How Do You Fix Cloudy Concrete Sealer? 

 July 23, 2023

By  Dale Keese

There are several issues that can occur when it comes to applying concrete sealers. Often, concrete sealers tend to turn cloudy, white, develop blotches and blisters and become wet. How, then, do you fix cloudy concrete sealers?

In order to fix cloudy concrete sealer, you will need to either apply a new coat or use chemicals such as acetone or xylene plus a cloth or brush. The method you'll need to use does depend on whether the concrete sealer is water based, solvent based or stamped.

There are, of course, several steps and nuances involved when it comes to actually carrying out these processes. You can read through the following sections to find out more about this.

How to Fix Cloudy Concrete Sealer

Fixing cloudy concrete sealer involves several methods that you can successfully use. However, this tends to depend on what kind of concrete sealer was used in the first place. Whether you used a water-based, solvent-based or stamped concrete sealer, you will need to follow slightly different methods to solve the issue.

Let’s take a look at these solutions.

Water Based Concrete Sealer

If you used a water-based concrete sealer, there might be cloudiness and whiteness due to excess moisture in the air or extreme temperatures. In order to fix a water-based concrete sealer, you can use the following methods:

  • You can use a chemical called acetone to fix the issue if you applied the sealer within the last couple of days. By applying the acetone using a cloth and brush, you will be able to remove the moisture trapped inside the sealer. Once this is done, scrub off the acetone thoroughly and reapply the sealer.
  • Xylene is a stronger chemical that you can use. If the sealer was applied within the last two days, you can spray it onto the sealer and remove the moisture. If the sealer was applied before that, you can scrub off the sealer, remove it and reapply it once the xylene is taken off.
  • You can use water to apply pressure on the sealer and remove the moisture as long as the sealer has not dried up completely.
  • You can apply a resealer on the sealer to fix the issue.
  • If the water-based concrete sealer is already completely dry, you will have to strip off and remove it completely before reapplying.

Solvent Based Concrete Sealer

For solvent-based concrete sealers, you will notice issues like cloudiness as well as potential bubbles on them. There are a few solutions to these issues:

  • You can use acetone or xylene at any point on the solvent-based concrete sealer. You should apply either of these using a brush or by spraying directly onto the sealer. This will allow the moisture trapped in it to remove itself. You must then remove these chemicals thoroughly before reapplying the sealer.
  • You can simply reapply the sealer in case of bubbles as long as the weather is cool enough.
  • If the sealer is not yet cured or dry, you can use a blower to fix the problem.
  • You can apply a resealer to the sealer in order to get rid of the cloudiness by enhancing the solvent-based sealer.
  • In case these methods do not work, the only other thing you can do is to strip off the sealer fully before reapplying it.

Stamped Concrete Sealer Cloudy

There are several reasons that could make a stamped concrete sealer cloudy. Depending on the reason, you can fix the issues in a few different ways.

  • If there is trapped sand inside the stamped concrete sealer, you will need to remove the sealer completely, use white vinegar to get rid of the sand and then reapply the sealer carefully.
  • If you want to remove moisture, you can use xylene by spraying it onto the sealer and getting rid of the excess moisture. This should be able to fix the cloudy appearance of the sealer.
  • You can make use of an efflorescence cleaner if the sealer is not fully dry. This will remove the salts from the sealer. You can also use water with some hydrochloride.
  • If nothing works, the best solution would be to strip the sealer off completely and then reapply it with more care.

Causes of Cloudy Concrete Sealers

Cloudy concrete sealers might occur due to various causes. Let’s take a look at some of these in this section.

  • If you applied the sealer when the temperature outside was extremely hot or cold, it might have resulted in a cloudy appearance. Sealers, especially water-based ones, generally require suitable temperatures to work effectively.
  • Excess levels of humidity in the air due to the climate, rain, dew or fog might cause moisture to get trapped inside the sealer while it is still a bit wet. This means that when it dries up, the moisture will remain inside it.
  • Before applying a new layer or coat of sealer, you must ensure that the older coat has fully dried up. If not, it could trap the moisture in.
  • Applying an uneven and excessive amount of coating can also cause this cloudiness.
  • If the sealer you used is of low quality, it can end up making the surface cloudy.
  • Salts or sand might also get trapped inside the sealer.
  • Your concrete sealer might have some adhesive issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is My Concrete Sealer Blotchy?

Your concrete sealer might appear blotchy, rough and irregular if you applied the sealer on concrete that was not yet fully dry. Newly applied concrete tends to be acidic in nature. For this reason, the sealer you apply must be compatible with it otherwise it might become uneven.

If you applied the concrete sealer excessively or roughly, it could cause blotches as well.

In order to fix this issue, you can simply apply xylene to the sealer and use a brush or cloth to even everything out. This will work for solvent-based sealers at any time but for water-based ones only within the first two days of application. Beyond two days, you will need to strip the sealer off fully.

Why Does Stamped Concrete Turn White?

Stamped concrete can turn white due to a multitude of reasons. These include the following.

  • If the sealer that you applied on the stamped concrete is not of high quality, your concrete will become white. You can only fix this by removing the sealer completely.
  • If moisture becomes trapped inside the sealer, it can turn white since concrete tends to be highly permeable. If you apply the sealer when the stamped concrete is still a bit moist or if the air is humid, this could become a potential reason for the whiteness.
  • Salts from the concrete can make their way up and make the surface white especially if you have already applied the sealer.
  • If you have sand layers in your stamped concrete, they can create a white appearance on the concrete after sealing it up.

What Happens If Concrete Sealer Gets Wet?

If the concrete sealer gets wet before it is completely dry, then it can cause the sealer to become white and cloudy. It could also lead to flakes occurring on the sealer. In this case, you can either try to use acetone or xylene to fix the issue or you can strip it off fully.

If the water level is too high (for instance, when it is raining), then it is also possible for your moist concrete sealer to completely wash off the concrete since it is not yet dry or cured enough to stay in place.

In order to avoid this, you must make it a point to only apply sealer when the weather outside is favorable enough.

What If My Sealer Turns Yellow In Color?

There are several sealers that might not be resistant to the strong ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. As a result of this, they might become yellow in color due to the continuous presence of these rays.

The only way that you can fix this issue is by stripping the sealer off or waiting for it to come off on its own. You can then apply a sealer of better quality.

About the author

Hey, I'm Dale Keese.. thanks for reading.. hopefully this article can save you some time and trouble with your sealing job. I'm also in the process of making some video walk-throughs for youtube so check back soon! thanks

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