Springtime is here! This means it is time to start thinking about that new stamped patio you’ve always wanted, or that old driveway that needs some “tender loving care”. Either way, there is one important decision to make and that is whether to use a water-based or solvent-based sealer. Here are 5 reasons why you should consider using a water-based sealer on your next project:
1: Water-based sealers do not release any harmful vapors into the air
Water-based sealers have a lower level of VOC (volatile organic compounds) content than a typical solvent-based sealer. This means it is less harmful to the person using the product, as well as the environment. This makes water-based sealers the “go-to” choice, especially when your project requires the use of a sealer in an enclosed space.
2: Water-based sealers can be more cost-effective to apply
Not only are water-based sealers more affordable to purchase, but they are also more cost-effective to apply. Unlike solvent-based sealers, water-based products can be applied with a cheap plastic sprayer or even a short nap paint roller. This eliminates the need to purchase an expensive metal sprayer with chemical resistant gaskets that you might not ever use again.
3: Water-based sealers are easy to use when applied correctly, and reduce or eliminate some of the most common sealer problems
“How easy?” you might ask; as long as you stick to the recommended coverage rates given by the manufacturer and follow any weather restrictions for application (generally a temperature above 50° f and no excessive moisture for 24 hours is ideal), you can eliminate many common sealer problems including bubbling, chipping, and roller marks (it is always recommended to back roll any roller marks anyway). Also, water-based sealers will not flash dry on a warm day, which is a common cause of surface imperfections with solvent-based sealers.
4: Water-based sealers give a more natural appearance by not darkening the concrete as much as a solvent-based sealer
Solvent-based sealers will generally darken your concrete more than a water-based sealer. This can be ideal when you have a decorative effect you are trying to achieve, but water-based sealers can give a more natural appearance to your concrete. This is ideal when working with uncolored gray concrete. However, certain water-based sealers, like Euclid Chemical’s Everclear Vox are perfect for any application, both decorative and non-decorative. Water-based sealers like Everclear Vox darken the concrete enough to enhance any added color, but not enough to give it a full-on wet look, thus creating a subtle, natural finish.
5: Water-based sealers are available in both high gloss and matte finishes
Water-based sealers are made up of polymers (solids) suspended in a water solution. As the sealer is spread, the water starts to evaporate, and the polymers start to change shape and fuse together. This process forms a continuous transparent coating. This coating is not only what protects the concrete, but also what gives it its shine or gloss. Water-based sealers are available in a range of finishes, from matte to high gloss, whereas solvent-based sealers are usually glossier in appearance. No matter what aesthetic you choose, there is a water-based sealer out there for you.
With a wide variety of sealers in stock, and the ability to procure many more through our partnership with the Euclid Chemical Company, here at Consumers Builders Supply, we can provide you with the right sealer for your project.