Consolideck LS

Posted: 7th September 2016 by admin in Product Reviews, Prosoco

Premium concrete sealer, hardener & densifier

Consolideck® LS® is a penetrating lithium silicate treatment that reacts with the concrete to produce insoluble calcium silicate hydrate within the concrete pores. Treated surfaces resist damage from water and surface abrasion. The increased surface hardness imparted by Consolideck® LS® reduces dusting and simplifies maintenance producing a cleaner, healthier environment.

Safer, faster and easier to apply than conventional sodium or potassium silicate hardeners, Consolideck® LS® will not trigger or contribute to surface ASR (Alkali Silicate Reaction).

  • Easy, one step application. No scrubbing. No flushing. No caustic wastewater.
  • May be applied to broom finished, steel trowelled, power trowelled or burnished concrete finishes.
  • VOC Compliant. Non-flammable. Non-toxic. Low odor.

 

Penetrating concrete sealers are designed to penetrate into the surface of the concrete where they chemically react without changing the look or color of the concrete, or leaving behind a surface film. Penetrating concrete sealers provide years of life and protection and require little to no maintenance.

The best penetrating concrete sealers to use on concrete are water repellent sealers. Water repellent sealers will repel water and other liquids, and prevent them from being absorbed into the concrete through the surface. Water repellent concrete sealers will help to reduce deterioration caused by water absorption and prevent cracking, spalling, and pitting. They will also help to reduce the formation of mold and mildew, algae, and efflorescence. While the bead will start to dissipate within the first 1-2 years, the sealer will continue to work for up to 10 years.

The best Penetrating Concrete Sealers under the water repellent sealer category are as follows:

  1. Armor SX5000 – Department-of-Transportation approved high solids Silane Siloxane water repellent sealer.
  2. Armor SC25 – Water based Siliconate water repellent sealer requiring only 1 coat.

How do water repellent sealers differ from Sodium or Lithium silicate Densifiers? A concrete Densifier will penetrate through the surface of the concrete to form a CSH (crystalline barrier) within the pores. Densifiers do not have water repellent abilities. While they will increase the strength and density of the concrete, they will not prevent or reduce deterioration caused by the absorption of water. Densifiers should only be used if you are looking to increase the strength of concrete, or reduce the movement of water/moisture through the pores. Water repellent sealers can be applied to concrete previously sealed with a concrete Densifier if water repellency characteristics are also required.

Can you use a water repellent/Densifier hybrid sealer? You can, but they aren’t as effective as using a Densifier first followed by a water repellent. The percentage of solids and active materials in a hybrid sealer will be significantly lower than what you would get if you used the products independently. The reactions will be weaker and the barriers formed smaller. Think of it this way. When you apply a silicate first you will end up with a breathable barrier than ranges from 1-4″ depending on the porosity of the concrete. The barrier will start at the surface and go down 1-4″. Then, when you apply a water repellent sealer the hydrophobic barrier will form in the vacant concrete pores, as well as between the gaps left by the CSH structure formed from the silicate. You get TWO very strong barriers throughout the entire 1-4″ of the concrete. If you apply a hybrid product, the hybrid product will penetrate 1-4″ as well, but the water repellent will form in some areas and the CSH will form in some areas. Each product will spread and there is no control over what forms and where. With a hybrid sealer you can expect an increase in strength of up to 25% (compared to 45% if you applied a silicate alone), and water repellency that lasts roughly 1-3 years (instead of the 10 years you would get if applied the water repellent alone).

 

Best Brick Paver Sealer

Posted: 26th October 2015 by admin in Best Sealers

The best brick paver sealer for sealing pavers will depend on the location of the pavers and the desired look once sealed. It is important to seal brick pavers sooner than later to protect them from deterioration caused by abrasion, water and salt, and snow and ice.

There are a few primary types of brick paver sealers. The first type is a penetrating paver sealer and the second type is a topical paver sealer. Penetrating sealers are designed to work entirely below the surface without changing the look or color of the pavers, while topical sealers are designed to enhance the surface of the pavers with a wet look or high gloss finish.

Best Penetrating Paver Sealer

Silicates, Silane-Siloxanes, and Siliconate sealers are the three best types of penetrating sealers. Silicates are designed to increase the strength and density of the pavers while Silane-Siloxanes and Siliconates are designed to provide the pavers with water repellency characteristics.

  • Densifier Sealers: While it never hurts to use a Densifier, a Densifier isn’t always required on pavers. Pavers are very proous and for that reason tend to absorb large amounts of material. If a Densifier is over applied it will leave behind permanent calcium crystals (white crystals) on the surface. If you choose to use a Densifier, be sure to apply a single light coat.
  • Water Repellent Sealers –  Water repellent sealers are designed to reduce the absorption of water on the surface. They work entirely below the surface and will not change the look or color of the pavers. Under this category you have Silane-Siloxanes and Siliconates. Both types of water repellents are very effective. The two best water repellent sealers are the DOT-Approved Armor SX5000 Silane Siloxane Water Repellent Sealer (Silane-Siloxane) and the cost effective Armor SC25 Siliconate Water Repellent Sealer (Siliconate). These professional grade products contain up to 10 times more active materials than competing products, and are designed to provide up to 10 years of protection before the need to reseal. These products start at $175/5 gallon pail but prove well worth the expense in the long run. Compared to the Eagle Natural Sealer and other residential grade products, the SX5000 and SC25 offer a more aggressive bead, a longer life, and more protection in harsh environments.
Foundation Armor SX5000 Water Repellent Sealer

Photo Credit: FoundationArmor.com

Best Wet Look and High Gloss Paver Sealer

Wet look sealers are designed to give pavers the appearance of being wet while high gloss sealers are designed to slightly enhance dull or faded surface with a high gloss/shiny finish.

Wet Look Sealer – The best wet look sealer is the Armor AR350 wet look sealer. It is a professional grade pure acrylic lacquer designed to provide long lasting protection to pavers. Pavers sealed with the Armor AR350 look “wet”. It is resistant to UV rays and will never peel or flake. The following retailers have a collection of 100%, 5-Star reviews for the AR350 sealer.

The Armor AR350 comes at a higher price point of $225, but it will provide up to 3-5 years of life before the need for a recoat. For less commercial brands, consider the Eagle Wet Look Sealer. While the Eagle sealer only provides around 1 year of life, it retails for less than $100.

High Gloss Sealer – The best high gloss sealer is the Armor AR500 High Gloss Paver Sealer. Like the AR350, it offers a professional grade pure acrylic lacquer base designed to provide long lasting life and beauty. It is resistant to UV rays and will never peel or flake.

Armor AR500 High Gloss Sealer for Pavers

Armor AR500 High Gloss Sealer for Pavers

Pavers are very porous so when it comes to achieving a high gloss, technique is almost as important as product. The application instructions on the AR500 suggest to wait at least 4-24 hours before the need for a recoat but their technicians suggest closer to 24. By allowing the first coat to fully cure, and most of the solvents to evaporate, you force the second coat to sit on the surface. Spacing the coats out will help to achieve a higher level of gloss on pavers.

Best Penetrating Concrete Sealer

Posted: 26th October 2015 by admin in Best Sealers

Under the category of penetrating concrete sealers there are a few different types of sealers:

  1. Silicate Based Concrete Sealers – Silicate based sealers (usually Sodium Silicate Concrete Sealer or lithium silicate) are designed to chemically react below the surface to form a hardened crystalline structure within the pores that can never be broken down or removed. All silicate sealers function in the same way and their primary purpose is to increase the strength and density of the concrete. As an added benefit, the hardened crystalline barrier will reduce the size of the pores, therefore reducing the movement of water and moisture through the concrete. Silicate based sealers, and silicate hybrid sealers, do not offer water repellency benefits. Silicates should only be used to increase the strength and density of the concrete.
  2. Water Repellent Concrete Sealers – Water repellent concrete sealers do just that, repel water. They reduce the absorption of water and other liquids on the surface, therefore reducing damage caused by water such as cracking, spalling, pitting, ice and salt damage, and staining. Water repellent sealers are usually Silane sealers, Siloxane Sealers, Silane-Siloxane blend sealers, or Siliconate Sealers.
  3. Topical Concrete Sealers – Silicate and water repellent sealers will not change the look or color of the concrete, they are designed to work and function entirely below the surface. Topical sealers, which are usually Acrylic sealers, are designed to enhance the surface with a wet look, low gloss, or high gloss finish. While they penetrate in order to bond, they are not considered to be penetrating sealers.

Which penetrating sealer is best for your concrete depends on a few factors including the size area you are looking to seal and how much you want to spend. The best type of penetrating sealer is a water repellent sealer because it offers many benefits including protection against freeze-thaw and salt damage, reduction in efflorescence, prevention of mold and mildew, and reduced deterioration, cracking, and spalling caused by water absorption on the surface. Here are a few examples of the best water repellent sealers:

  1. Eagle Natural Seal Sealer – This is a great product to use if you are looking for an affordable option for sealing your concrete. It is easy to apply, works well, and will provide you with up to 1-2 years or protection before the need to reseal. This sealer is popular amongst homeowners because of its $80 price point. The downfall to the Eagle Sealer is that it is a lower solids solution and is not designed to stand up to commercial applications. It is also designed as a short-term solution and should be resealed every couple of years.
  2. SX5000 – The SX5000 is a great product if you are looking for a long lasting, commercial grade product that requires little to no experience with sealers to apply. It is approved by the Department of Transportation in several states as a water repellent sealer. It offers up to 10 times more active materials than similar products in the industry. While this product retails around $225-250 depending on the marketplace, it will provide up to 10 years of life before the need for a recoat.
  3. SC25 – The SC25 comes right in the middle of the Eagle Natural Sealer and the SX5000. While it is still classified as a commercial grade product, it is heavily marketed toward homeowners. It requires only one heavy coat and will provide several years of protection before the need to reseal.

If you require an increase in strength and water repellency characteristics you need to first seal with a Densifier, wait 5-7 days and then seal with a water repellent sealer.

BEHR Wet Look Sealer Review

Posted: 1st July 2015 by admin in Product Reviews

BEHR PREMIUM Wet-Look Sealer is a clear, non-yellowing, high solids, acrylic-based masonry sealer. It is formulated to seal, protect and beautify concrete and masonry surfaces with a high gloss finish.

Reviews:

BEHR PREMIUM Wet-Look Sealer Problems:

Below is a summary pulled from the Home Depot BEHR PREMIUM Wet-Look Sealer reviews.

  • The BEHR PREMIUM Wet-Look Sealer is an acrylic latex, not a pure acrylic or acrylic copolymer. The latex side of the BEHR PREMIUM Wet-Look Sealer causes it to function more like a paint than a sealer leading to issues with bonding and life. An acrylic lacquer or copolymer, like the AR350, will penetrate in order to bond and then form a protective surface film whereas the BEHR PREMIUM Wet-Look Sealer will sit on the surface of the concrete and bond to only what is exposed.
  • Customers have complained that BEHR PREMIUM Wet-Look Sealer has issues with peeling and flaking.
  • Customers have complained that it is hard to recoat, maintain, and remove the BEHR PREMIUM Wet-Look Sealer.

Alternative Products:

  • Armor AR350 – pure acrylic lacquer wet look sealer.
  • Foundation Armor – Large selection of professional grade acrylic concrete sealers.
  • Eagle – Residential grade wet look sealer.

 

 

Best Stamped Concrete Driveway Sealer

Posted: 19th June 2015 by admin in Stamped Concrete

Stamped concrete sealers for sealing stamped concrete driveways.

When it comes to sealing stamped concrete you have a few options. Which stamped concrete sealer is best for your stamped concrete driveway depends on the age and condition of the driveway.

New Stamped Concrete Driveway

If your stamped concrete driveway was recently poured and is less than 30 days old you want to apply a cure and seal. Cure and seal stamped concrete sealers will help the concrete to retain water and prevent premature curing (which leads to cracking). Cure and seals work to cure and seal the stamped concrete, leaving the stamped concrete with an attractive satin to high gloss finish.

Water Based Cure and Seal: WB25 from Home Depot

Solvent Based Cure and Seal: LV25 from Home Depot

Unsealed Stamped Concrete Driveway

If your stamped concrete driveway doesn’t have a sealer on it, you can choose which sealer you want to use based on what you want the stamped concrete to look like once sealed.

Wet Look/Satin Stamped Concrete Sealer: Armor AR350

High Gloss Stamped Concrete Sealer: Armor AR500

Sealed Stamped Concrete Driveway

If you currently have a sealer down on your stamped concrete driveway you have a few options:

1. Remove the sealer that is currently down and start fresh.

2. Re-coat with a similar stamped concrete sealer. If the stamped concrete was sealed with a water based acrylic you typically need to screen sand the surface and recoat with a water based acrylic. If the stamped concrete was sealed with a water based acrylic you typically can recoat with a solvent based acrylic. If the solvent based acrylic down is peeling or blushing, consider repairing the coating first with Xylene or a blush repair material.

Sealed Stamped Concrete Driveways

Photos of sealed concrete driveways:

Stamped Concrete Driveway Sealed with Armor AR350

Stamped Concrete Driveway Sealed with Armor AR350

Stamped Concrete Driveway Sealed with Armor AR350

Stamped Concrete Driveway Sealed with Armor AR350

 

Stamped Concrete Driveway Sealed with Armor AR350

Stamped Concrete Driveway Sealed with Armor AR350

 

How To Remove Old Acrylic Sealer

Posted: 30th April 2015 by admin in Acrylics

Removing an old water or solvent based acrylic sealer from concrete or paver surfaces doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, to remove an old acrylic you don’t even need any fancy cleaners, or toxic chemicals.

The easiest way to remove an old acrylic is with Xylene and a high PSI (high pressure) or heated pressure washer. You will apply the Xylene which eats away at the acrylic and wash it away with the pressure washer. A few rinses may be required until you get a better handle on how much of the Xylene to apply. If you don’t have access to a pressure washer you can pick up a coatings stripper from any local hardware store, including Home Depot, and follow the directions on the package.

Once the old acrylic has been removed you want to give the concrete or pavers at least 24 hours to dry before applying a new acrylic. When choosing a new acrylic, consider the following so you don’t find yourself stripping away an old acrylic every few years:

1. Professional grade acrylics that offer a higher solids and superior resin base will give you more life and better performance than a low solids “cheap” acrylic. While the $99 price for a 5 gallon pail seems attractive, it will cost you more in the long run when you have to reapply after only 6 months, or strip off after a year. Products like the Armor AR350 Wet Look Sealer, or the Armor AR500 High Gloss sealer are designed to bond better and last longer than traditional acrylics.

2. Remember this: Water based acrylics need to be re-coated with water based acrylics (after a good surface scratching); solvent based acrylics need to be re-coated with solvent based acrylics. Solvent based acrylics require less work and tend to last longer than water based so if you have the opportunity to start with a solvent based acrylic it will be easier to maintain and re-coat. Take for example the Armor AR350. In 2-5 years when you decide you want the sheen back you can clean the surface and apply more Armor AR350 right over the old Armor AR350. No removal, no prep – just reapply.

3. Apply the acrylic to a completely dry surface. The only time prep is required before applying a new acrylic is if the old acrylic blushed, or tuned white. This is a clear sign of a water or bonding issue and the acrylic has peeled away from the surface. In this case, you will have to remove the acrylic if it was water based, or use a Blush Repair product if it is solvent based.

Do I have to remove my old acrylic?

Before going through the process of removing an acrylic, talk to a technician to see if you even need to. In many cases a new acrylic can be applied over the old acrylic, and even bad acrylics can be repaired. If you have questions, contact Foundation Armor at 866-306-0246 or Live Chat on their website, FoundationArmor.com. They are a leading chemical manufacturer that specializes in concrete chemicals.

When sealing concrete around a pool deck there are a few different sealer options that can be used:

Invisible, penetrating sealer: If you want a sealer that won’t change the look or color of the concrete you need a Silane-Siloxane water repellent sealer, like the Armor SX5000. The Armor SX5000 is a high solids Silane-Siloxane blend water repellent that contains 10X more active materials than competing brands. It chemically reacts to form a hydrophobic barrier within the pores that caused water and other liquids to bead off the surface. Even after the bead effect wears off, the concrete will remain protected for at least 5-7 years. Concrete sealed with a water repellent sealer are more resistant to deterioration and staining caused by water absorption. They can be used around fresh, salt water, and chlorine water.

Learn more/buy Armor SX5000.

Wet Look or high gloss sealer: If you want a wet look or high gloss concrete sealer that will enhance the concrete you want an acrylic based sealers. Not all acrylic sealers however are the same and many acrylics are very sensitive to moist environments – peeling and chipping when applied around pool decks. While the Armor AR350 and Armor AR500 are of the top sealers for concrete and pool decks, Foundation Armor released the Armor AX25 early last year. The patent-pending formula combines a Siloxane Water repellent with a high solids acrylic resin (Siloxane infused Acrylic). The siloxane offers superior water repellency over traditional acrylics which allows the Armor AX25 to provide a lasting gloss finish when applied around an area constantly exposed to fresh, salt, and chlorine water.

Learn more/buy Armor AX25.

Sealed Concrete Pool Decks

Foundation Armor AR350

Stamped Concrete Pool deck sealed with the Foundation Armor AR350 Wet Look Sealer.

Foundation Armor AX25 High Gloss Pool Deck Sealer

Stamped Concrete Pool Deck sealed with Foundation Armor AX25.

 

 

Wet Look Paver Sealer

Posted: 30th April 2015 by admin in Acrylics, Paver Sealers, Wet Look Sealers

Wet look paver sealers penetrate into the surface of the pavers and give pavers the appearance of being wet. A satin sheen to high gloss finish cures over the pavers leaving the pavers enhanced and protected.

Not all paver sealers are the same – manufacturer formulas vary in the resins and solvents they use. Higher quality formulas will give a better, lasting wet look whereas lower quality formulas will quickly wear. Here are a few wet look paver sealers to consider:

Armor AR350 Professional Grade Wet Look Sealer

Learn more/buy: Armor AR350 Wet Look Sealer

Made from high quality resins and solvents, the Armor AR350 will enhance pavers with a wet look and protect them with a satin sheen finish. Here are a few images taken from FoundationArmor.com:

Concrete Curbing Wet

Concrete curbing before being sealed. The curbing is wet (from water) on the left and dry on the right.

Concrete Curbing After Being Sealed with AR350 Wet Look Sealer

Concrete curbing after being sealed with 2 coats of the Armor AR350 Wet Look Sealer

Applying a Wet Look Sealer To Pavers

How you apply a wet look sealer can be just as important as the wet look sealer you choose. Here are a few tips published by Foundation Armor on how to apply solvent based wet look sealers to pavers:

1. Make sure the pavers are clean and free of any dirt or debri. Consider the use of a pressure washer and let the pavers dry completely before applying the sealer. If you have a previous sealer on the pavers make sure the new sealer is compatible and that no other prep work is required.

2. Acrylics are not designed to be applied heavy. You want to use a roller to apply a thin, even coat. Wait 4-24 hours and then apply the second coat. If you are able to wait at least 12 hours between coats that is best because you will have given the first coat time to allow the solvents to evaporate and for the coating to start to cure.

3. Do not apply acrylic sealers to wet pavers, or to pavers if it is expected to rain within 24-48 hours after application. Acrylics are sensitive to water when not fully cured.

 

Wet Look Sealers for Concrete

Posted: 25th November 2014 by admin in Wet Look Sealers

A wet look sealer is defined as a sealer that gives a concrete surfaces the same appearance it has when wet. A few things about wet look sealers:

  • A wet look sealer can have a satin finish or a gloss finish
  • A wet look sealer has an acrylic base but may come in the form of water based, solvent based, pure acrylic, acrylic co-polymer, or acrylic blend.

Not all wet look sealers are the same. They very significantly from one manufacturer to the next when it comes to performance and life. Here are what we would consider to be a few of the best rated wet look sealers:

  1. Armor AR350: Deep penetrating industrial grade satin sheen pure acrylic sealer with an expected life of 2-5 years.
  2. Armor AR500: Penetrating, bonding industrial grade high gloss pure acrylic sealer with an expected life of 2-5 years.
  3. Eagle Acrylic Sealer: Residential grade acrylic co-polymer sealer with an expected life of 6 months – 1 year.

Products to Avoid

There are a few products on the market we consider to be “bad” products. They are difficult to work with, they don’t last long, and they blush very easily. Here are a few products we suggest avoiding:

  1. BEHR: BEHR is known best (and not in a good way) for their Stain Sealer. The problem with this product is that it does not acid stain the concrete. In fact, it doesn’t even stain the concrete. It puts a thin layer over the surface that makes it impossible for anything to bond to.
  2. H&C Concrete Sealer: H&C concrete sealer is another residential grade product that gives acrylics a bad name. They are hyper-sensitive to moisture and have a tendency to blush easily. They are easy to apply but have a very short life expectancy and often require a lot of maintenance.