What is the Best Concrete Sealer for Patios? A Comprehensive Guide 

 March 22, 2023

By  Dale Keese

You’ve made the decision: you’re going to take on the task of sprucing up the patio. In your quest for the perfect anew look, you’ve discovered that you need to start by properly sealing the concrete. But what, exactly, is the best concrete sealer to achieve the look you desire?

A high-grade, waterproof acrylic sealer is generally considered to be the best type of sealer for concrete patios. Concrete sealers protect and preserve the natural look of the surface while providing superior protection against water damage, staining, and wear.

Don’t worry — you’re not alone. Sealing concrete is a tricky process, and there are many options on the market. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the best concrete sealers on the market, providing you with all that you need to know to find the perfect sealer for your patio. 

Different Types of Concrete Sealers for Patios

When considering a concrete sealer for patios, the most important factor is to pick a product that works best for the job at hand. There is a variety of different types of concrete sealers available on the market, each offering its own benefits and drawbacks. Deciding which one is best for your particular needs can be a difficult task without prior knowledge.

Water-repellent sealers are among the most popular choices when it comes to patio sealing projects. They form an invisible barrier over the surface of the concrete which helps prevent water from getting into cracks and crevices. This can be beneficial in not only weatherproofing but also in preventing mold or algae growth due to excess moisture.

Additionally, some water-repellent sealers contain additives which help to reduce efflorescence as well as make it easier to clean areas that have been sealed. On the downside, this type of sealer will wear away over time and need to be reapplied periodically.

Another commonly used type of concrete sealer is a film-forming sealer, which is usually solids based acrylic with added UV protection. These products generally provide better overall coverage than water repellents and last longer when exposed to direct sunlight, however their thick consistency means they take longer to apply and are much more difficult to remove if necessary. Film forming sealers also tend to make surfaces slick when wet which can be a safety hazard in some situations.

Finally, penetrating sealers offer a great balance between the previously mentioned types of concrete sealers. They go beyond simply providing a protective coating, deeply penetrating deep into concrete while still creating a powerful waterproof barrier at the surface level. Penetrating sealers are usually not as long-lasting as film forming sealers but much easier to apply, often being able to seep into small cracks and crevices on their own due to their thin consistency.

There are several different types of concrete sealers for patios that all offer their own set of benefits and drawbacks depending on individual needs and circumstances. While water repellent, film-forming and penetrating sealers are three of the most common options when it comes to patio sealing jobs there may be other specialty products available depending on the situation at hand.

The next section will explore penetrating sealers in further detail as one of the most popular choices when it comes to outdoor concrete projects.

Penetrating Sealers

Penetrating sealers are a popular choice among concrete homeowners due to their ability to enhance the appearance of the patio while not leaving behind any visible coating. These sealers penetrate into the pores of the concrete and form a moisture barrier that helps protect against water penetration, salt damage, staining, and wear and tear. Penetrating sealers do not alter the look or texture of your patio’s surface, so it is important to make sure you choose one that is high quality and designed for outdoor surfaces like patios.


  • Durable: Penetrating sealers provide long lasting protection against weathering and damage from salt, water, and other elements. 
  • Cost Effective: Penetrating sealers come in a range of prices depending on the brand, size, and type of sealer. Generally they are less expensive than solvent-based sealers. 
  • Low Odor: This type of sealer has a much lower odor than solvent-based sealers so it is often preferred by those who are sensitive to strong smells.


  • Difficult To Apply: Applying penetrating sealers can be more challenging than other types because they need to be worked into the surface of the concrete, meaning you may need to rent special equipment or hire professionals to do the job properly.
  • Poor Stain Protection: While penetrating sealers excel when it comes to protecting against weathering, they do not necessarily protect against oil or grease stains as well as other types of sealers.

Before choosing a penetrating sealer for your patio, consider all factors including cost, ease of application, and level of protection offered by each specific product to determine which one is best for your needs. With that being said, it's time to explore solvent-based sealers as a viable option for protecting your outdoor concrete surface.

Penetrating sealers are a popular choice among concrete homeowners due to their durability, cost-effectiveness and low odor.


However, applying penetrating sealers can be challenging as it requires special equipment and hiring professionals. These sealers offer great protection against water, salt damage and wear & tear but do not protect as well against oil or grease stains as other types of sealers.

When choosing a penetrating sealer for your patio, consider all factors including cost, ease of application, and level of protection in order to determine the best option for your needs.

Solvent-Based Sealers

Solvent-based sealers are popular for outdoor surfaces like patios due to their durability and strong water resistance. When applied to a concrete patio, the solvent interacts with particles of the surface to form a solid film which offers protection from mold, mildew, and other forms of wear and tear. These sealers can also enhance the color of the pre-existing patio and create a glossy, wet look.

While they do come with their own benefits, there are always two sides to every story. One key argument against solvent-based sealers is that they contain VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), which – when inhaled – can be hazardous to humans and animals alike. What’s more, these chemicals emit a strong odor during application that may require occupants to vacate the area until it wears out. That being said, it is important to consider whether solvent-based sealers are safe for your environment before you make any decisions on sealing your patio.

For those who prefer a product made with fewer harsh chemicals and fumes, water-based sealers can offer an alternative solution without sacrificing quality or longevity. In the next section, we will discuss the pros and cons of using a water-based sealer for your patio.

Water-Based Sealers

Water-based sealers are a great option for those looking to protect their patios with minimal hassle and long-term maintenance. These sealers form a breathable barrier that helps repel water and gives a consistent look and color to the patio surface. These sealers are generally easy to apply and highly durable, but there are some drawbacks that must be taken into account when considering this type of sealer.

One advantage of a water-based sealer is that it is affordable compared to other concrete sealers on the market today. It also does not require as much effort to apply, as the sealer can be simply brushed or sprayed onto the patio surface. This makes it especially ideal for inexperienced do-it-yourselfers who don’t want to spend too much time working on their patios.

However, some may argue that water based sealants are less durable than other materials, so they may need to be reapplied more often. Additionally, these sealers have the potential to become slippery when wet. Therefore, extra caution should always be taken if using these products in areas which could become slick when exposed to moisture.

It is important to note that water-based sealers are only recommended for use on exterior patios and should not be used indoors. If used indoors, the level of vapors released by the product can cause health issues such as nausea and headaches.

By weighing both the pros and cons of water-based sealers, homeowners can make an informed decision about which type of sealant is best for their patio. The next section will discuss the benefits of sealing patios and how this can help preserve your backyard space for years to come.

What are the Benefits of Sealing Patios?

Sealing the surface of a patio provides numerous benefits and can greatly improve its aesthetic value. Sealing a patio helps protect against moisture damage, reduces staining from dirt and spills, and strengthens the surface against wear and tear from furniture and foot traffic. Additionally, applying a sealer can enhance the color of an existing patio, while also making it easier to clean over time.

On the other hand, sealing a patio can cause some drawbacks. For example, sealers tend to change the appearance of the surface, making it darker or duller. Furthermore, sealers may reduce slip resistance on slippery surfaces like polished concrete patios. They also require regular reapplication and maintenance to maintain effectiveness.

Finally, when deciding whether or not to seal a patio, it is important to consider cost, durability, aesthetics and ease of maintenance. A thorough understanding of these factors will help inform your decision on what kind of sealer would be most suitable for one’s patio. With that said, let's take a look at what one should consider when choosing a sealer for their patio in the next section.

What to Consider When Choosing a Sealer

When it comes to choosing a concrete sealer for patios, many factors should be taken into consideration. The type of concrete surface, the climate the patio will be exposed to, and the desired outcome, all play an important role in selecting the best sealer for that particular patio.

The most common types of sealers available on the market are topical coatings and penetrating sealers. Topical coatings are very effective at creating a protective layer on top of the concrete surface, whereas penetrating sealers work their way into the concrete itself, providing more long-lasting protection than topical coatings. That said, due to this extra level of protection, penetrating sealers may require more frequent application and maintenance to ensure optimal performance.

In terms of how the sealer will hold up to environmental factors such as UV rays and moisture, some products offer better protection than others. A patio in an area with constant direct sunlight may benefit from a product containing a higher percentage of UV inhibitors compared to one without as much sun exposure. Additionally, if a patio is located in an area prone to severe weather or constant moisture levels, a product specifically designed for these conditions would be recommended.

When considering longevity and durability, it is important to note that different types of sealers provide varying levels of protection against wear and tear over time. Choosing one that offers a longer lifespan can help save time, energy, and money in the long run by reducing maintenance costs. Similarly, some sealers may require additional steps such as prepping the substrate or multiple coats in order to achieve a desired end result.

Ultimately, each type of concrete sealer has its own advantages and drawbacks; what works best for one project may not suit another. It is important to read up on each product carefully before deciding which sealer is right for your particular project; weighing all considerations against each other can lead you to make an informed decision on which product best meets your needs. With that said, let's move onto exploring the different colors and finishes available when it comes to sealing your concrete patio.

Colors and Finishes

When choosing a concrete patio sealer, the variety of colors and finishes available will significantly affect the appearance. Urethane sealers, penetrating sealers, and acrylic-based sealers come in a range of colors ranging from clear to brilliant hues like blue, red, and yellow. Wax-based sealers are more limited in color selections, typically only available in clear or neutral tones. Additionally, some sealers provide a glossy finish for increased sparkle and shine while others create a flat matte finish.

Before selecting a concrete patio sealer based solely on its color and finish options, there are several important considerations to take into account. Urethane or epoxy sealers have a beautiful glossy finish but can be slippery when wet, posing a significant safety hazard. A penetrating sealer provides maximum protection but its flat finish may not give the desired visual effect. Acrylic-based products usually offer vibrant colors with minimal user intervention but may require more complicated maintenance procedures.

At the end of the day, when picking out a concrete patio sealer that fits with your desired aesthetic, finding the right balance between visual appeal, cost effectiveness, and long-term durability is key. With all these factors in mind announcing the next section about material and durability.

Material and Durability

Material and Durability are two key factors to consider when selecting the best concrete sealer for a patio. The type of material used in the sealer will affect its longevity, ability to repel water and oil, and ability to provide a protective barrier against stains and weathering. Generally speaking, acrylics, epoxies, urethanes and silicones are the main materials used in coatings for outdoor surfaces.

Acrylics are the most affordable type of sealer but tend to be less durable than other types. Urethanes offer high protection from ultraviolet rays and abrasion but tend to yellow upon exposure to sunlight. Epoxies are more resistant to spills from oils or chemicals but can be costly depending on the quality. Silicones provide excellent adhesion qualities that is beneficial when sealing pool decks, driveways or patios exposed to water.

The durability of any sealer is determined by how long it can withstand regular wear and tear as well as weather conditions such as rain, hail, snow and wind. As such, it is important to choose a sealer that is specifically designed for use in outdoor areas that are regularly exposed to inclement weather. It should also be able to withstand extreme heat and cold without cracking or peeling away from the concrete surface.

Various sealers have different life spans meaning that, while one might last up to five years without needing reapplication, another may only last two years before additional applications need to be applied. Consumers should carefully read labels on any product they purchase before making an informed decision.

Understanding the material used in the construction of concrete sealers as well as their durability properties is essential when selecting the best product for patios. With this knowledge in hand, consumers can then decide which option will suit their individual needs best when it comes to protecting their outdoor living space from stains and weather damage.

Now let's look at how different types of concrete sealers respond under varying conditions of weather and elements.

Weather and Protection from Elements

Patios are exposed to a range of weather conditions throughout the year, and therefore require adequate protection against the elements. Choosing the right concrete sealer is essential for protecting your patio from snow, ice, excessive rain, and UV radiation that can cause damage over time.

Acrylic-based sealers offer excellent protection against moisture penetration and UV radiation, while penetrating sealers such as silanes, siloxanes, and hybrid polymers provide additional protection from weathering by creating a breathable membrane on the surface of the concrete that allows water vapor to escape without deteriorating or eroding the surface itself.

It is important to consider the climate where you live when selecting a concrete sealer for your patio. For areas that experience extreme cold or hot temperatures throughout the year, an oil-based sealer may be best suited to protect your patio’s concrete surface.

Oil-based sealers are more durable than acrylic-based sealers and can allow the concrete to expand and contract with changing temperatures while still protecting it from the elements. While oil-based sealers have their advantages, they also have some drawbacks; they must be re-applied more often as they can break down over time, and they can also make surfaces slippery when wet.

Ultimately, weather should be taken into consideration when selecting a concrete sealer for your patio. The right choice will depend on the climate in your area and your individual needs – but regardless of which one you choose, a quality concrete sealer can greatly increase the durability of your patio’s surface and help protect it from damaging weather conditions.

Now that we've discussed weather and protection from elements, let's move onto what is arguably the most important question - What is the best concrete sealer for patios?

What is the Best Concrete Sealer for Patios?

When considering the best concrete sealer for patios, one of the main factors to consider is what kind of protection the concrete will get. It is important to choose a sealer that will be both effective and long-lasting. There are many different options available when it comes to sealing concrete patios and the right choice will depend on a variety of factors.

Two common sealers used on concrete patios are water-based acrylics and solvent-based polyurethanes. Each type of sealer has its own advantages and disadvantages which should be weighed when deciding what is best for your patio. Water-based acrylics provide excellent protection against moisture, protecting against staining and degradation from spills or weathering. They also dry quickly, making them ideal for use in areas where time is of the essence. However, they can be prone to fade or chalk over time and often have a milky white hue that may not be desirable if looking for an aesthetically pleasing finish.

Solvent-based polyurethanes are known for their strong adhesion and superior stain protection but may take longer to apply than acrylics. They also tend to be more durable and last longer before they require reapplication, meaning they can be a good choice if you want to invest in a longer-term solution. The downside to these products is their higher cost and fumes associated with application, making them potentially unsuitable for indoor applications.

Ultimately, there is no single “best” answer as to what type of sealer is best for concrete patios - it really depends on the specific needs of the project and desired outcomes. Regardless, selecting an appropriately rated product and carefully following all instructions will ensure convincing results that stand up against the test of time.

The best type of sealer for concrete patios is highly dependent on various factors pertaining to the project at hand -- from aesthetics to longevity. In the next section, we will discuss some tips on how to select the right sealer for your patio project’s requirements.


When it comes to choosing the best concrete sealer for your patio, there are a multitude of different options out there. It is important to conduct thorough research in order to determine the type and brand of sealer that will best suit your needs.

Resin-based sealers offer excellent protection against staining and water damage. They are durable, easy to apply, and can provide a long-lasting finish. However, this type of sealer does require some maintenance and can be cost prohibitive for some people.

Silane/siloxane sealers provide excellent protection against moisture infiltration as well as prevent efflorescence formation and cracking. They are also less labor intensive than resin-based sealers and consequently cheaper in terms of both initial cost and maintenance. However, they may not be as effective at protecting against staining or considerable abrasion when compared acrylics or epoxies.

Acrylics or epoxy coatings offer superior protection from both abrasion and staining but require more labor intensive installation. Additionally, this type of sealer will need to be reapplied over time which results in higher maintenance costs down the line than silanes/siloxanes may require.

Ultimately, the decision about which type of concrete sealer is best for your own patio will depend on your specific needs, budget, and available resources. Knowing the primary characteristics of each different kind of sealer will help you make an informed choice that you can take pride in for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know when my patio needs to be sealed?

When it comes to knowing when your patio needs to be sealed, there are a few ways to tell. First, look for signs of wear and tear. If you notice cracking, chipping, or fading of the concrete, it’s likely time to reseal the patio.

Additionally, if water is not beading up on the surface of your patio after it rains or you wash it down, resealing may be necessary as this can indicate that the sealer is wearing off. F

inally, if you don’t remember when your patio was last sealed, then it’s likely time to reseal. Sealed concrete patios should last anywhere from 5-10 years on average depending on wear and tear.

What factors should I consider when selecting a concrete sealer for my patio?

When selecting a concrete sealer for your patio, there are several factors to consider. First and foremost, you need to assess the existing condition of the concrete so you can choose the correct type of sealer. If your patio is in good condition, then a topical sealer will suffice. On the other hand, if your patio is badly cracked or severely damaged, then a penetrating sealer may be the best option.

Another factor to consider when selecting a concrete sealer is the amount of foot traffic and weather exposure your patio receives. If your patio is exposed to harsh weather conditions or high volume of foot traffic, then use a sealer with greater durability and coverage.

In addition, you should also evaluate the effectiveness of the sealers that are available. For example, some sealers may provide superior protection against water damage while others may be better suited for resisting stains and fading. Read online reviews and do comparison shopping to help you find the best product for your needs.

Finally, make sure that you select a reliable manufacturer that has been around for a while and has positive customer feedback on their products. By following these guidelines, you'll be able to select the best concrete sealer for your patio quickly and confidently!

What are the advantages and disadvantages of different types of concrete sealers?

The advantages and disadvantages of different types of concrete sealers vary depending on the type of sealer and the type of patio you are working with.

The main types of concrete sealers are acrylic, polyurethane, epoxy, silicate densifiers, and fluoropolymer sealers.

Acrylic sealers provide a low-cost solution that is easy to apply. They don’t require any additional processing to create a wet look, and they offer a good level of protection from damage such as staining and abrasion. However, they may not last as long as other options in areas with heavy temperatures and high humidity.

Polyurethane sealers are extremely durable, offering good resistance to Ultra Violet (UV) light, acids and heat. They offer a glossy look that does not require waxing afterwards. The downside is that they can be more expensive than other materials and are more difficult to apply correctly.

Epoxy sealers also offer good levels of protection against UV rays, stains, scratches and chemicals. Additionally they adhere well to most surfaces creating a water-proof barrier. However, this type of material is not very flexible and can crack if it is subjected to extremes of movement or expansion due to temperature changes or ground settlement.

Silicate densifiers are designed to fill in the pores of the concrete allowing for greater penetration of other sealers used above it resulting in higher level of protection against wear and tear. This type of material is generally less expensive than other options but may need reapplication every few years depending on weather conditions and use.

Finally fluoropolymer sealers are relatively expensive but offers great levels of protection without compromising flexibility or beauty. As with the other types discussed these materials will still need reapplication every few years to maintain their protective properties but generally result in an attractive finish that can last for many years with minimal upkeep.

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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