What is Floor Sealing, and Does My Office Need It?
If you’re considering investing in a new or updated floor, we highly recommend using a sealant to keep it looking fresh. Sealant helps combat peeling and prevents discoloration. Floor sealer is recommended for concrete floors installed outdoors, such as at stadiums or anywhere else they will be frequently exposed to sunlight.
What Are Sealants?
Sealants are essentially topcoats that are used over concrete and other types of commercial flooring. They extend your floor’s lifespan and minimize damage caused by routine wear and tear. Sealants are also used to update the appearance of your floor and make it look glossier.
Why Do Concrete Floors Need Sealing?
Concrete is a porous material, meaning that water, air, and other fluids can easily penetrate it and damage it from the inside out. Floors, whether they’re concrete or not, experience a lot of foot traffic and can also be damaged by poor weather conditions and the use of heavy machinery or equipment.
Since concrete is naturally porous, the sealant clogs the pores so that harmful bacteria and particles can no longer seep into the floor. In many cases, sealants can fill the holes on the surface of the material. This usually includes concrete and terrazzo floors.
Types of Floor Sealers
There are three types of floor sealers you can use:
- Water-based sealants: This is one of the most commonly used sealants for commercial floorings. Water-based sealants are eco-friendly and do not contain zinc, ammonia, or other heavy metals. These are also effective in extending the life of your commercial floors, while protecting your workers from harmful chemicals.
- Solvent-based sealants: This is a strong sealant that is widely used in many industries. However, it does contain toxic chemicals that have been proven to have a negative impact on certain floors.
- Polyurethane: This is the most common and durable type of floor sealant. Polyurethane is a versatile plastic material that can be used for floor coatings and other areas, such as insulation and adhesives. This type of coating, however, has a distinct odor to it.
How Do You Apply Sealant to a Floor?
After deciding on which type of floor sealant is best for your needs, the next step is to apply it. Sealants are usually applied soon after the new floor is installed. This is commonly done by moving a foam brush across the floor in smooth layers. Your commercial floor technician may also apply a spray applicator to the floor to make it easier to apply the sealant.
Once the sealant is applied to the floor, it’ll usually take from 36 to 48 hours to fully dry. This can vary depending on the type of sealant used. For example, you should avoid walking on a concrete floor that’s been coated with polyurethane for at least 24 hours to avoid damage. Water-based sealants may take around six hours to dry; however, it’s still recommended to avoid walking on them for at least 24 hours.
How to Maintain Floors After Floor Sealing
Floor sealants are important, but they can be worn down over time. On average, concrete floor sealants can last anywhere from 5-10 years. However, this will vary depending on how much foot traffic your workspace gets. If you have higher foot traffic, the sealant will last closer to five years. If you get minimal foot traffic, your sealant may last up to 10.
Regardless of how much foot traffic your workspace receives, you can offset the damage by routinely cleaning your floor surfaces to keep them in good shape. You can scrub your floors as well; however, we recommend using a mechanical scrubber, because scrubbing with a traditional brush can slowly chip away at the sealant.
Does My Office Need Floor Sealing?
Returning to the main question: yes, your concrete floor needs a sealant. Floors are a costly investment, so adding a sealant can save you a lot of money on unnecessary repairs in the future. Between this and their ability to extend the life of your floors, sealants are a necessary part of the commercial floor installation process.
Fortunately, Blair Duron works with all types of industries, including healthcare facilities. When you need floor sealing, it’s important to turn to a trusted professional who works every day with these industries.