What happens to concrete with a failing sealer or no sealer at all?
A good protective coating over your concrete surface is essential to the prevention of erosion, corrosion and heavy wear. Bare concrete is vulnerable to chemical attack from food acids such as lime or vinegar. These acids react with the cement paste causing white colored stains and corrosive etches. Concrete is porous and oils can penetrate deep into it causing dark stains and irreversible and damage.
Without a good high performance sealer, erosion and surface wear in high traffic zones will be a problem. The areas where a cutting board is dragged around or where lots of wiping with a sponge occurs are the zones where we see surface breakdown, pitting, sand and aggregate exposure, and roughness. Grunge starts to grow in the pores and it becomes impossible to clean and disinfect these areas.
If you have concrete it must have a protective coating and that coating will need maintenance over time. This is the only way to guarantee that over the years your concrete will have lasting beauty and functionality.
Important criteria when choosing the best sealer for the job:
*Sealer looks natural and doesn’t detract from the concrete.
*Resists stains and oils
*Resists damage from heat.
*Food safe (non-toxic).
*Does not peel, chip or bubble
*Easy to repair
We primarily use two different types of sealers:
Our standard sealer is XS-327, a water based Polyurethane.
This sealer has a natural look in a matte or satin finish. It has excellent stain resistance and can withstand up to 300-degree temperatures. It is food safe. It is UV resistant and will not peel, chip or bubble. It is rated for indoor or outdoor use. High traffic areas will wear down and will need to be touched up every 3 to 5 years.
We also use StoneLok, a two-component system of water based epoxy and polyurethane. This sealer comes in matte, semi-gloss and high-gloss. It has superior stain resistance. It is not rated for outdoor use. It can scratch from heavy use but repairs are possible.
Different Types of Concrete We Encounter:
Poured in Place/Trowelled finish
What can I expect with my newly restored countertops?
Much of the wear and tear that concrete countertops are prone to can be corrected with the restoration process. Pitting, stains, cracks, and thinning or pealing sealers are a few of the common problems that can be addressed. Most newly restored counters have a greatly improved look with richer color and a more even appearance. Stains will be minimized, surfaces will have an overall cleaned up appearance, stain resistance will be improved and finish will be longer lasting. Average life expectancy of the finish is 3 to 5 years provided the Care & Maintenance instructions are followed. Most projects come with a 1-year warranty.