With innovations in concrete sealers, finding a great product to protect the concrete surfaces around your home has never been easier. But how do you choose? Learn more about the different types to find the best concrete sealers for your applications.
Editor’s Note: Check out our article on the best garage floor coatings to see our top recommendations for that particular application.
How Long Do Concrete Sealers Last?
There are a few different types of concrete sealers for indoor and outdoor use, and how long your sealer lasts depends on several factors. We’ll break it down and make it easy for you to understand what matters when choosing a product.
Some Types of Concrete Sealers Last Longer Than Others
The product type is the biggest factor determining how long your concrete sealer will last. Choosing the best concrete sealer for your project is important, as some sealers have specific uses and don’t work for all types of concrete, stone, and brick.
The two basic types of concrete sealers are film formers and penetrators, and they perform in different ways. Depending on which you choose, your concrete sealer could last anywhere from 1 to 10 years before requiring a recoat.
Acrylics, epoxies, and urethane coatings form films that cover the surface of your concrete. They provide a layer of protection and make your concrete easier to maintain.
- Acrylic concrete sealers – Last 1 to 3 years
- Epoxy coatings – Last 5 to 10 years
- Urethane coatings – Last 5 to 10 years
Penetrating concrete sealers are available in solvent and water-based systems and continue to react with the concrete over time. They don’t change the appearance of concrete, but they work to repel moisture and stains.
- Silicate concrete sealers – These never break down, they densify and harden concrete and continue to react with it chemically throughout the life of the concrete
- Penetrating silane siloxane concrete sealers – Last six months to 10 years, depending on the product
- Silicone water-repellent sealers – Create a chemical bond that lasts for six months to 7 years, depending on the acid content and the quality of the product
Other factors that influence the longevity of your concrete sealer include the quality of the product, how you apply it, and how many coats you used.
Best Patio Concrete Sealers
Invest in the best patio concrete sealers to preserve the life and beauty of your outdoor living spaces. Using the right product to seal a concrete patio enhances its appearance and increases its durability, so you don’t have to worry about expensive repairs.
Foundation Armor AR350 – Acrylic Sealer
One of the best sealers for patios is Foundation Armor’s AR350 solvent-based acrylic sealer. It will darken the surface of your patio and give it a low-gloss wet look to keep it from appearing dull and faded.
This film-forming sealer will protect your concrete patio surfaces and prevent the growth of mold, mildew, moss, and algae. It’s UV resistant, breathable, and easy to apply with a roller or sprayer to concrete surfaces and pavers.
You can also add a tint of color to Foundation Armor AR350, which gives you more flexibility in changing the appearance of your patio. Choose from a wide range of opaque and semi-transparent colors.
Foundation Armor SX5000 WB – Silane-Siloxane Sealer
Foundation Armor offers the SX5000 WB silane-siloxane sealer for a penetrating water-based solution that provides lasting protection against water and salt. It will preserve the appearance of your concrete patio without changing the texture, color, or natural beauty of your concrete finish.
Foundation Armor SX5000 WB reduces water absorption by about 95% and protects your patio from all types of water damage, including ice and snow. It also prevents the growth of mold, mildew, and algae. Designed for use on unsealed concrete, don’t apply it to surfaces coated with a film-forming sealer.
Ghostshield Lithi-Tek 9500 – Penetrating Concrete Sealer
The Ghostshield Lithi-Tek 9500 penetrating concrete sealer gives you a natural water-based finish that comes in concentrated form. One gallon makes up to five gallons that cover 1,000 square feet using the recommended two coats.
Lithi-Tek 9500 repels water and densifies your concrete. Apply it to prevent cracking and surface abrasion. It works indoors on garage floors and basement surfaces, and you can apply outside on driveways and patios where you don’t plan to use de-icing products.
Ghostshield Lithi-Tek 9500 works on brick, pavers, and cinder blocks. Use it as a substitute for foundation concrete membranes and concrete vapor barriers.
Best Driveway Concrete Sealers
Concrete driveways are subject to more damage than other concrete surfaces. They have to be able to sustain the weight of heavy vehicles, and they are out in the open, where UV rays, water, and temperature changes can cause deterioration. Add oil spills and grass stains, and it’s easy to see why you need the best concrete sealers for driveways.
DryWay Plus – Water-Repellent Concrete Sealer
DryWay Plus is a deep-penetrating sealer that’s been tested and approved by the DOT (Department of Transportation). The premium blend of silane and siloxane polymers reacts with your concrete driveway to provide superior protection against all types of damage, including freeze and thaw cycles and rebar corrosion.
You can use DryWay Plus as more than a concrete driveway sealer, however. It also works great for retaining walls, garage floors, pavers, sandstone, and terra-cotta. There’s no need to use slip-resistant additives either because DryWay Plus won’t change the look or texture of your driveway.
Foundation Armor AR500 – High Gloss Solvent-Based Sealer
Is your driveway dull and faded? Change the appearance with Foundation Armor’s AR500 high gloss concrete sealer. It gives your stamped concrete driveway a wet look that’s UV resistant and won’t yellow over time.
One of the best concrete driveway sealers, the Foundation Armor AR500 High Gloss sealer is solvent-based (they have an acrylic low-VOC formula we don’t recommend). It works just as well inside as on your concrete driveway. You can also apply it to concrete pavers and exposed aggregate concrete. Use a sprayer for even application that won’t pick up dirt when you’re applying on outdoor surfaces with joints like pavers, clay bricks, flagstone, or slate.
RadonSeal Plus – Deep-Penetrating Concrete Sealer
Designed as a sealant to protect homes against radon, the RadonSeal Plus is a deep-penetrating concrete sealer that will strengthen and preserve your concrete driveway.
The water-based formula is eco-friendly, with low VOC and no odors. It’s non-hazardous, non-toxic, and non-flammable, making it perfectly safe for everyone, including pets, children, and plants. By making your concrete water-resistant, it also protects against mold, mildew, and fungi.
One of the deepest penetrating driveway sealers available, RadonSeal Plus, works on old and new concrete to seal the pores in your concrete. It penetrates up to four inches deep, hardens, and densifies your concrete to help it withstand hydrostatic pressure.
Best Garage Floor Concrete Sealers
Like driveways, garage floors take a lot of abuse. To find the best concrete floor sealers for garages, choose one specifically formulated for use on floors. Many of the best concrete sealers are intended for use on other surfaces.
Rust-Oleum EpoxyShield – Garage Floor Coating Kit
Rust-Oleum’s EpoxyShield garage floor coating kit is 5 times stronger than one-part epoxy coatings. The no-peel promise this product’s manufacturer provides is made possible with the 2-part epoxy burst pouch technology that makes mixing and applying easier than ever.
EpoxyShield provides a glossy finish that offers protection against all of the hazards you’ll find in a typical garage, including chemical spills like oil, antifreeze, and gasoline. You can also add decorative chips to improve the appearance.
There are two sizes of Rust-Oleum EpoxyShield available. The 1-car garage kit covers up to 250 square feet, and the 2.5-car kit covers up to 500 square feet.
SEAL-KRETE Epoxy-Seal – Concrete and Garage Floor Paint
Choose Seal-Krete’s Epoxy-Seal, a ready-to-use acrylic epoxy, for a low VOC alternative to solvent-based epoxies. Ideal for both indoor and outdoor concrete surfaces, Seal-Krete specifically designed this for use on garage floors and driveways. It lets you use the same product on both surfaces.
Seal-Krete Epoxy-Seal is an armor-gray color that dries to the touch in less than two hours, making it one of the easiest concrete sealers to apply. The attractive satin finish protects against stains and works on any previously sealed concrete surface.
Valspar Wet Look High Gloss Sealer
Valspar Wet Look High Gloss Sealer is a top choice to waterproof and protect all types of concrete, aggregates, bricks, and pavers. It provides superior resistance to chemicals and salt, including gasoline, and is specially formulated to prevent peeling and yellowing.
This 100% acrylic water-based gloss sealer is easy to apply, clean up and dries to the touch in 2 hours. It can be used on all concrete surfaces, including garage floors, as well as bricks, pavers, and tiles.
Before using Valspar Wet Look High Gloss Sealer, prepare the surface with Valspar’s Fast Prep Cleaner, which is easy to apply with a one-gallon pump sprayer.
Benefits of Using Concrete Sealers
Concrete sealers offer numerous benefits to improve the appearance and durability of your project. Learn more about the benefits of using concrete sealers.
Protection against Stains
One of the most popular reasons to seal concrete is to improve its appearance and keep it from staining. Because concrete is a porous material, it gets stained by many substances, including grass, leaves, oil, and dirt. Even spilling a glass of wine on your concrete can stain it unless it’s properly sealed.
Water is one of the biggest enemies of concrete because it enters the pores and then freezes and thaws. With the right concrete sealer, you can make your concrete surfaces more impervious to water, which will reduce the amount of damage caused by water.
Concrete is strong, but it’s really only held together by chemical bonds, which can weaken over time. UV rays break the chemical bonds in concrete and weaken the polymers that hold it together. A good concrete sealer will provide a layer of protection between the damaging rays of the sun and your concrete.
Concrete sealers can make dull concrete look beautiful by protecting your concrete surfaces from damage and staining. You can also choose colored concrete sealers to enhance the look of your surfaces.
Durability and Longevity
Concrete is a durable material, but it won’t last forever. Protecting it with a sealer ensures that your concrete surface will last longer and be protected against damage caused by temperature changes, tools, de-icing products, corrosion, and heavy vehicles.
Frequently Asked Questions About Concrete Sealers
Why should I use a concrete sealer?
Concrete lasts a long time and will last longer and look better with a concrete sealer. Sealing concrete protects it from damage, water, UV rays, and stains while enhancing its appearance.
When is the best time to apply a concrete sealer?
The best time to apply concrete sealer depends on where you live. The best time to seal concrete in the southern United States is from late fall to early spring, while summer and fall are the best time to apply concrete sealer in the north. You should always use the 50°F (10°C) rule when applying concrete, and never apply it in temperatures below that. The best time of day to seal concrete is late afternoon or early evening.
And, of course, sealing concrete prior to moving into a new home always makes more sense to us verses having to move everything out to do the job!
How long does a concrete sealer last?
Different types of concrete sealers have various longevities. Acrylic concrete sealers usually last about 1 to 3 years, while epoxy and urethane coatings last 5 to 10 years. Many types of penetrating concrete sealers last as long as the concrete does.
How do I prepare the concrete surface before applying a sealer?
Concrete is a porous material. You must clean as many trapped particles and stains as possible before sealing it. Remove the oil, grease, dirt, and stains, and strip the existing sealer if you have one. Then, open up the pores of the concrete with an etching solution so it will absorb the new sealer. Apply at least two thin coatings, letting the sealer dry completely between layers.
Can concrete sealers be applied to colored or stamped concrete?
Colored or stamped concrete is designed to be sealed because it enhances the appearance, enriches the color, and protects the durability and longevity of the concrete. There are many different types of colored concrete sealers, so be sure you know the advantages and disadvantages of each one and apply them according to the manufacturer’s directions.