A topical sealer works by forming a protective coating on top of your concrete or pavers. This coat fits in several ends. First of all, it helps avoid water damage and staining from repelling moisture. It also protects against dirt, oil, grease, and chemicals, making it easier to clean your floor. Moreover, it acts as a sacrificial layer – wears and tears from abrasion and the elements first damage the sealer, leaving the substance unharmed underneath. It can also give your surfaces a darker colour and a gloss finish, depending on the topical coating sealer you select.
Topical sealers are intended to stay on top and not reach the material’s pores. The sealer molecules bind directly to the material surface, forming a protective barrier. Since the molecules have trouble sticking to smooth surfaces, topical sealers on polished surfaces are not acceptable.
These sealers are usually economical, with no high price point. They may be solvent or water-based and are mostly made from polymers of acrylic or polyurethane. Others can be removed easily with a suitable stripper, while others, such as those made of polyurethane or epoxy polymers, are considered permanent and can be very difficult to remove.
Protecting the Material
Topical sealers can help protect your stone or other material from water stains, oil stains, and other physical damage caused by foot traffic. Since the sealer sits only on the outer surface, the inside of the material will not be secured. Topical sealers protect against exposure to foot traffic, but as the sealer is thinner than the material, it appears to produce scuff marks, bruises, and other abrasions. This is particularly true for areas with high traffic.
Lower-grade topical sealers often cause yellow discoloration. This occurs primarily in external applications that are exposed to UV light. Moreover, topical sealers are not always breathable, resulting in the substance being stuck in moisture. This can cause material damage, such as surface spalling, peeling or flaking, and efflorescence.
Enriching Colors and Changing Slippage of Floor
Usually, topical sealers will modify the material’s appearance. This may involve adjusting the surface’s finish by applying a glossy shine or by darkening and improving the material colours, offering a wet look. They can also alter surface slippage. Some topical sealing agents are engineered to make the surface harder and slipperier. Other sealers, however, experience extreme slippery conditions when wet. They can involve using a non-slip additive in areas likely to get wet, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
Expected Wear and Maintenance
Usually, topical sealers are easy to apply. Still, because they undergo more wear and tear as they remain on the material’s surface, they require more maintenance and re-application than penetrating sealers. Some topical sealers must be reapplied just as often as every six months.
To prevent the topical sealer from building up on the surface, which can more easily show scuff marks and scratches, the sealer should be removed before each new application or at least adequate to cause no superfluous sealer build-up. This repeated stripping action will begin, over time, to damage the stone or other materials.
The sealer’s build-up can also start giving the surface a waxy or plastic look. Dirt often appears to build up quicker, whereas scratches and scuffs are buffed out, causing more frequent cleanings.