The Difference Between Penetrating and Coating Sealers?

Penetrating Sealers such as CCS Natural Seal Supreme HV, CCS Streetscape Sealer and CCS Stain Block are silicone based and protect concrete by penetrating into the capillaries of the concrete – rather than lying on the surface.

Penetrating sealers

Penetrating sealers repel moisture and at the same time allow the transmission of vapour from within the concrete or structure. Penetrating sealers are used on both floors and vertical walls of concrete buildings. Often a penetrating sealer is applied to vertical concrete walls, to protect them from the ingress of driving rain and airborne salts which can ultimately attack the steel reinforcing contained in the concrete.

Because they don’t alter the texture of the concrete, penetrating sealers such as CCS Streetscape Sealer and CCS Stain Block are ideal for horizontal surfaces where slip resistance may be an issue. These two products also contain special fluro polymers and additives which effectively protect the surface from the ingress of water and oil based stains.

Coating Sealers

Effectively cover as well as penetrate into the surface of concrete. Coating sealers are usually diluted in solvent, which ultimately helps them to seep into the concrete. The solvent soon evaporates allowing the residual resin to dry anchor into the concrete surface.

Sealers that coat rather than penetrate, generally provide better resistance against abrasion and the ingress of dirt. Many of the ‘coating sealers’ create a ‘wet look’. If the ‘wet look’ is not desired then the penetrating sealers are the best alternative.

Slip Resistance

In general, the application of a sealer will reduce the slip resistance of the surface it is coating. The overall slip resistance of the concrete however, is far more dependent on the profile and texture of the concrete surface than the coating that is placed on it.

As a guide, in-house slip resistance tests on broom finished concrete were evaluated in accordance with AS/NZS4586.1999 (Slip Resistance Classification of New Pedestrian Surface Materials Appendix A – Wet Pendulum Test Method). The tests showed a reduction in slip resistance from a rating of 56 MBPN (mean British Pendulum Number), before sealer application, to 54MBPN after application of two coats of CCS Hardseal (two coats typically only produce a film thickness of 0.04mm).

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