What you need to know about Sealers

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Sealers & Coatings

Sealers vs. Coatings


When it comes to choosing a professional sealer for sealing stone, brick, or concrete, it is important to first understand the types of sealers that are available. Understanding the types of sealers will help you to determine which sealer is appropriate for your specific applications desired look and finish.

stamped, stained, concrete, sealer

Silicate sealers are ok to use on concrete surfaces, but when used on stone or brick can cause a white crystal formation on the surface. Silicates should only be used on concrete that requires reduced pore size (water or moisture), or an increase in strength (weak or deteriorating surface). Silicate sealers are used as part of the polishing process and is a densifier of concrete as well. 

Silane Siloxane sealers are the best sealer to use on all types of masonry - stone, brick, pavers, and concrete. They penetrate into the surface where they chemically react to form a hydrophobic barrier within the pores. Silane Siloxane sealers can leave behind a darkened finish, but this rarely happens and is only caused from severe over application. Silane Siloxane sealers are the best type of sealer to use if you want to protect the masonry without changing the look or color of the surface. They help to reduce water absorption, mold and mildew growth, staining, and deterioration caused by water absorption

Acrylic sealers or coatings rely on adhesion and are ok to use on concrete and pavers, but when used on red clay brick or stone can result in delamination  (flaking spots or peeling). While acrylic sealers have been proven to work well on aggregate surfaces, if applied to larger stones may result in coating failure. Acrylic coatings are great to use on interior and exterior, vertical and horizontal surfaces because they are cost effective, easy to apply, and will enhance the masonry with a wet look, high gloss, or colored coating. They can be applied with a roller or sprayer, and are very easy to apply and maintain. Solvent based acrylic coatings perform best on masonry because they offer an aggressive bond to the surface, don't need to be screen sanded upon reapplication, darken the surface to bring out dull and faded surfaces, and can be applied in clear or a color enhanced coating.

Urethane coatings and Epoxy Coatings are best to use on interior concrete mostly, but when used on exterior concrete, brick, pavers, or stone provide excellent protection. Epoxy is UV sensitive and can yellow.  Urethane and epoxy coatings offer a very aggressive bond to properly applied surfaces, but they are not breathable and are sensitive to increased below surface moisture caused by rain and snow and need vapor barriers for best performance. They are very hard, if not impossible to remove, from brick or stone without grinding the surface. They also require more maintenance to recoat down the road. On an interior surface, they offer many benefits when used to seal garage and shop floors, warehouse floors, and kennel floors, but on an exterior surface they pose more risks and challenges than benefits. If you want a gloss or color on an exterior surface, an acrylic is usually the best or most common route.

-HYBRID  urethane MIXES- There are specialty hybrid mixed polymers and urethanes that are fantastic for both indoor and outdoor use. technology continues to advance in regards to sealers and coatings and more specialty blends that involve covalant bonding of materials makes these types of sealers a great choice. Fast Finish offers unique color enhanced urethanes for specific projects  to add additional variations...Ask Fast Finish more about these.

Concrete Sealer Concrete Protector

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Although one of the most durable materials,concrete will begin deteriorating whenexposed to conditions like rainwater,repeated melting and freezing and road saltsor de-icers. We've all seen (or experienced)driveways that, within years, begin cracking,scaling and spalling.It’s a fact:Concrete Deteriorates Over Time.It doesn't need to be this way.We Have A Solution! 

Time lapse Sealer application

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Sealer Choice


Concrete Aggregate Sealers

Fast Finish provides the best protection for your concrete, natural stone, or hard surfaces.  We specialize in applying the best Solvent and Water based sealers available for almost any surface or condition.  These are not always available at your local box stores and exceed our expectations for protection and longevity. And as with all our finishes, we can clean and protect them to last a lifetime.

The most used sealers or coatings for Exposed aggregate surfaces are Silane/ Siloxane, Acrylics, Urethanes

`Silane-Siloxane sealers are impregnating sealers for concrete and masonry surfaces. It penetrates and chemically bonds deep within the substrate to form a hydrophobic barrier within the pores. A penetrating sealer is your best choice if your goal is to: Protect exterior concrete surfaces subject to corrosion and freeze-thaw damage. Obtain a natural, matte finish. Provide invisible protection without changing the surface appearance or leaving a sheen. Silane blends or silane sealers are great choices where the pore of the concrete or substrate are closed or tighter and the need for a smaller molecule is needed. Siloxane sealers are typically utilized more where the substrate material is more porus and the smaller molecule is not a concern. Silane / Siloxane sealers are both part of the silicone family of sealers and can be found in both a water based and solvent based formula.

Penetrating silane-siloxane sealers, when properly balanced, allow water to bead on top of the substrate.

Penetrating siloxane sealers also allow interior water vapor to leave the brick or masonry substrate. This is an important difference between a surface sealer and many other penetrants. A surface sealer will keep interior water vapor that needs to escape inside the brick. In a cold climate, water vapor trapped behind a surface sealer will freeze and cause the brick to spall or flake.

                                              CHOOSING A SILANE/SILOXANE SEALER

Check for the following three characteristics when choosing a penetrating silane-siloxane sealer:

  • Water based. Water-based penetrating silane-siloxane sealers typically have lower VOCs, can be readily applied, are non-flammable, and are easy to clean up when application is complete.
  • Low VOC content. Penetrating sealers can vary from very high VOC (more than 400 grams per liter) to very low VOC (less than 100 grams per liter). Low VOCs are more user and environment friendly and are not considered dangerous or harmful.
  • Water repellant. Water should visibly bead, approximately 90°, on the surface where the product is applied.

NOTE: Other reactive penetrating sealers (silanes and siloxanes) and most high-performance coatings, such as epoxies and urethanes, should only be applied after the concrete is fully cured (generally 28 days). Almost all sealers can be applied after the concrete is 28 days old.

Average coverage rate is 100-200sq ft per gallon.

Sealer Expectations



Best temperature range for application  is between 50 - 95 degrees Fahrenheit for water based sealers. 65-80 degrees for solvent types

50 degrees Fahrenheit on the low end (with no freezing that night) and no warmer than 95 degrees Fahrenheit on the high end.

How long does our sealers last? 

  •  As far as longevity of the sealer goes, in the first 3-5 years you'll have excellent protection, in the 5th-7th year you have good protection and after that you should have adequate protection. These are just general guidelines - many things will factor into how long it's expected to protect the concrete due to traffic wear. 

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