Sealing concrete floors: a step-by-step guide
Difficulty: Medium | Costs for 20m²: approx. 100-150 euros | Workload for 20m²: approx. 10 hours
1. Why seal concrete floors?
Concrete floors are widely used in industrial, commercial and residential areas. They offer many advantages, including robustness, durability and easy maintenance. However, these are also prone to wear and tear and can become damaged over time. In order to prolong the life of a concrete floor and maintain its appearance, it is important to seal it. A seal protects the floor from moisture, chemicals, dirt and abrasion and makes cleaning and care easier.
2. Types of sealing
There are several types of concrete floor sealers to choose from depending on your needs and budget:
2.1 Epoxy resin
Epoxy resins are one of the most common finishes for concrete floors. They are very resistant to chemicals, abrasion and moisture and are particularly suitable for industrial and commercial areas. They have a high adhesive strength and form a glossy, easy-to-clean surface.
Polyurethane sealers are more flexible than epoxies and offer greater resistance to UV light, scratches and abrasion. They are particularly suitable for outdoor areas and floors subject to heavy wear, such as garages or workshops.
Acrylic sealers are a cheaper alternative and are easier to apply. However, they offer less protection than epoxy resin or polyurethane and therefore need to be renewed more frequently.
3. Concrete floor preparation
Before the concrete floor can be sealed, it must be thoroughly prepared:
Remove dirt, dust, grease, and other contaminants from the surface of the concrete floor using a pressure washer or a scrubbing brush and a suitable detergent. For stubborn stains, special cleaning agents or grinding machines with grinding pads can be used. Should it
3.2 Repair of cracks
Inspect the concrete floor for cracks or damage and repair with a suitable repair mortar or filler. Allow the repair areas to dry completely before proceeding.
A primer can improve the adhesion of the seal and reduce the absorbency of the concrete floor. Apply the primer evenly with a roller or brush and allow to dry according to the manufacturer's instructions.
4. Application of the seal
4.1 Application of the sealant
Apply your chosen sealant evenly to the prepared concrete floor using a roller, brush, or spray gun. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions closely and adhere to the recommended film thickness.
4.2 Use of Tools
With some sealing systems it may be necessary to use special tools such as finishing trowels or notched trowels to ensure an even layer thickness and good adhesion.
4.3 Drying Time
The drying time varies depending on the type of seal and the environmental conditions. Allow the sealer to dry according to the manufacturer's instructions before using the floor again.
5. Care and Maintenance
Regularly clean the sealed concrete floor with a scrubbing brush and a suitable detergent to remove dirt and debris. Do not use harsh chemicals or abrasives as they can damage the seal.
5.2 Protection against damage
Avoid sharp or heavy objects on the sealed concrete floor to prevent scratches and dents. Use protective mats or furniture glides if necessary.
5.3 Periodic Inspection
Regularly inspect the sealed concrete floor for signs of wear or damage, and make repairs or re-seals as necessary.
6. Pros and cons of concrete floor sealing
- Protection from moisture, chemicals and abrasion
- Extended life of the concrete floor
- Improved Appearance
Easier cleaning and care
- Additional costs and labor
- Periodic renewal may be required
- Some sealers can be slippery when wet
7. Conclusion - seal concrete floor
Sealing concrete floors is an effective way to maintain the life and appearance of the floor while increasing protection from moisture, chemicals and abrasion. The right choice of sealant and careful preparation and application are crucial for an optimal result. Regular care and maintenance can extend the life of the finish, keeping the concrete floor in good condition for many years. For more useful tips on how to work on concrete floors , take a look at our guide "Grinding concrete"!
8. Sealing concrete floors - questions and answers
8.1 Which sealer is best for my concrete floor?
Choosing the right concrete sealer depends on the requirements and the budget. Epoxy resins offer high durability and are ideal for industrial and commercial areas, while polyurethane sealers are more flexible and better suited to floors subject to heavy traffic. Acrylic sealers are a cheaper option but offer less protection.
8.2 How often should I seal my concrete floor?
The frequency of sealing depends on the type of sealant and the stresses the floor is subjected to. In general, epoxy and polyurethane sealers should be renewed every 5 to 10 years, while acrylic sealers should be renewed every 2 to 5 years.
8.3 Can I seal my concrete floor myself or should I hire a professional?
Sealing a concrete floor requires some knowledge and skills. If you're handy and have the right tools, you can do the work yourself. Otherwise, it is advisable to hire a professional to ensure the best result.
8.4 How long does it take for the seal to dry and for me to be able to use the floor again?
The drying time varies depending on the type of seal and the environmental conditions. In general, the floor should be ready to use again after 24 to 48 hours, but it is important to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully.
8.5 How can I prevent the sealant from becoming slippery when wet?
Some sealers can be slippery when wet. To prevent this, you can add an anti-slip additive to the sealant during application or choose a special non-slip sealant.