Water Based Concrete Sealers and Stain Protection
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Water Based Sealers FAQ

I’ve tried water-based sealers before, but they are no good. How are WBS products different?
Traditional water-based sealing products are hydrophobic chemistry and they suffer from several shortfalls. However, the WBS range of sealers are created using new technology and are specifically designed to overcome all the shortfalls of the older generation of water-based products.
I’ve heard that penetrating sealers aren’t that good for stains?
Most penetrating sealers on the market are purely water repellers and will not do much if anything to stop stains, particularly oils and ground in dirt. The WBS products are different. They form a physical barrier, like film forming sealers, but because the polymers are nano-sized they penetrate below the surface and form a matrix seal from the inside out. Once cured this matrix seal stops stains from penetrating right down at the molecular level.
Why are the products so expensive?
Firstly, Water Based Sealers products are premium quality products. Second, all the products are sold as concentrates that are diluted with water prior to application. As such a container of WBS sealer will typically go about 4 times further than the same amount of a competitor’s product.
Why are the products sold as a concentrate?
By selling the product as a concentrate we can minimise cost and environmental impact. There is less packaging, less freight cost, and lower freight-related emissions. The products can then be easily diluted with the water source at the point of use.
Does it give a “wet look”?
Using Pro-Seal 770 as a primer prior to application of Pro-Seal 896 with give a subtle colour enhancement without making it look fake, this colour enhancement is permanent. Almost all the ‘wet look’ sealers on the market will not hold that depth of colour for long. Initially they significantly darken the surface but after a week the colour depth will be about half of what it was when wet. After about 3 months or so there will be no discernible difference between a ‘wet look’ sealed surface and a Pro-Seal surface.
What is the durability of Wet Look Sealers?
The colour enhancement provided by most solvent acrylics is somewhat temporary. The colour developed at the time of application is similar to a wet surface, however, this will sufficiently lighten as the sealer cures and will continue to fade over the next 6 months or so. After six months in the sun a solvent wet look will not be noticeably darker than a water-based seal.

Further, solvent based acrylics generally go yellow with exposure to UV. Using Pro-Seal 770 to subtly enhance and stabilise the colour will not make the surface initially as dark as a wet look solvent, but it is a permanent enhancement that will not yellow.
Acrylic sealers – are they water based or oil/solvent based?
Many people assume acrylic sealers are only oil/solvent based, however, acrylic sealers are available in either an oil or a water base.
What is a breathable sealer?
A breathable seal enables moisture trapped in the substrate to slowly permeate the sealer so that it can stay dry. This is particularly important in area’s that are often wet/damp, such as pool areas, sunken outdoor areas, pavement next to raised garden beds etc. Solvent film formers trap this moisture in and this can lead to issues such as discolouration, delamination and eventual failure of the seal.
If a seal is breathable and moisture can get through, won’t stains get through too?
Water molecules are much smaller than the molecules that make up most common stains. Pro-Seal 896 and Pro-Seal 898 have been designed to leverage this difference. The tightness of the developed matrix is such that water molecules can work their way through, but other water-soluble stains can’t. All solvent based stains are repelled as they are polar in nature and are physically incompatible with the pores in the matrix structure.
What’s the difference between oil/solvent based and water-based products?
WATER BASED PRODUCTS:
Breathable – moisture can diffuse slowly through the sealer
Low/no VOC’s
Will not significantly darken the surface
Will not re-emulsify in water or oil once cured
Nano film (thin tenacious film)
Penetrates deep into the substrate for ultimate adhesion
Non-toxic, water clean-up, safe for people and the environment
Natural, Satin & Gloss finishes
Will last up to 25 years as a matrix seal, 3-5 as a wear film
Can be resealed many times without stripping

SOLVENT BASED PRODUCTS:
Non-breathable moisture in the substrate get trapped under the seal
Contains high levels of VOC’s
Can darken the surface to create a wet look
Will re-emulsify in oil’s and other solvents
High build sealer (thick film)
Sticks to the outer surface
Toxic, solvent clean-up, emits harmful VOC’s, encourages single use throw away equipment
High gloss finishes
Will last 2 – 5 years
Needs to be stripped off prior to reapplication for best results
What is Cure-Assist Sealing?
Water Based Sealers Cure-Assist Sealing combines two very important processes into one easy application for external concrete works only. This same day of pour sealer application is not suitable for internal polished concrete surfaces, full cure time required.

Applying Water Based Sealers to a fresh slab will not just seal the surface it will also lock in the water needed for the slab to effectively cure. We call this Moisture Retention Technology (MRT).

Same day lay and spray is not suitable for internal burnished or polished concrete finishes.

Cure-Assist Sealing is an easy, time saving and cost-effective method of achieving super-strong concrete that is protected from stains from day one. It will minimize surface cracks, dusting concrete efflorescence and damage due to cleaning operations. This ensures the decorative concrete is kept off the defect list and has been used successfully in commercial applications throughout Australia for over 10 years.

Within the first 90 days, MRT Treated concrete will have a different visual appearance compared to unsealed concrete.

Sealing, grouting & densifying treatments for any form of polished concrete should be done by professional contractors only.
What is Efflorescence?
Efflorescence is the result of liquid water migrating to the surface. As this water evaporates it leaves behind any salts that were dissolved in it.
Is Pro Seal 896 Concrete Sealer Compatible with Aliphatic Alcohols?
No it is not!

Aliphatic Alcohol is not required when utilising the Pro Seal 896 ‘Same Day Lay and Spray’ process. Pro Seal 896 is chemically incompatible with aliphatic alcohol and the two cannot be used together.

If aliphatic alcohol has been used inadvertently or its use is mandatory in the design specification, do not use Pro Seal 896 until curing is completed and all traces of the aliphatic alcohol are removed. Residuals will limit penetration of Pro Seal 896 into the concrete surface. Please contact us if you require further information.

New Oxide Coloured Concrete may have Surfactants in the mix can react with Pro Seal 896. Same day sealing process is not recommended, always allow 48 hours before sealing colour oxide treated newly laid concrete.

Before you seal, rinse the colour concrete surface thoroughly with water before sealing with Pro Seal 770 (first coat) day 1 and final coat the next day with Pro Seal 896.
How should I Mix and Apply Pro Seal 896
Mixing Instructions:
1) Mix concentrated Pro-Seal 896 well before use
2) Mix ratio is 1 part Pro-Seal 896 to 4 parts water
3) Mix this solution well without aeration
4) Application rate is 5 m2 per litre
5) As soon as the concrete is hard enough to walk on (immediately after surface finishing, i.e. broom or steel finishing) apply the Hydro-Barrier (thin layer of water on the surface)

Application Instructions:
6) Apply Pro-Seal 896 onto the wet surface at the specified application rate.
7) Allow laying undisturbed for a minimum of 5- 20 minutes depending on sun and wind conditions.
8) Using a medium/soft bristle broom lightly broom out any puddling that occurs in uneven sections of the slab
9) Allow drying clear before applying the second coat if required. The first coat will retard the penetration of the second coat and more product will stay on the surface to create an acrylic microfilm. This microfilm will increase the appearance and performance of the sealer.
10) Allow 24 hours curing for foot traffic 5 days for vehicle traffic.
Need a really fast applicator? Check out the videos to see our amazing CSU (Commercial Spray Unit) in action.
What does Concrete Curing Mean?
An essential ingredient in all concrete curing reactions is water. Without water, the curing reactions stop. The longer the water is retained in the slab, the more complete the curing and the stronger the concrete will be.

A very slow drying slab will not only be stronger but will have fewer surface cracks, because as the water leaves the slab shrinks. If this process is fast the concrete has not developed enough strength yet to withstand the shrinkage and cracks develop.

Traditionally curing was accomplished by flooding, but in recent times the application of curing compounds is much more common. There are many different types but all of them need to be completely removed before a final sealant can be applied.
What is Concrete Sealing?
A concrete seal is a physical barrier that protects and enhances the surface of the concrete. Most sealers require a slab to be completely dry before they can be applied.

This means, in best practice, a slab cannot be sealed until at least 28 days after it is poured. There are some ‘same day’ sealers available, but these sacrifice long-term performance for moisture tolerance and are a temporary seal at best.

Water Based Sealers products are based on a revolutionary technology that enables them to be applied to very wet surfaces. They use the water as a conduit to penetrate deep into the concrete to create a long-lasting matrix seal that cannot peel or flake.

This affinity for water allows WBS sealers to be applied to freshly poured slabs without compromising on the sealer longevity or performance.
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