Top Tips To Sealing A Concrete Floor
How To Seal A Concrete Floor?
Using concrete flooring in your home can be an excellent choice. Especially if you’re interested in the durability of your floor. However, to make a concrete floor last it’s important to seal it properly since concrete is porous.
Sealing a concrete floor is an effective way to keep your floor free of stains from substances such as grease, oil, water, and others. As if that’s not enough, sealed floors look beautiful and are easier to clean.
To ensure that the sealer is effective, however, the application process has to be done properly. Everything you do, from surface preparation to picking the right application tool, will go a long way towards determining the final outcome.
How To Go About Sealing A Concrete Floor
Here’s a quick summary of what you should do when sealing a concrete floor:
- Clean the floor (remove stains, dust, oil, etc. from the concrete)
- Remove any old sealer from the floor
- Use an etching solution to open up the concrete
- Use a sprayer or roller to apply the first thin coat of sealer
- After the first layer has dried, apply a second coat of sealer in the opposite direction
- Leave the sealer on the concrete until it dries fully (avoid driving or walking on the concrete until it’s dry)
Cleaning the floor
To avoid inconvenience, you should remove the furniture and everything else from the room. Keep in mind that you will need somewhere to store the items for no less than one week. Once the room is clear, sweep it thoroughly, and then proceed to clean any area that is still dirty.
You can use mineral spirits to clean grease spills. Once the floor looks clean, use a concrete cleaner to ready the floor for sealing. Rinse the cleaner off, and then wait for the floor to dry. At this point, you can use a concrete repair caulk to fill any visible cracks. Then finally, wait until the caulking has dried completely.
Removing the old sealer
If the floor had an old sealant, you have to wait before applying the new sealant. If you’re not sure whether a sealant was used on your floor or not, you can use water to test this. To do this pour approximately one cup of water on the concrete.
If the water does not soak into the floor but instead beads up and remains on the surface, the floor had been sealed. If the floor had not been sealed, the water would soak into the floor. To remove the sealant, you can use a chemical stripper.
Since chemical strippers are acid-based, be sure to protect yourself when removing the sealant. After removing the sealant, you’ll have to let the floor dry for at least 24 hours before proceeding.
Choosing the sealer
There are four main types of sealers to choose from:
• Acrylic sealers
This kind of sealer sits on top of the floor and is mainly used to seal interior floors. Acrylic sealers are easy to apply, but they don’t protect the floor effectively against grease and oil stains when compared to other sealers.
• Epoxy sealers
Despite being more durable compared to acrylic sealers, this type of sealer also sits on top of the concrete. Epoxy sealers protect your floor effectively against grease stains, but they are difficult to apply. They are also available in various colors enabling you to change the look of your floor.
• Polyurethane sealers
This type is mainly meant for use over other types of sealers. Polyurethane sealers have UV protection, which keeps them from turning yellow over time. They also sit on top of the concrete, but the layer is usually thinner.
For this reason, polyurethane sealers are mainly applied over epoxy as the top layer. The sealers are available in semi-gloss, matte, and glossy finishes. Such sealers are typically fine when used over other sealers, but if you’re not sure, you can always get some clarification from the shop you are buying from.
• Silane/siloxane sealers
You can use this type of sealer if you don’t want to change the look of your floor. Since the sealers penetrate the concrete, it won’t become glossy or darker. It will retain the matte grey color. This kind of sealer lasts 20 years or more and is effective in protecting the floor against stains and deterioration.
Applying the sealant
Here’s what you should do when applying the sealant:
1. Carefully read and understand the instructions
Every sealant is a tad different from the other. For that reason, you should read the manufacturer’s instructions to attain quality results for your project. Be sure to pay attention to important details such as the most appropriate temperature and humidity recommendations for application.
2. Ventilate the room
In whatever room you’re working from, ensure that there is enough ventilation by opening the windows and doors where applicable. You can also use an outside-facing fan to facilitate the movement of air from the room to the outside area.
3. If using an epoxy sealant, mix the two parts together
Epoxy sealants come in two different containers whose content should be mixed before application. In such a case, you should pour the content of the smaller container into the bigger one and then use a stir stick to mix them thoroughly.
You should mix them only if you’re ready to start the application process. It’s also important to note that you’ll have a period of one hour or so to get the epoxy down. For that reason, you have to be quick when working.
4. Divide the room into smaller sections
It’s recommended that you divide the room into four sections for ease of application. You should start with the least accessible section, and work your way out to the door so that you won’t have to walk on the wet sealant.
5. Use a small paintbrush when sealing the edges of the floor
Get a paintbrush that is 5.1 to 7.6 cm wides and use it to apply the sealer along the edges of the concrete floor where the paint pad or rolling brush may not reach. Be sure to use nice, even strokes when applying the sealer.
6. Apply the sealer using a rolling brush or paint pad
Pour some sealant into a painting tray and then dip a roller brush or a paint pad into the paint. If using a roller brush, be sure to roll the brush evenly in the paint. Use the roller brush or paint pad to apply a thin coat of the sealer along the edge that you’ve already painted.
Continue applying the sealer across the floor until you’ve covered the entire floor. When applying the sealer, you should ensure that there is always a wet edge to carry on from. The reason for doing so is to achieve a uniform look on the floor.
Since you’ve already divided the room into smaller sections, you can work on each one of them at its own time. As you apply the sealer, make sure that you spread it evenly across the floor. You should also keep track of your area of coverage to avoid ending up with some patches that haven’t been sealed.
7. Apply a second coat
For a smooth and even finish, you should apply a second thin coat. To ensure better coverage of the sealant across the floor, you should apply the second coat at right angles to the first one. Let the sealer dry as per the time recommended by the manufacturer on the sealant can, before walking or driving on the concrete. You should be ready to wait for up to four days to allow the sealant to dry completely.
Sealing your concrete floors is a foolproof way to increase their lifespan while also enhancing their beauty. The good thing is that you can easily complete a floor sealing project by yourself. If, however, you’re not particularly confident with your DIY skills, you should hire an expert.
If any of our high-quality services interest you, give us a call on 01442 389105 or 07812 182778 today. Or fill out the enquiry form on our contact page for more information.