Product Support

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Help with Film Formers

These products are used to protect and/or beautify new or existing concrete. They are designed to cure and seal (or just re-seal) concrete, while providing a degree of gloss to the concrete. They can be used on both decorative and non-decorative concrete structures.

Things to know…
  • There are a variety of different sealer or cure & seal chemistries on the market today, and no one product is the “best” in all situations. Understanding the pros and cons of the different chemical technologies can go a long way to determining which ChemMasters chemistry, and product, is “best” for your application. One of the basic ways in which sealers or cure & seals can be compared is whether it is a water-based or solvent-based chemistry.

The general idea of water-based and solvent-based products is the same; to deposit a thin plastic coating on your concrete for protection and/or beautification. The difference is the means by which that plastic is kept liquid in the pail, and deposited upon the concrete. In the case of water-based products, water is the “carrier” in which the plastic resides, and a variety of solvent packages may be used in the solvent-based products. The two technologies function very differently from one another, resulting in differing storage requirements, application techniques, and performance characteristics.

Pros of Water-Based Technology
  1. Water-based products are often less expensive than their solvent-based counterparts, as water is less expensive than solvent.
  2. Water-based products are generally more “green” since water does not impact the environment in ways that solvents can.
  3. Water-based products are not generally flammable or combustible, or have the pungent odor associated with solvent-based products, and are more often chosen for indoor applications.
  4. Water-based products do not substantially darken concrete, and are often more suitable for use on very light or white colored concrete.
Cons of Water-Based Technology
  1. Water is affected by lower temperatures and must be kept from freezing. Once frozen, water-based products are unusable, even after thawing.
  2. Water-based products do not develop the “high gloss” required for most stamped and decorative concrete applications.
  3. Water-based products are more susceptible to slight environmental changes, and may be affected by high humidity and low dew point during application.
  4. Water-based products require “energy” during their film formation process, and must be applied at higher temperatures – minimum requirements are 50° ambient air temperature, and 50° slab temperature.
  5. Water-Based Cure and Seals can show tire tracking and are also prone to lifting, hot tire pickup, on smooth concrete.
Pros of Solvent-Based Technology
  1. Solvent-based products develop a deeper, richer gloss which is often desired for use on stamped, decorative concrete.
  2. Solvent-based products will “wet out” and darken the antiquing release used on stamped concrete.
  3. Solvent-based products will darken and enrich the integral color often used in stamped or decorative concrete.
  4. Solvent-based products can be used in lower temperatures, and are unaffected by humidity or dew point.
  5. Solvent-based products can be stored and transported in unheated conditions.
  6. Solvent-based products are lacquers, and generally have better re-coatability.
Cons of Solvent-Based Technology
  1. Solvent-based products are generally more expensive.
  2. Solvent-based products can evaporate more quickly, making them difficult to use on very hot days
  3. Solvent-based products will darken concrete, making them less desirable for use on very light or white colored concrete.

Choose a product based upon your own personal expectations for your concrete, its appearance and protection. ChemMasters' Technical Service Department or your local ChemMasters Distributor can help identify some good choices based upon those expectations. But in the end, only you will know what makes you happy.

The decision to use a High-VOC versus a Low-VOC cure and seal depends only on the location of the job. Some states allow High-VOC sealers, while others have made it illegal to do so, and the use of Low-VOC cure and seals are required by law. Click here to find out which state requires Low-Voc cure and seals.

Product Recommendations…

Is your decorative concrete … New?

If you are about to install a brand new exposed aggregate or stamped concrete patio, we highly recommend the use of a non-yellowing chemistry. You may elect to use one of the following ChemMasters products, each of which is guaranteed not to yellow, even after prolonged exposure to UV sunlight.

High Gloss Sealers

When applying high gloss sealers, it's tempting to assume that more is better. In truth, over applying sealers will detract from the cosmetic appeal you're trying to achieve for decorative concrete, leading to issues such as whitening, blistering, bubbling, and peeling. If you want to achieve a higher gloss appearance, it's always advisable to choose a higher quality product rather than using more of one that costs less.

  • Polyseal™: Available in high-VOC (Polyseal) and low-VOC (Polyseal-A) formulations. Polyseal is an economically priced high gloss, non-yellowing cure & seal, and is a "good" choice for use on decorative concrete. Polyseal is tintable, and available in 1-gallon, 5-gallon and 55-gallon packaging.
  • Crystal Clear: Available in high-VOC (Crystal Clear) and low-VOC (Crystal Clear-A) formulations. Crystal Clear has the longest lasting, highest gloss and optimum UV resistance available in a cure & seal today. Its specialized resin is commonly used in automotive finishes to produce high gloss, non-yellowing, durable appearances, and would be considered the "best" choice for use on decorative concrete. Crystal Clear is available in 5-gallon and 55-gallon packaging.

Low Gloss Sealers

Water-based sealers will naturally develop lower gloss than their solvent-based counterparts. However, they will not enhance the integral color or antiquing release often used on stamped concrete. If that's the appearance you want for your decorative concrete, then water-based sealers are a good choice for you.

  • Polyseal™ WB: A water-based version of our popular Polyseal family of products. It develops a tough, durable, non-yellowing cure & seal with low gloss. Polyseal WB is economically priced, tintable, and available in 1-gallon, 5-gallon and 55-gallon packaging.

NOT New?

Frequently, decorative concrete is resealed when it has lost that “like new” gloss, which is long before the sealer has actually worn away. As a result, it's common to develop a sealer build-up which causes whitening, blistering, bubbling and peeling. In order to prevent this problem, ChemMasters has developed a patent-pending technology to restore the “like new” gloss to your sealer, without contributing to sealer build-up.

  • Gloss Restorer™ SRT: Gloss Restorer SRT is a patent-pending technology designed to be used to repeatedly restore the gloss to dull, weathered sealers without the hassles of sealer build-up. The proprietary formulation of Gloss Restorer SRT is unique in its ability to chemically react with existing sealers, keeping your decorative concrete looking as glossy as the day it was first sealed.
  • Traz™ 25: Available in high-VOC (Traz 25) and low-VOC (Traz 25-A) versions. Traz 25 is a customer favorite for resealing decorative concrete patios and walkways. It is a super high-gloss, non-yellowing sealer with increased resistance to staining from spilled foods, drinks, drippings from the grill and household cleaners, and is a “better” choice for use on decorative concrete. Traz 25 is a tintable product, available in 1-gallon, 5-gallon and 55-gallon packaging.
  • Polyseal and Crystal Clear can also be good choices for resealing decorative concrete. However, because these products are designed to trap moisture in the concrete, the likelihood of condensation (whitening of the sealer) is increased. If this problem occurs, it is often easily repairable.

Is your driveway, walkway or garage…New?

If you are about to install a brand new concrete driveway, walkway or garage floor, then we recommend a selecting a product which is intended to both cure and seal the concrete, and which produces a moderate to low gloss. Also, if you are located in a geography which experiences freezing temperatures, we suggest the use of a penetrating sealer, which is designed to protect your concrete from freeze-thaw damage.

Here are our suggestions:

  • Silencure: Available in High-VOC (Silencure), Low-VOC (Silencure-A), and water-based (Silencure SRT), Silencure is a patented technology which will save you a lot of time and money. It is designed for people who want to both cure and seal their concrete in one application instead of two (i.e., Silencure leaves behind both a film forming sealer, as well as a penetrating sealer with one application instead of two). We recommend the use of Silencure on just about every new concrete driveway, walkway, or garage floor which will experience freezing conditions.
  • Of course, for those who enjoy a high gloss look on their driveway, walkway, or garage floor, the use of decorative cure & seals is a good option too. See our product recommendations for new decorative patios and walkways.

Is your driveway, walkway or garage…NOT new?

If you are interested in resealing an existing concrete driveway, walkway, or garage floor, then you are likely interested in applying either a glossy film forming sealer, or a penetrating sealer to protect your concrete from freeze-thaw damage.

Here are our suggestions:

  • If you are interested in protection from freeze-thaw damage, then take a look at our recommendations for penetrating sealers.
  • For those who enjoy a high gloss look on their driveway, walkway, or garage floor, the use of decorative cure & seals are a good option. See our product recommendations for new decorative patios and walkways.