As the owner of a new or used vehicle, you know waxing helps protect the body from scratches, discoloration, and more. Inside, cloth or leather protector keeps the seats in pristine condition. The same goes for decorative concrete. Once applied, it is essential for the installer to use interior or exterior sealers.
One of the most important things to understand is that not all installers or products are the same. Just as with a decorative concrete coating, you want to hire someone with experience and expertise in working with interior and exterior sealers. That individual should also use the best quality product available. If not applied correctly or if the expert uses the wrong sealer, the surface could prematurely deteriorate or the surface could be ruined.
Also, there are distinct differences between interior and exterior sealers. For instance, the two types include topical acrylic sealers and deep penetrating sealers. While an acrylic product acts similarly to a raincoat in that it provides a water-resistant barrier, a penetrating sealer reacts with chemical compounds in the concrete as it seeps through the pores to become a permanent component within the concrete itself. Because of this, experts often use acrylic for indoor applications and penetrating sealers outdoors, although many acrylic sealers also work outdoors.
However, the location and the look of the concrete plays a role in which type of sealer an installer uses. As an example, if you own a public laundry mat, the risk of sitting water damage is much greater than inside a residential home. In this case, you might want a penetrating sealer that does not scratch or get damaged from dragging equipment and carts on it but yet will keep the moisture from absorbing into the floor.
Something else to note is you need to have realistic expectations. Although you can choose a colored or tinted sealer to enhance the appearance of a driveway, walkway, patio, pool deck, or floor, neither interior or exterior sealers eliminate surface imperfections. Decorative concrete overlays can cover up and mask slight damage, but the sealer alone simply acts as a protective barrier and will not repair or fix damaged concrete.
Whether you have a new concrete surface installed or an existing one enhanced with a decorative concrete overlay, stain, or other finish, the installer’s work is not complete until after applying a sealer that will protect the surface from day to day use as well as make it maintainable as it does wear.