The First Step to Sealing Concrete
The first step when you are looking to seal a concrete floor is preparation. If you fail to prepare correctly the sealer will fail, it may fail in a very short period of time or it may last a little longer but it will inevitably will fail. The Surface should be clean, unpainted and free from oil, grease, dirt and flaking matter. Formwork oils must be removed. If it is an old concrete surface remove all traces of mould, algae and fungi with BLEACH and rinse. To complete this may mean you need to grid the concrete to get it back to a good base ready for sealing. Sweep floor to remove dust and debris.
Existing terrazzo should be fully stripped of any current sealers and rinsed prior to new sealing.
Allow all new concrete to cure for at least 28 days before sealing. On old concrete, remove all traces of mould, algae and fungi with BLEACH and rinse.
Floors must be totally dry before applying the concrete sealer. This is very important to ensure good adhesion and clarity. If the floor is damp, the film may dry with a milky, hazy appearance. Also, the
sealer may fail to bond properly to the floor.
It is important before you apply your first brush to the floor to plan your coating. You dont want to walk over the surface whilst wet so how to you get out? Look for the furthest point from your exit and start there. If you have multiple rooms look at how you can do them systematically which will reduce lines starting to dry and causing cold joints.
Apply your concrete sealer using a brush, short nap roller, paint pad, low pressure sprayer, polish applicator or a string mop. Every sealer will have a different recommendation so please follow manufacturers instructions. Do not pour sealer directly onto concrete, it is best to work in small areas from a paint tray or bucket. Application like this will try
to prevent too much sealer being applied in one spot over another. A polish applicator may be used on terrazzo and vinyl. Give floor a generous coating, but avoid puddling. The porosity of the floor will determine the actual coverage rate. Try to avoid generating bubbles. If bubbles are left, they must be broken before the sealer dries by dragging a clean, soft brush or broom across the wet film.
The time to the second coat is different for each type of sealer. All sealers have a coating window, which means the time frame between coatings. If you go outside this window you run the risk of the coats not binding together and de-laminating. Once you have applied the second coat the procedure is the same for all subsequent coats.
Now some concrete sealers are designed for rapid curing and you can have light traffic on them within a few hours of the sealer being installed. Most need around 24 hours and a large majority require 7 days to reach their full cure.
Do not apply to very cold floors (10ºC or less).
Do not add water to this product.
How long will they last?
How long is a piece of string??? Honestly every single floor is different and the major factor that contributes to how long a floor lasts is how clean you keep it and how you clean it. Sweep every day dirt and sand will wear away the floor. Always use recommended products for that sealer most of the time its PH neutral such as PH-7 but every sealer has its own recommendations.
For a range of floor sealers available at OCS Online Cleaning Supplies please visit our Shop or if you need to speak to someone about you job Contact Jamie and Jess they are happy to answer your questions.