Acrylic sealers range in quality, price and effectiveness. They won’t all produce the same results, so you’ll want to consider the look and qualities important to you. Here are some tips for selecting a good, high-quality acrylic sealer:
- A methyl methacrylate-based acrylic is the highest quality acrylic available whether it’s water- or solvent-based. It has superior performance characteristics and will maximize protection and enhance stamped concrete, exposed aggregate or natural stone patios. Methyl methacrylate-based acrylics extend the life between reapplications and make surfaces easier to clean.
- Choose an acrylic sealer that has good moisture vapor transmission properties to resist peeling and flaking.
- Consider what type of color vibrancy you want to achieve as this will affect whether you use a water-based or solvent-based acrylic. Solvent-based acrylics tend to provide a high-gloss, wet look while water-based options tend to provide a less glossy sheen. Some people feel water-based acrylics provide a more natural look. Flattening additives can be added to either solvent- or water-based acrylics to provide a more matte-looking finish.
- Acrylic sealers can be slippery when wet. Consider an anti-skid additive, commonly available from sealer manufacturers, to provide slip-resistance for surfaces when they are wet.
Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for application. One of the best pieces of advice for a sealer installation is “thin to win.” It is always better to apply two thin coats versus one thick coat. When applied correctly, your sealer should prevent spalling and damage from weather extremes. It should protect surfaces from water, oil, grease and more.
Stripping and sealing outdoor concrete surfaces is the best way to make them look new again. When you take the time to do it right, the results will pay for themselves.