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Selecting the Proper Coating

Daliah Okoro
May 22, 2015

Concrete is often an affordable option when it comes to outdoor decks, which is why it is one of the more popular choices. However, even though concrete is easy to lay and is cheap, it is porous in structure and therefore tends to crack, chip off, or dust is created with constant wear and abuse. With the constant traffic that floors receive, especially outdoor decks, it can be expected that a cement deck will eventually need to be repaired. While this is not very expensive to do, consider treating your concrete deck with special coatings before any damage has been done to lengthen the life of your deck. 

There are a number of different types of coating to choose from so the first step after having made the decision to coat your deck, is to choose which sealant you will go with. Here are some things to consider. What are your expectations for the coating? Do you want low maintenance, ease of application, or increased durability? What is your overall capacity for maintenance? Do you mind periodic recoating and/or cleaning? Or would you rather apply it once and forget about it? With new technologies, you can even choose from colored sealers. Do you want a clear coating so that it will look like original concrete? Or do you want to add a different color to the cement that will make it deeper or richer? Is it safe? Answering these questions can help narrow down the search for your ideal sealer. 

Other options to consider are the specific characteristics of the different types of sealers that are made, as there are various types of sealers made for residential or commercial use for example. Water-based acrylic sealers tend to be very easy to apply and they dry quickly. They have a clear coating that is good for anyone hoping to retain the original look and are ideal for driveways, pool decks, and patios. However, these coats tend to have a shorter lifespan than others. Solvent-based acrylic sealers are also easy to apply, fast to dry, as well as providing stain resistance, enhanced color and a deep transparent finish. However, it sometimes yellows over time or bubbles when applied to concrete with high temperatures. Silane/siloxane penetrating sealers are great if you are looking for water resistant concrete. It includes protection from efflorescence, salt, and freeze-thaw cycles. However, this sealer is less resistant to chemicals and there is no color enhancement to the concrete.