The Concrete Network

Polyurethanes sealers are nearly twice as thick as an acrylic sealer and form a high-build protective film on the concrete surface that provides excellent resistance to abrasion and chemicals. They are available in water- and solvent-based versions and a range of sheen levels. They can be used on both interior and exterior concrete to impart a transparent, non-yellowing, highly durable finish.

Applications

Typical applications for polyurethane sealers include:

  • Floors in high-traffic areas, to provide good resistance to scuffs and staining
  • To enhance the beauty of colored, stamped or exposed-aggregate concrete
  • Concrete countertops

Most polyurethanes are moisture intolerant until they cure, so they should not be applied to surfaces if any water is present. A chemical reaction will occur that results in foaming and bubbling. They also don't allow for moisture vapor to move out of the concrete, which could present problems on some exterior concrete surfaces, such as driveways.

How to apply

Polyurethane sealers require more care when applying compared with single-component sealers, such as acrylics. Avoid applying water-based polyurethanes with a garden-type pump-up sprayer, since they don't reach the level of pressure needed to achieve a thin, even spray pattern. Instead, use a low-volume, high-pressure airless sprayer. Polyurethanes can also be applied with a micro-fiber mop, using a push-and-pull motion to get thin, even coverage.

Related resources

Choosing the Best Applicator for Concrete Sealer

Advice on Choosing and Applying Sealers

Polyurethane Reacts with Water

Causes of Bubbles in Polyurethane Sealer


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