Although there’s no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” concrete sealer, Micro-Seal HD from Rain Guard Pro comes close. According to Art Green, owner of Specialized Cleaning Contractors in Buena Park, California, the silane/siloxane repellant is probably his No. 1 go-to product when it comes to penetrating sealers.
“I do quite a bit of architectural applications,” he says, from driveways, entryways and sidewalks to concrete pavers, tilt-up and precast. “And this is one product that you can use on them all.”
But before he applies the water repellant — which creates a hydrophobic barrier that protects against weathering, salt, dirt, freezing temperatures, UV rays and other damaging elements — he recommends cleaning with Restore-N-Prep, also from Rain Guard Pro.
“The proper prep of any substrate sets the foundation for a good project,” says Green, who’s been in business since 1995. His primary focus involves just about anything that pertains to hardscapes, both concrete and masonry. His services run the gamut, including restoration, cleaning, staining, sealing, anti-graffiti protection and graffiti removal. Additionally, his company also performs a fair amount of prep work for other applicators.
Start with a clean surface
To begin with, “Restore-N-Prep lets you get a very good clean surface with no laitance on it,” Green says. After applying and thoroughly rinsing, it does away with any additive residual and concrete slurry for good.
“It opens up the substrate to allow concrete to breathe so you don’t get secondary hydration releases. The concrete cures evenly and you don’t get a lot of discoloration.”
Overall, Restore-N-Prep gives you a much better canvas to work with, Green says. “It allows the substrate to receive treatment,” he continues. Penetrating sealers go down deep. Likewise, colorants look more uniform and exposed aggregate appears cleaner. “All the stuff just pops,” Green says.
Green says his other go-to product from Rain Guard Pro is Efflorescence Blocker. “We use it in cases where moisture and salt come to the surface,” he says. “Once we clean, we apply the blocker and it eliminates (efflorescence) from reoccurring on both horizontal and vertical surfaces. This is huge in any project, especially architectural ones.”
Safe and convenient to use
Rain Guard Pro’s environmentally friendly lines have made Green gravitate more and more toward the company’s products. “In California, manufacturers have to practically go through a gauntlet when dealing with environmental concerns to get products to pass,” Green says. “But Rain Guard Pro products are safe for the environment.”
Additionally, the products are user-friendly, require limited PPE and have no strong odors. Another positive is they deliver consistent results, regardless of the talent of the applicator.
And in two or three years, when customers call you to reservice an area, you just clean and reapply. “You don’t have to remove, clean and reapply like some other products,” Green points out.
Rain Guard Pro also touts that its products help reduce the carbon footprint, Green says. And while this rings true for several reasons, the trait he appreciates most is that products come concentrated. A quart bottle contains enough product to make 5 gallons or more.
“If we have a large area to do, I don’t need to send a trailer to haul 5-gallon pails. The mixing and blending are done on site,” saving on both storage and transportation. “That’s a big benefit to the industry.”
Finally, Rain Guard Pro offers a product warranty. “I can usually sell jobs a little easier because of this,” Green says. “That’s been a big plus.”
Products mentioned in this articleOffered by Concrete Decor Store
- Restore-N-Prep Masonry & Efflorescence Cleaner
by Rainguard Pro
- Micro-Seal HD Silane/Siloxane Water Repellent - Concentrate
by Rainguard Pro