How long a concrete sealers lasts is dependent on the type of concrete sealers used, how the concrete sealer was applied, and the conditions in which the concrete sealer was expected to perform.
How Long Do Sealers Last?
- Silicate Concrete Sealers: Silicate concrete sealers last a lifetime. The calcium silicate hydrate barrier formed from the chemical reaction will never break down and can only be removed if the concrete itself is removed.
- Silane Siloxane Water Repellent Sealers: Silane-Siloxane water repellent sealers last 7-10 years. The “bead” will go away anywhere from 2-12 months, but the sealer will continue to work within the pores for up to 10 years.
- Siliconate Water Repellent Sealers: Siliconate water repellent sealers last 7-10 years. The “bead” will go away anywhere from 2-12 months, but the sealer will continue to work within the pores for up to 10 years.
- Acrylic Concrete Sealers: Acrylic sealers last 1-5 years before they need to be re-coated.
- Epoxy Coatings: Epoxy coatings last 5-10 years before they need to be re-coated.
- Urethane Coatings: Urethane coatings last 5-10 years before they need to be re-coated.
- Paint: There are too many variables to set an estimate on how long paint will last.
What Determines How Long a Sealer Lasts?
There are several factors that determine how long a sealer will last on concrete. If you have any questions about how a product should be applied in order to get the best possible results, refer to the Technical Data Sheet or contact the manufacturer directly.
Some of the factors that determine life include:
- The quality of the product applied. Not all products are created equal. Like with anything else, there is a clear difference in quality from one product to the next. Everything from raw material sourcing to percent solids have an impact on how a product will perform. We have several review articles on Concrete Sealer Reviews that go over this topic in detail.
- The amount of coats applied. Most products require two coats to reach its full life expectancy. If one coat is applied, or if too many coats are applied, the product can fail before the expected life.
- How the product was applied. Some sealers suggest using a sprayer, and others a roller. This is for a specific reason. Penetrating sealers penetrate deeper when applied with a sprayer, and coatings roll on smoother with a roller. If you roll a penetrating sealer on the surface, you aren’t putting down an equal amount of material, the sometimes enough material isn’t applied.
- The current condition of the substrate. If there are issues with the substrate it can shorten the expected life of the sealer. For example, deterioration, old sealer, water or moisture – those can all play into reducing the life of a sealer.
- The environment in which the sealer was applied. If a sealer is applied in the middle of the day when the sun is beating on the surface, the sealer may evaporate to quickly causing issues with both the sealer and the coating. If the sealer was applied immediately after a rain storm, or applied and then it rained, you can have issues with the sealer or coating.
- The suitability for the project. If you apply a urethane or epoxy coating to exterior brick, expet that it will fail. If you apply a silicate sealer to stone, expect to get white crystal formation on the surface. Sealers have very specific uses and applying them outside of their suggested uses can result in sealer or coating failure.
- Not properly prepairing the surface. If you seal or coat concrete that has issues with efflorescnece or mold, those issues won’t just go away. If you apply a sealer over an oil spot, expect that the sealer won’t penetrate. If you apply a urethane coating to a smooth concrete floor, expect that it will peel. It is very important to make sure that the surface has been properly cleaned and prepared.
Watch Out For Warranties
Have you every tried to cash in on a product warranty? If you have every tried you understand it can be quite the long process and in the end, there is usually something that disqualifies you from getting your money back. As consumers we see warranty and think the purchase is safe, but if you read the fine print on the warranty you will find that there is nothing safe about the purchase at all. We have read the fine print on a few product warranties and these are some of the factors we have found that void out the warranty:
- Moisture tests to prove there was no moisture in the concrete during the time of application.
- Photos and videos of the concrete before being sealed, during the sealing process, and after being sealed.
- Photos proving the outside temperature during the application and cure time.
- Proof there wasn’t a rain or snow storm 1-3 days before and after the sealer was applied.
- Proof the concrete was never sealed before.
- Proof you applied the correct amount of material.
- Proof of the square footage.
- Proof you hired a licensed contractor to apply the material and proof that he was qualified to apply it.
If a sealer lasts for 5 years on average but comes with a 10 year warranty, there is a problem. If a product already lasts for a lifetime but comes with a lifetime warranty, there is a problem. If a product only lasts 10 years but comes with a lifetime warranty, there is a problem. Don’t be fooled by false warranties or claims. Do your research and if it doesn’t feel right, it most likely isn’t. It is better to buy from a company that will be upfront about what to expect then to buy from a company that sets false expectations.