When it comes to sealing your garage floor you can seal with with a penetrating concrete sealer or a concrete coating. Sealers will reduce staining and deterioration without changing the look or color of the garage floor, and coatings will stop staining and deterioration by leaving a visible protective surface film.
Under the category of garage floor sealers there are silicate densifiers and water repellent sealers. Silicate densifiers are used to increase the strength and density of the concrete in order to reduce concrete dusting and deterioration caused by surface abrasion. Water repellent sealers are used to repel water and other liquids off the surface in order to reduce staining and deterioration caused by water and liquid absorption. While water repellent sealers do a fantastic job at repelling water, oil and gas will still stain concrete sealed with a water repellent sealer because the surface of the concrete is still exposed.
Under the category of concrete coatings there are acrylic sealers, epoxy coatings, and urethane coatings. Acrylics sealers are the best type of coating to use on a residential garage floor because they require minimal surface preparation, are easy to apply, and provide a nice gloss finish to the concrete floor. If you work on your cars a lot, or need more protection against oil and gas, a urethane concrete coating is best. Epoxies are slightly stronger than acrylics, and not as strong as urethanes. Epoxies are popular in applications where sub surface moisture is a concern.
Frequently Asked Questions about Garage Floor Sealers
- Can I use a garage floor sealer and a coating? You can, but you should avoid it unless suggested by a technician. Sealers are fantastic alone, and as are coatings, but when you combine the two, especially if not suggested, you can run into issues with delamination. Typically, you apply one or the other, not both.
- Which is better, a garage floor sealer or a coating? One isn’t necessarily better than the other, but they are different. Sealers reduce staining and deterioration, coatings stop staining and deteiroration. If you haven’t had any issues with your garage floor but want some protect, a water repellent sealer is a great option. If you are always spilling oil and gas and don’t want to deal with staining or deterioration any longer, a coating is a great option. The best product for your garage floor will depend entirely on what you use your garage floor for, what you want your garage floor to look like once sealed, and what you need the sealer or coating to offer in terms of performance.
- Can a penetrating sealer stop oil and gas stains? No, it can’t. Penetrating sealers work entirely below the surface and leave the surface of the concrete exposed. While they may slow down the movement in the pores, oil and gas left on the surface will stain the surface. The only thing that stops oil and gas from staining the concrete is a coating because the coating leaves a protective layer on the surface that takes the abuse so that the concrete doesn’t.