Much of this damage can be prevented or significantly reduced through the use of waterproofing concrete sealer.
- First you must decide which type of waterproofing concrete sealer is right for you. This can be done by determining the amount of moisture present in the concrete. You can use a concrete moisture meter, calcium chloride test or relative humidity test to determine the amount of moisture present in the concrete. Once you have the results of the test you can then determine the best waterproofing concrete sealer.
In order to determine the moisture vapor emission rate of your concrete perform a calcium chloride test. To perform the test, a small amount of calcium chloride (salt) is placed under plastic on a clean piece of concrete. The calcium chloride (salt) absorbs the moisture coming from the concrete slab over a period of about 72 hours. The weight gain of the calcium chloride is then measured and the moisture vapor emission rate MVER is calculated. If a high amount of moisture is present in the concrete (over 3 lb according to a calcium chloride test) it is best to use a moisture vapor barrier coating. If the moisture content of the concrete is less than 4% you can use a penetrating concrete waterproofing sealer. A calcium chloride test can be purchased directly through Amazon for about 18 USD.
Make sure the concrete has not been previously sealed, or if a concrete sealer or concrete coating has been used make sure it has been removed or worn away. For example if DryLok or Thompsons Water Seal were used and you are looking to reseal, it is best to remove these previous sealers so the new concrete sealer is able to effectively bond and adhere.
- Choose the right waterproofing concrete sealer for your application. There are a lot of different options from chemistry, to finish, to feature. Make sure you are choosing the correct concrete sealer for your specific application. A penetrating concrete sealer might have worked great for your neighbor's basement floor, but if your basement floor seeps moisture it is probably not going to work for your application. We highlight a few general applications and recommendations below.
If you need help determining the best concrete sealer for your application feel free to call us at 1-855-573-8383 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can custom tailor a recommendation for your specific applicaiton.
For interior applications with high amounts of moisture:
Basement are well known for their water problems and a wet basement is not a homeowners friend. Luckily there are waterproofing concrete sealers that when used properly can keep a basment dry. For basement floors, especially basment floors that will be finished with carpet, hardwood or tile a moisture vapor barrier coating is the absolute best choice. Commonly used in areas with high amounts of moisture, the Vapor-Tek 440 is one of the best moisture vapor barrier coating products on the market to reduce moisture vapor transmission. The high performance and quick installation features of this system make it an ideal solution to seal concrete from all water and moisture before installing carpet and wood or vinyl flooring. The Vapor-Tek 440 will reduce moisture vapor emission rates of up to 20lb. / 24 hr / 1,000 ft. prior to the application of flooring. It will also stop moisture from coming up through the slab to stop concrete floor seepage.
For interior applications with no moisture (preventatively sealing):
Alternatively, if your concrete has never had a moisture or dampness problem and you are looking for a preventative, cost-effective solution, use the Lithi-Tek 9500. This all-in-one product will reduce the porosity of the concrete making it less permeable to moisture. Althought it will not prevent a large amount of moisture from coming up through the concrete like the Vapor-Tek 440, it is an effective solution to reduce porosity.
For exterior applications:
Exterior applications that need a waterproofing concrete sealer include driveways, patios and pool decks. It is always a good idea to keep water out of concrete since water brings aggressive substances that can cause concrete to deteriorate over time.
Fortunately, there is an easy and cost-effective way to waterproof exterior concrete. One of the best concrete sealers is the Siloxa-Tek 8500. It is a penetrating concrete sealer designed to treat a variety of applications with an emphasis on hydrophobicity and reduction of water uptake. It dries completely clear with a natural finish that will not change the look or appearance of the susbtrate. Guaranteed to outlast and outperform all other concrete sealers on the market, the Siloxa-Tek 8500 is the most advanced concrete sealer ever formulated; designed to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. An added benefit is salt resistance. If you are sealing a concrete driveway located in an area exposed to airborne salts or deicing salts the Siloxa-Tek 8500 is able to effectively prevent chloride ion penetration, keeping the concrete free of pitting and cracking.
If you are looking to use a waterproofing concrete sealer but you are also looking for added oil resistance, the Siloxa-Tek 8510 is an excellent choice. The Siloxa-Tek 8510 will give you all the benefits of the Siloxa-Tek 8500 with added staining protection from oils and greases. Since it is a solvent carried product that is almost 100% actives, it is able to go above and beyond the protection of the Siloxa-Tek 8500.