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Concrete Sealer

Malcolm Taylor | Posted in General Questions on

This is a bit beyond the remit of GBA but I’d be grateful of any advice.

My main floor is a sealed concrete slab. it is now 25 years old and needs renewing. The original sealer was Xylene-based, and I’d prefer to switch to a water-based one. 

The advice seems to be the only way to do that is to remove the first sealer. I think it would sand off fairly easily, but some will have penetrated the surface of the concrete. I wonder if the water-based sealer will adhere if there is some residual in the slab?

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Replies

  1. Steve Knapp CZ 3A Georgia | | #1

    Hi Malcolm,

    Maybe this post will be helpful: https://concretesealerreviews.com/can-you-seal-old-concrete/

    1. Expert Member
      Malcolm Taylor | | #2

      Thanks Steve,

      I'm beginning to think I may have to re-seal with something solvent-based. I can't see acid etching or grinding being feasible while we live here.

      Then again Xylene sealers are awful. One whiff and you have a headache for hours.

      1. Kyle Bentley | | #3

        I was going to post that, but without having any real backup source I refrained. The solvent is gone by now, but you still have whatever it was carrying absorbed in the concrete. You might take a chance on a trial location in a pantry or somewhere to see how much you have to sand off before the concrete absorbs water. until then I don't think it would be helpful to try and seal over top with a water based sealer.

        I've called foundation armor before and asked questions, they were generally pretty helpful. maybe give them a ring and see if they have a product that can be applied over, or something to remove what was there?

  2. Aaron Beckworth | | #4

    Malcolm,

    On the topic of concrete sealing options, I wonder if you’ve ever heard of concrete being chemically sealed as opposed to having a sealer applied? In Taunton’s 2019 Small Houses book, there is a house in TX featured with this written about some of the details,

    “…concrete floors throughout the house are virtually indestructible and we’re chemically sealed as opposed to having a sealer applied. The more they’re used, the more polished they will appear.”

    1. Expert Member
      Malcolm Taylor | | #5

      Aaron,

      No I haven't seen that. Sounds interesting although I suspect that isn't an option for me as the concrete is down and sealer applied.

      As the issue in my place in entirely cosmetic, I may try and apply a concrete wax top-coat, which would be the easiest solution by far.

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