but it’s definitely worth it if you want to keep your concrete looking like new for years to come. Epoxy is also more easily applied than acrylic sealer and is less likely to fail even if you have small children in the house.
How long does epoxy sealer last?
The life of an epoxy coating really depends on the application and environment.
In general, using a lower-end epoxy with no additives could last from 1-to 3 years. A higher end 100% solids epoxy with UV stable additives could last 5 years or longer.
You can extend the life of the sealer and make it easier to maintain by adding a non-slip additive, and/or UV stable additive. There are also products for scratched floors, or for high traffic areas that will help extend product life.
Proper maintenance is key to prolonging the life of any concrete sealer product. Maintenance should be done every 6 months to 12 months depending on foot traffic and environment (indoor/outdoor). Signs that your coating needs maintenance:
- When cleaning efforts no longer remove stains
- When it begins to peel, bubble, fade etc…
- To check the integrity of your coating you can just pour water over it; if the water absorbs into your floor then it is time to replace it (if you have a colored coating this may not work).
Does epoxy waterproof concrete?
Unfortunately, epoxy isn’t the strongest sealant for concrete. If you don’t have a lot of wood around to use as a gasket and you’re not planning on freezing your home, then it’s a perfectly good sealant that will keep out water. But if you want something more sturdy than that, then go with concrete so it can withstand freezing temperatures.
If you’re sealing new concrete, though, make sure to cover the surface with an additional coat of epoxy before doing any staining or painting. This will ensure strong seals in the long run since most stains won’t adhere to uncoated surfaces.
How long does concrete have to cure before you can epoxy it?
Concrete takes 28 days to cure and if you don’t wait at least 28 days, the moisture in the concrete will trap your epoxy from setting up and curing properly.
When you pour a new concrete slab there is a lot of water that is added to the mix in order for it to be workable. When it dries, this water needs to escape or evaporate away slowly over time. The only way for this water in the concrete to escape is through evaporation. If you try and put an epoxy coating on before all of this water has evaporated then your epoxy coatings will fail because there was not enough space for expansion for the evaporation process.
The other problem with putting an epoxy coating down before your 28-day period has expired is that if any moisture remains trapped within your slab after applying an epoxy sealer over it then this can cause blisters, bubbles, or delamination of your flooring system as well as potential failures with adhesion.
How long after pouring concrete can you epoxy it?
You have to wait at least 28 days after pouring concrete before you can apply any epoxy coating.
This waiting time is known as curing, and it is the time that it takes for the concrete to go through a chemical process that makes it hard and durable. Curing is extremely important because if you don’t let the concrete cure properly before applying the epoxy coating it will not adhere properly and can cause your flooring to crack or become uneven.
Epoxy paint works well on garage floors but only if you do things right by first testing your existing concrete surface to ensure that it is completely cured. If you apply an epoxy coating over uncured concrete, then either your coating will fail prematurely or your flooring could crack or become uneven due to moisture from the concrete being trapped beneath the epoxy coating.
In conclusion, concrete sealer and epoxy are both great options for protecting your concrete. When deciding which is best for you, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of each. Do you want a quick and easy solution that will be less durable or a more time-consuming option that will protect your concrete for years to come?
Above all else, remember that if you do decide to go with an epoxy coating, make sure it’s specifically designed for concrete flooring. This means looking for kits that are labeled as “100% solids”.