If you have just installed or repaired a new concrete wall in your home, you will want to protect it from damage which can be caused by moisture and water. The best way to do this is by applying a sealant. Below is a guide to 3 popular types of concrete sealant.
Acrylic sealant is made from the resin of acrylic acid. It will form a thin, glass-like layer on the surface of your concrete wall. But it does not chemically bond with the concrete. One of the benefits of using an acrylic sealant is that is provides UV protection, which will help to prevent fading or yellowing when used on an outdoor wall. Acrylic sealant will also allow the concrete to 'breathe' and release any excess moisture it contains. The disadvantage of using an acrylic sealant is the thin layer it forms, which means the sealant only has a lifespan of between 1 and 3 years before it needs to be reapplied.
Penetrating sealants are made using oil based silicates which, as the name suggest, penetrate into concrete and form a waterproof chemical bond with the molecules within the concrete. Because they are absorbed into the concrete, penetrating sealants do not leave a film on the top of the concrete, which creates a matt finish and a more natural look. This kind has a long lifespan of over 10 years and will generally only stop working when the concrete itself has begun to wear away.
Epoxy sealant is made by mixing components prior to applying it to concrete. Once you have mixed the epoxy sealant, you will have to apply it quite quickly as it will soon begin to set. If you allow the sealant to harden, you will have to make a new batch. Epoxy sealants have a high gloss, shiny finish which is particularly sensitive to sunlight. UV rays can cause epoxy sealant to yellow, so it is generally only used to seal indoor concrete surfaces. However, pigmented epoxy sealants are available which will allow you to add a splash of colour to your interior concrete walls while also protecting them from moisture. Epoxy sealant has a lifespan of between 5 and 10 years.
If you need further information about the best way to protect concrete surfaces within your home, you should contact a professional concreting company who will be able to advise you and help to carry out any necessary work.