How to Seal a Concrete Floor: Insights from a Cement Contractor in Niles, Illinois
Thanks to their visual appeal, durability, and ease of maintenance, decorative and polished concrete floors are becoming increasingly popular throughout the United States. However, if you want to get the most out of your concrete flooring, it’s important that you seal it on a routine basis. To that end, this cement contractor in Niles, Illinois is going to discuss everything you’ll need to know about sealing your concrete floors.
Choose the Right Sealer
Concrete floor sealing will keep your floor looking new for years to come — regardless of where or how it is used. However, the type of sealer you choose affects the quality and aesthetic of the floor. All floor sealers are categorized into two types: topical sealers and penetrating sealers.
Topical sealers are sprayed, spread, or rolled onto the floor’s surface. When the sealer dries, it adheres to the floor and forms a protective barrier. The three most common sealers in this category are:
Acrylic: Acrylic sealers are affordable and can be water- or solvent-based. Although water-based acrylic is easy enough to apply, it may change the color of your flooring. Acrylic with a solvent base yields a clearer and richer finish, but it has a strong odor and may discolor with time.
Polyurethane: Polyurethane sealers — which can be applied indoors and outdoors — form a highly protective barrier over the floor. The barrier is about twice as thick as the acrylic layer; however, it is extremely sensitive during the lengthy curing period.
Epoxy: For most concrete floors, epoxy is the ideal sealer. It is durable as well as water- and abrasion-resistant. Epoxy can withstand high traffic levels and is available in various glossy finishes. An epoxy floor will last for many years before it needs to be reapplied.
Penetrating sealers work their way into the pores of the concrete, causing a chemical reaction that reinforces the floor. Most penetrating sealers are virtually undetectable and can be used with topical sealers to provide additional protection to the floor.
Prepare the Floor
If you do not hire a professional cement contractor in Niles, Illinois for the job, then you will need to do some prep work before getting started.
First, make sure the weather is warm and dry. Though heat will not compromise the sealer’s integrity while curing, you should avoid working in temperatures below 50° F. If the weather is favorable for sealing, sweep the floor to clear any dirt and debris. Then, mop the floor and let it dry thoroughly. If possible, consider pressure washing the floor.
The next step is to use a degreaser to remove any oil or grease accumulated on the concrete. When using this product, follow all safety protocols and keep the space well ventilated. Scrub the floor with a stiff-bristled brush and allow the floor to dry for 24 hours after rinsing the degreaser. You are now ready to begin the concrete floor sealing process.
Apply the Sealer
The process of sealing concrete is somewhat like painting. You can put painter’s tape along the edges and bottom of the walls to keep the sealer from inadvertently sticking to them. While some homeowners prefer to apply the sealer with a paint sprayer, any reputable cement contractor in Niles, Illinois will recommend using a paint roller instead. Apply the sealer as thickly as possible and remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
First, apply the sealer along the edges of the room. If the roller does not reach all the edges and corners, you can use a standard paintbrush. Once the sealer has been applied along the edges, you can apply it to the rest of the floor — start at the far end of the room and work your way toward a designated exit to avoid boxing yourself in the room.
The sealer must dry for 12 to 24 hours. When the sealer has dried, your concrete floor will have a durable, long-lasting coating that will protect its integrity and aesthetic appeal for years.
Ready to Have Your Concrete Floors Sealed? Contact the Top-Rated Cement Contractor in Niles, Illinois
Though it is possible to seal your concrete floor by yourself, it’s a tough task. As such, this is a job that’s best left to the professionals. If you’re looking to have your concrete floors sealed by the top-rated cement contactor in Niles, Illinois, look no further than the professionals at Via Galante Cement Contractors. Contact us today at (773) 589-9893 to get started.