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What Is the Best Concrete Sealer for Pool Decks? 

 October 17, 2020

By  Dale Keese

Residential swimming pools are often surrounded by concrete decks that significantly enhance their appearance. As a swimming pool owner yourself, it’s in your best interests to keep that part of your home adequately protected.

Penetrating sealers are great for concrete pool decks because they're less slippery, they're capable of shielding against harsh outdoor conditions including water and do not change the concretes appearance. Topical sealers can be used if you want a wet look, but you may need to add a non-slip additive.

You have many options when it comes to sealing your concrete pool deck. Learn more about what those options are and what they can do to your pool deck by reading on.

Homeowners have several options to choose from when looking for a pool deck sealer. The option that will be best for you will largely depend on what you want most out of the concrete sealer.

The case for using a penetrating sealer over all the other types of concrete sealers is that it offers superior protection for your pool deck while simultaneously keeping you safe.

Consider the kind of environment surrounding the swimming pool.

It’s an area often covered by water. Concrete tends to absorb significant amounts of water consistently due to how porous it is. When the water seeps into the concrete and later expands due to cold temperatures, the concrete will likely wind up damaged.

You also cannot just worry about the surface of the pool deck. The layers underneath are also vulnerable to lingering moisture.

What a penetrating sealer does is essentially form a barrier with the concrete. That barrier’s job is to keep the moisture away from the concrete’s structure. With no moisture affecting the concrete’s structure, your pool deck can remain in great shape longer.

Aside from water, a penetrating sealer can also protect against any other chemicals that you may use in and around your swimming pool.

Penetrating sealers also have the advantage of being very breathable. Ordinarily, breathability is a quality we look for most in clothes we wear, but it’s also a positive in concrete sealers.

The reason why can once again be explained by liquids. There may be small slivers of space along your concrete pool deck. They may not be big enough to notice with the naked eye, but they can still be an entry point for certain liquids that are sloshing around.

By maintaining breathability, a penetrating sealer provides liquids stuck inside the concrete a chance to evaporate. They won’t be in there long enough to deal damage to the concrete itself.

It’s not just the condition of your pool deck that you have to worry about when choosing a concrete sealer. You should also consider how safe the sealer could be around people.

Some of your alternative options when it comes to concrete sealers are applied topically. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but because of how they’re applied, they can alter the quality of the concrete surface. As the pool owner, you may have to apply some anti-skid additives over the pool deck just to make sure that kids and adults walking around don’t accidentally lose their footing and slip.

Penetrating sealers don’t present that same kind of issue. Because of the fact that penetrating sealers work beneath the surface of the concrete, they have no impact whatsoever on how slippery it becomes. If your pool deck already offered plenty of traction, a penetrating sealer will have no effect on that.

While not as important as the other benefits mentioned, penetrating sealers are also worth using because they give you more control over how your pool area looks. You may already like how your swimming pool deck looks and don’t want to change it. Using a penetrating concrete sealer will not affect that.

One more thing to note about penetrating sealers is that they are capable of lasting for a very long time. They can last for well over a decade since they aren’t as susceptible to wear and tear as the other options.

What Other Concrete Sealers Could I Use?

Acrylic sealers offer many of the same benefits that penetrating sealers do in terms of protection against liquids. They also feature the added benefit of often being quick-dry options. On top of that, they provide varied finishes that can enhance the appearance of your pool deck.

The downside to acrylic sealers is that they don’t hold up as well as penetrating sealers. You may have to reapply after five years or so.

Polyurethane sealers are also suitable for pool decks. You do have to give them a bit of time to cure. Once that’s over though, they will provide more than adequate protection and additional luster to the concrete surface.

Epoxy sealers are not quite as good to use on pool decks as the aforementioned options. These sealers have a tendency to lock moisture into the concrete and that could be a significant source of damage long-term.

What Sealer Do We Recommend for Concrete Pool Decks?

If you've decided that you want a penetrating concrete sealer that will not change the appearance of your concrete pool deck we'd recommend Siloxa-Tek 8500 (buy on Amazon). It's a great product formulated with pool decks in mind, and is non-slippery.

On the other hand, if you've decided you would prefer a wet look finish, we'd recommend Foundation Armor AR350 (buy on Amazon) mixed with Armor Non Slip Additive (buy on Amazon). Both highly regarded well rated products.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Possible to Use Two Types of Sealers over a Concrete Pool Deck?

Now that you know that concrete sealers have certain substances they excel and struggle against, you may be thinking about using more than one on your pool deck. You should know that such a move is possible.

Just make sure that you’re pairing a penetrating sealer with a topical sealer. Pairing a penetrating sealer with an acrylic or polyurethane option would be a good move to consider for homeowners.

How Long Should You Wait before Applying a Concrete Sealer?

If your pool deck was installed just recently, you may have to wait a bit before applying the concrete sealer. Epoxy and polyurethane sealers are best applied after the concrete has been able to cure completely and that process usually takes about 28 days.

On the other hand, acrylic sealers can be applied as soon as the concrete is stable enough to hold people.

Penetrating sealers are different because how long you’ll have to wait depends on what specific type you’re using. Silane and siloxane sealers need the same wait period as the epoxy and polyurethane sealers. Silicate and siliconate sealers can be applied as soon as the acrylic options.

How Should You Prep the Concrete Pool Deck for the Application of a Sealer?

Prepping the concrete deck prior to the application is hugely important. Failing to do so could lead to the concrete sustaining damage or the sealer not taking effect.

To prepare the surface properly, make sure you clear away any paint, older sealer, or any other substance that was previously applied. You should also clean the concrete to remove any debris that could get in the way of the sealer.

Damaged concrete decks need additional preparation. You will have to fill any cracks or other openings along the surface of the deck before you proceed with applying the concrete sealer.

How Are Concrete Sealers Applied To Pool Decks? 

To apply an acrylic or penetrating sealer, you’ll only really need a pump sprayer. Place the substance inside the sprayer and begin working on your pool deck.

If you don’t have a pump sprayer, you can still apply acrylic and penetrating sealers using a paint brush, paint roller, or even a microfiber pad.

Applying polyurethane and epoxy sealers is a bit more complicated. It’s best to leave that job up to the professionals unless you already have the tools and skills required.

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