Volatile organic compound (VOC) sealers are chemical natured products that have negative impact on our water sources, plant life and all other life forms. We all agree they have to go. Fortunately, more manufacturers are introducing green alternatives for those who value the environment. One example is Pro-Seal Ultra Shield II-A from Pro-Seal Products. This single-component polycarbon/polycarbonate-based sealer contains no solvents or VOCs yet still provides excellent resistance to chemicals, stains and scratching.

The product has very diverse uses—from commercial to industrial to residential projects. It can be used indoors, outdoors and in special-condition environments. It is commonly used on decorative concrete and has been used on concrete countertops for years.

Pro-Seal manufactures around 150 products and systems that are environmentally friendly. "We were green when green wasn't cool," says Pro-Seal's CEO, Tal Brammer.

One of the advantages of Ultra Shield II-A is the strong molecular bond it forms with the concrete. It's made up of extremely small polycarbon/polycarbonate micro-particles that penetrate deeply (up to 1/8 inch) into the concrete surface. "The first coat penetrates the substrate, the second coat bonds to the penetrated coat and so on," says William Kraft, decorative concrete sales manager with Pro-Seal.

As the name "Ultra Shield" implies, the sealer also forms a polycarbon/polycarbonate barrier to stop moisture penetration, helping to protect concrete from freeze-thaw damage and spalling.

It repels stains as well. In stain-resistance tests conducted by The Concrete Countertop Institute, Ultra Shield II-A was one of the top scoring single-component finishes, providing excellent protection against 14 different staining agents after 24 hours of exposure. (See the test results.)

Project Profile

Read about this concrete bench and fire bowl that were sealed with Ultra Shield II-A.

Decorative applications
Although Ultra Shield II-A was originally engineered for use in the heavy industrial and commercial markets, it is gaining big fans in the decorative concrete industry.

Aaron Graybill, principal of Fiddlehead Designs recently used Ultra Shield II-A for this concrete bench and fire bowl. "It provides the best balance between the stain resistance of a topical sealer and the look and feel of a penetrating sealer. It also has zero VOCs and is water-based, which is pretty important to us," says Graybill.

"I have been doing concrete countertops for around 10 years and have tried and tested more sealers than I care to remember," says Tommy Cook of Absolute ConcreteWorks LLC, Seattle (read more about Absolute ConcreteWorks). "The biggest advantage I found with Ultra Shield II-A is its stain and scratch resistance. This makes it an excellent sealer for concrete countertops."

Ultra Shield II-A cures crystal clear and permits finishes ranging from matte to high gloss, depending on the application techniques used. Applicators have used tools ranging from foam to soft rags to rollers, brushes and sprayers to achieve the desired results they are looking for.

"The sealer is easy to apply and very cost-effective, from both a material and labor standpoint," says Kraft. "Users tell us that their final cost ranges from 23 cents to $1 per square foot, depending on number of coats applied." The typical coverage rate is 350 to 900 square feet per gallon, depending on the condition of the substrate.

Ultra Shield II-A cures to the touch in an hour and can be recoated after 2 hours. However, it takes up to 96 hours for the sealer to reach a full cure. It can also be applied over existing coating or sealer systems and is available in custom colors.

Where to get it
Pro-Seal Products Inc.
16541 Redmond Way, Ste. 363C
Redmond, WA 98052
Phone: (800) 349- 7325
Email: information@prosealproducts.com
Website: www.prosealproducts.com

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