Acrylic sealers require a very thin coating to be applied and they dry very quickly when applied. Acrylic concrete sealers are perfect for projects where ease of application, as well as affordability, are the main criteria for the selection of the concrete sealer.
This type of sealer is suitable for both interior and exterior use and form a protective film that offers protection against the intrusion of water and chloride, while allowing the moisture in the concrete surface to escape, which makes these sealers ideal for use around the pool areas. Acrylic sealers are resistant to UV rays and are non-yellowing.
Acrylic sealers are available in two types of formulations: water- and solvent-based. The main difference between the water- and solvent-based versions is the sheen, VOC content, and life of the product. Typically, solvent-based acrylic sealers have a higher VOC content and solvent odors; however, they have a higher gloss and last longer compared to the water-based sealers. Also, if you are sealing exterior concrete surfaces, then solvent-based acrylic concrete sealers are stronger.
While solvent-based acrylic sealers may be an excellent option for decorative and exterior concrete and add a beautiful shine and glossy finish, acrylic concrete sealers can also make the concrete surfaces quite slippery if used on surfaces like pool decks. So, you may have to use the concrete sealer along with anti-slip additives.
The other option to avoid a high-gloss slippery surface is to opt for a water-based acrylic sealer. While the water-based concrete sealer may require to be reapplied frequently, they usually meet the VOC regulations. Water-based sealers give a satin or matte sheen.
Acrylic sealers are available in a wide range of sheen levels and can be used to augment the beauty of stamped, colored, and exposed aggregate concrete. However, compared to penetrating sealer, they wear out faster, requiring reapplication much sooner, especially if they are exposed to de-icing salts, in which case you may have to apply the sealer every year.
Because they require constant reapplication, in the long run, acrylic sealers tend to cost more. Typically, the lifetime of water-based acrylic sealer is around 1 to 3 years and solvent-based acrylic sealers last for around 2 to 5 years before requiring reapplication.
Acrylic concrete sealer uses include:
You can apply an acrylic concrete sealer by using a sprayer or a roller. However, to prevent fracturing, you must apply it in very thin coats. The total thickness should be only around 1–2 mils, even with two coats of the sealer. Acrylic sealers are usually thinner than epoxy and polyurethane sealers, so they tend to wear away faster and need to be reapplied more often.
For outdoor concrete surfaces, using a solvent-based acrylic sealer is better than water-based ones, as this helps to enhance the color better than the water-based concrete sealers. When using acrylic sealers on indoor surfaces, they need to be maintained regularly by using wax or sacrificial floor finish to prevent heel marks and wear.