Protecting Polished Concrete Floors with Sealers

Stain protectors, guards and sealers are vital for ongoing polished concrete floor maintenance.
The final step in the concrete polishing process involves the application of a stain
protector. Stain protection is vital to the long term aesthetics of polished concrete, providing protection from discoloring penetrating stains and chemical etches. There are three main categories of stain protectors for polished concrete; penetrating, semi-penetrating guards and topical sealers. Each has its own features and benefits and its own required upkeep schedule.
3 Types of Polished Concrete Sealers

  1. Penetrating sealers: Made from a variety of silicones (silane, siloxane, silicate and siliconate) that penetrate deep into the surface. By sealing the access channels into the interior of the concrete, they shield against infiltration of liquids. Because they allow the concrete to breathe, these products are a good option for outdoor surfaces. Ideal for industrial facilities that want to avoid frequent applications, they provide invisible protection to the flooring. Since these sealers are not a topical layer, they do not alter the surface appearance by creating additional gloss or sheen and they also are not subject to being abraded away by foot traffic. However, they can breakdown over time and will need reapplication periodically. Use a sprayer and microfiber to apply this type of sealer.
  2. Semi-penetrating sealers: Often known as guard products, these have a topical aspect that will increase a floor’s surface sheen while also providing stain resistance and repelling water. Ideal for both indoor and outdoor concrete, these sealers (applied with a sprayer and microfiber) wear faster than polyurethanes and epoxies and need to be re-applied depending on the amount of foot traffic.
  3. Topical sealers: Give the concrete a high glossy shine while forming a protective film on the surface, like polyurethane and epoxy. They are economical and easy to apply by spray or roller. These sealants repel water and provide a durable chemical and abrasive resistant surface. Ideal for retail spaces where the vibrant color and high sheen of the flooring is an essential part of the design. They need to be re-applied periodically due to traffic wear and some may yellow due to UV exposure. Regular maintenance to prevent stains and scuffs is required to keep the surface looking its best.

Regular Maintenance
The type of sealer you select determines the frequency and extent of routine maintenance. For industrial floors, penetrating stain protectors offer better protection and liquid repellency than topical sealers. Because they are not a coating like topical products, stains and spills need to be removed promptly to prevent damage. Diamond impregnated pads can be used to mechanically clean and maintain floors. They come in a variety of grits for a variety of needs.
Use Diamond Pads to:

  • enhance the natural gloss and shine
  • deep scrub or strip a floor before recoating
  • repair damage from stains and etching
  • apply a light honing
  • prepare a floor for sealer application

If you over-apply a sealer and need to remove a leftover haze or film, you can burnish with a high grit polishing pad to enhance gloss after reapplying the sealer or guard. Use a diamond impregnated pad in conjunction with a burnisher to eliminate the excess.
Runyon Surface Prep Rental & Supply is a full-service sales and rental facility uniquely dedicated to the concrete polishing industry. Our uniqueness comes from providing our customers with a diverse equipment, product and supply portfolio. We offer training and support, such as technique workshops on prep, polishing or removal, and maintain a well-stocked inventory of consumables ready for your projects at a moment’s notice. Rather than perform contract work ourselves, we consult on job sites when necessary. With the backing of our vendors, Runyon Surface Prep offers support at any level, to assist in helping you get things done. We can deliver or ship wherever you need, or you can pick up from our facility.