22 March 2016

Industrial concrete floor sealant – why flooring contractors need to use it

If you’re an industrial flooring contractor, you may be one of the many which already use a concrete floor sealant – perhaps for a factory or warehouse.

If you’re a building owner, you may be wondering why your flooring contractor is applying a concrete floor sealant and what it will mean for the durability of your floor.

This article explains why a sealant is necessary, and the differences between the sealants Rocland supplies for industrial use.

Why use a concrete floor sealant?

A concrete floor sealant creates a protective coating on the surface of the floor. This means that the floor is less likely to be damaged or contaminated by spillages (including grease, oil and acid-based chemicals).
A sealant creates a smoother surface than if the floor were left unsealed, which means the floor is easier to keep clean.
Aesthetically there are benefits too, as a sealant can prevent lime and alkali leachate from the concrete, and also efflorescence, which can leave unsightly marks on the surface of the slab.
Naturally, there is a cost to adding a sealant, both in terms of time spent by the contractor on site and the cost of the sealant itself. But building owners will benefit from a longer-lasting floor which is easier to maintain. For those who want to protect their building and reduce future maintenance costs, it’s a worthwhile investment.

How do concrete floor sealants work?

Some sealants sit on the floor’s surface as a protective coating (eg, our Roc Seal) – but others do much more.
Sealants such as our Roc Seal Premium are chemical products which are designed to react with ‘free lime’ present in fresh concrete, which would otherwise contribute to surface cracking.
Controlling free lime allows the other silicates in the concrete mix to build strength in the concrete. Hence a sealant does not only protect the floor’s surface, it is also beneficial for the strength of the concrete.

When should a concrete floor sealant be applied?

Whenever a fresh industrial concrete floor is poured, it is wise to protect it from the start by applying a sealant.
However, an older floor can be refreshed and protected by applying a concrete floor sealant. Ensure it is thoroughly clean and sound first.

What types of concrete floor sealants are there?

This article from The Concrete Network gives a good overview of the four types of sealants commonly used – penetrating sealers, acrylics, polyurethanes and epoxies.
• Our Roc Seal is an acrylic based sealant which can be used for both curing and sealing a new concrete floor, and is the best choice for reviving an old concrete floor. It’s suitable for internal use only.
• Our Roc Seal Premium is a penetrating sealant, which can be used both internally and externally. It can be used for concrete curing and sealing combined, or just for sealing.
We are always happy to advise on which product may be most suitable for your application.

Should you ‘cure and seal’, or just seal a concrete floor?

Curing and sealing are different processes, although sometimes one product can do both. Roc Seal and Roc Seal Premium are combined curing agents and concrete floor sealants.

You can find out more about concrete curing agents in our article, Concrete Curing Agents – What They Do, And How To Choose The Right One.