Concrete Sealers & Concrete Crack Repair Solutions

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Foundation Armor industrial and commercial product lines are now available to DIY consumers and homeowners.

Concrete Sealer

Concrete Sealer

The biggest mistake consumers make when choosing a concrete sealer or concrete crack repair kit and not fully understanding what exactly it is they are buying.

Foundation Armor industrial and commercial product lines are now available to DIY consumers and homeowners.

When looking for a concrete sealer or concrete repair kit, consumers often hit the internet or visit their local home improvement stores. They read labels, research products, and ultimately und up with a purchase. Shockingly, more than 38% of homeowners find out 1-5 years down the road that they made the wrong decision. Foundation Armor is making the right decision easier by offering the same products to their industrial, commercial, and residential clients.

Understanding Concrete Sealers

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of concrete sealers on the market; from epoxies and acrylics, to paints and stains, to latex and silicate sealers, and more. Almost every sealer can be categorized as either a surface sealer or a deep penetrating sealer.

Surface sealers, which include epoxies, acrylics, paints, stains, latexes, silanes, siloxanes, and polyesters are applied to the surface of the concrete. They don't bond to the concrete and need to be applied every 1-5 years. While some surface sealers are referred to as waterproofing sealers, they don't actually stop water or vapors. They trap then under the surface of the sealer and built up pressures eventually cause the sealer to flake off. "If you want the look of a surface sealer, such as the shiny look epoxies create, or the colorful look paint achieves, apply a permanent, deep-penetrating sealer first and then add a surface sealer to the top," says Eric Schifone, a New England basement waterproofing specialist.

Deep penetrating sealers, which include primarily silicates, penetrate deep into the concrete. "Not all deep penetrating sealers can be treated equally," says Foundation Armor Technician Tanya Willette. "Our concrete sealer requires the applicator to mix the sealer with 4 parts warm water. The warm water opens up the capillaries of the concrete which allows the sealer to penetrate up to 6 inches. The sealer then reacts with the free lime to create a crystalline barrier deep beneath the surface. This barrier instantly stops water and vapors. Our concrete sealer also strengthens the concrete to prevent cracking." When researching deep penetrating sealers it is important to make sure the sealer does not require re-application and that the sealer stops water and vapors.

Choosing the right sealer with prevent costly repairs 1-5 years down the road.

Understanding Concrete Crack Repair Kits

There are several types of concrete cracks and multiple causes for why concrete cracks, but generally concrete cracks fall into one of two categories: cracks that need structural repair and cracks that don't.

For cracks that need structural repairs, epoxy crack repair solutions work best. Epoxies are stronger than concrete and will help with the structural integrity of the wall or floor being repaired. For cracks that aren't in need of structural repair, you want a polyurethane. Most non-structural cracks are caused by shrinkage or settling. Polyurethane is strong but flexible. If the concrete shrinks or settles, the polyurethane will flex with the concrete, keeping the crack sealed. If you use an epoxy to repair a crack caused by shrinkage or settling, the next time the concrete moves, the epoxy will crack or a new crack will form.

"Polyurethanes are a bit more complicated than epoxies," adds Tanya Willette from Foundation Armor. "There are high pressure polyurethanes, low pressure polyurethanes, polyurethanes that can be used on wet cracks, and polyurethanes that can be used on dry cracks. While low-pressure polyurethanes are more commonly found online and in-stores, they aren't the most effect way to repair a concrete crack. Low pressure polyurethane kits don't actually have enough pressure to inject the polyurethane solution deep enough into the crack to completely seal the crack. If the crack is not completely sealed, the polyurethane will eventually wear down and the crack will have to be repaired again. High pressure concrete repair kits on the other hand use aluminum ports that are injected into the concrete. The aluminum ports in combination with the high pressure injection guns, push the polyurethane solution directly into the crack and the polyurethane won't stop until the entire crack has been filled. Once the polyurethane kits the backside of the crack, the polyurethane will travel up the crack instead of out the crack. Without aluminum ports for guidance and without a high pressure gun for force, you don't have a complete, reliable polyurethane solution."

Summary

Before choosing a concrete sealer, or concrete crack repair kit, make sure you have a full understanding of the products you are about to purchase. Make sure the solution is permanent and the product is appropriate. Look for professional-grade solutions, which can't be found in stores.

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Tanya Willette

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