Blog Post | May 21, 2019
What Makes a Sealed Concrete Floor Unique?
Choosing a floor is kind of like choosing a new vehicle. You know some of your flooring needs and you have a general idea of what type of flooring you like, but your preferences are based only on what you know and not on all the options available. Being receptive to new ideas allows you to accurately weigh all your options and choose the right one for your particular needs and desires. Sealed concrete flooring is one of those many options that isn’t usually one of the first to come to mind, but it offers some great benefits and can be the ideal choice for many spaces.
What Is a Sealed Floor?
The sealant world is vast and covers a multitude of options. Each type performs a particular way, at varying price points, with different qualities, and produces a specific finish. Technically speaking, a sealer is a product used to enhance and protect concrete. It helps reduce the need for extensive maintenance procedures while protecting the surface from staining. A sealer isn’t typically used if the slab is intended to be a substrate for additional flooring, only when the slab is the intended finished surface. Sealers come in both water-based and solvent-based formulation depending on their usage, as well as in different finishes including gloss, semi-gloss, and matte. There are other unique types of sealers like a penetrating sealer which is able to penetrate into the porous surface of the concrete to increase its water repellency and help it resist staining. It’s frequently used to increase decorative concrete protection without altering the appearance of the surface.
Some sealants are referred to as “guards” because they protect the finish beneath, like polished concrete. This micro-thin topical product must be used in conjunction with floor dye because the dye needs protection from UV rays which make the dye unstable. Guards are frequently used in high-traffic areas that have polished concrete and are often exposed to excessive dirt like a school cafeteria, bathrooms, or mechanical shops. This gives the floor an extra layer of protection but like all sealers will need to be reapplied and maintained.
How Does It Benefit Me?
When using sealers without any other decorative treatments, they are ideal to use in spaces where the aesthetic appeal of your floor is not as important. It’s also beneficial to use in spaces where the flooring will be exposed to high levels of salt, corrosive chemicals, biochemicals, or other damaging substances. Using a sealant that protects from these types of materials can provide huge advantages for your floor even though it will need semi-regular resealing to maintain the protection it offers.
Caring for Your Sealed Floor
Basic maintenance for sealed concrete floors is simple and the procedure is relatively similar for the different types of concrete finishes. Sweeping your concrete floors well is an easy step to help prevent the accumulation of dust and debris on your floors. Using a high-powered vacuum is also a great way to ensure the floor is clean from dirt, which prepares the way for the following steps. If time allows, or on a semi-regular basis, dry mop after sweeping to gather the small particles missed by the broom or vacuum.
After the dry mop, wet mop the floor using a few drops of pH neutral cleaner. Any tougher spots can usually be tackled with and a soft-bristled brush. When dealing with stains, always start with the most gentle and work up to a more aggressive cleaning agent. If you have any stains that will not come out, it is best to consult a concrete floor professional to discuss more aggressive methods that are still safe for your floor finish.
How Is It Different from Polished Concrete?
Sealed concrete and polished concrete can be confused and used interchangeably by those who don’t know the difference when they are in fact very different floor finishes. To ensure you aren’t left with the impression that they’re the same, let’s define polished concrete. Polished concrete is a process of refining a concrete surface mechanically with diamond tools. It refines the surface to achieve a specific level of gloss and aggregate exposure. It creates an extremely durable, beautiful, and easily maintained surface. It also requires less restoration less frequently than sealed concrete floors. Sealed concrete is the use of a product to coat the surface of the concrete, creating a topical layer that is your finished surface.
Is It Right for My Space?
As you consider the possibility of sealed concrete floors for your space, you’ll want to list and rank a few important criteria that must be present in your flooring option. Once you know what qualities are most vital, you can eliminate a few flooring options that don’t meet those standards. If sealed concrete has survived the first cut, you’ll want to investigate which type, brand, color, and finish is right for your space.
Cost is often one of the first and largest decision-making factors, but when looking at sealers you can nearly always find a sealer in your price range. Bear in mind, low-cost products generally have a shorter lifespan than a more expensive and higher quality product which may require more frequent resealing in the long term. One additional consideration is the yearly disturbance that resealing your floors will entail. For industrial, manufacturing, and even retail facilities, constant resealing can turn sealed concrete flooring into a costly endeavor.
Royale Concrete ensures our customers have the best flooring solution for their specific needs. We always offer our professional concrete opinion while making sure you feel you can make the most educated decision. Sealed concrete floors are one of many durable and aesthetically pleasing flooring options to make your space look great and work as hard as you do. We also offer other professional concrete services including polished concrete, terrazzo polishing, surface preparation, concrete repair, and polished concrete maintenance. Your floors can not only perform better, but they can also look better with the help of the concrete experts at Royale Concrete. Call us today to begin your project or submit your proposal request on our contact page.