5 Best Sealer for Exposed Aggregate Concrete in 2022

Sealer for Exposed Aggregate Concrete

Exposed aggregate concrete is beautiful, but it’s also vulnerable to staining and weathering. If you don’t seal your exposed aggregate concrete, you may notice discoloration and fade over time. In extreme cases, the aggregate may become loose from the concrete itself.

A sealer protects your exposed aggregate concrete to create a barrier between the aggregate and potential staining agents like water, oil, and dirt. Using the best sealer for exposed aggregate concrete will extend your concrete’s lifespan and be easier to clean & maintain.

Here we share some top concrete sealers that keep your exposed aggregate concrete surface from penetrating water and other elements.

Dap 18021 Concrete and Mortar Watertight Filler and Sealant

Key Features:
👍 Gray color
👍 Siliconized latex
👍 Waterproof bond
👍 Can seal cracks in bricks

Foundation Armor Wet Look Acrylic Concrete Sealer

Key Features:
👍 Solvent-based acrylic
👍 Durable, low gloss finish
👍 Low VOC for breathing
👍 Non-yellowing
👍 UV resistant

Ghostshield Siloxa-Tek 8500 Water & Salt Repellent Concrete Sealer

Key Features:
👍 Silane/Siloxane material
👍 Industrial-grade
👍 Water-based
👍 Water and salt repellent
👍 Low VOCs

Will Sealing Concrete Make It Slippery?

Will Sealing Concrete Make It Slippery

Exposed aggregate concrete tends to be a little slippery after sealing. Since the sealer helps to fill in any voids on the surface of the concrete, it gives a smoother finish. The surface does not crumble under your feet, so you do not fall.

If the exposed aggregate sealer is not applied correctly or is wet, the surface of the concrete can become more challenging to walk on. Whenever the sealer is exposed to water and other elements, it becomes slick and slippery.

Does Sealing Exposed Aggregate Concrete Prevent Dust?

Sealing exposed aggregate concrete does prevent dust from settling into the pores of the concrete. The sealer works to fill in the microscopic spaces between the concrete layers, creating a smooth barrier that dust cannot penetrate.

Regular cleaning and sweeping will help to remove any accumulated dust before it has a chance to penetrate the concrete pores. Hence, sealing exposed aggregate concrete is an effective way to prevent dust buildup.

Top 5 Reviews on The Best Sealer for Exposed Aggregate Concrete

concrete sealer review

Sealing your exposed aggregate concrete is important to protect it from the elements and keep it looking great for a long time. Unfortunately, most sealers on the market are either difficult to apply or don’t provide lasting protection.

We review some aggregate concrete sealers that are easy to apply and provide long-lasting protection from rainwater, salt, dirt, and UV rays.

01) Dap 18021 Concrete and Mortar Watertight Filler and Sealant

Dap offers siliconized latex based sealant for exposed aggregate concrete and it weighs 10.1 ounces. This product is used to fill and seal concrete and mortar to prevent water from entering.

You can use it to seal cracks in bricks and other surfaces. It can be applied with a brush, roller, or sprayer.

Why Should You Consider This Product?

This product is a light gray color sealant. You can apply it like other tube fillers and it repairs permanently.

Dap 18021 concrete and mortar watertight filler and sealant is an easy-to-use product for concrete and mortar repairs. You can also apply it on driveways, sidewalks, and mortar joints after power washing the surface.

It can be used as a hand-operated squeeze-type plunger gun. But you need to adjust with an extension to get all sealer out of the tube.

Pros:

  • Repair permanently
  • Can apply like other tube fillers
  • Easy to use for repairs
  • Designed to work with a squeeze-type plunger gun

Con:

  • A bit runny when the temp is high

02) Foundation Armor Wet Look Acrylic Concrete Sealer

Foundation Armor introduces this sealer to give your exposed aggregate concrete surfaces a wet look. It is a solvent-based acrylic sealer, which makes it durable and provides a low gloss finish. It will also not yellow with age.

You’ll be protecting your concrete from UV rays, water, salt, and stains with this sealer. It will also help reduce concrete dusting. One gallon is enough for every 175 sq. ft. per coat.

Why Should You Consider This Product?

The Foundation armor wet look acrylic concrete sealer is a high-quality sealer that provides a better look than other sealers. It rejuvenates stamped concrete patios, making them look new again.

Concrete will stay stain-free with the sealer. It will make the surface water resistant, so rain will bead up and not penetrate the concrete.

With a pump sprayer, you can apply the product. The wet look sealer will provide a second coat after 24 hours. You can calculate how much you need based on actual square footage.

Pros:

  • Higher quality that looks better
  • Rejuvenates stamped concrete patio
  • Correct coverage of square footage
  • Very water resistant
  • Easy to apply with a pump sprayer

Cons:

  • Roller application is less effective than spraying
  • Can melt thin plastic sprayer

03) Ghostshield Siloxa-Tek 8500 Water & Salt Repellent Concrete Sealer

This exposed aggregate concrete by Ghostshield is an industrial-grade, water-based product. It is designed to seal and protect exposed aggregate surfaces from water and salt damage. 

The coating helps to reduce the amount of water seeping into the concrete. It forms a water and salt-repellent barrier that helps protect against staining, scaling, and spalling.

As it contains low levels of volatile organic compounds and has a low odor, it is a safer indoor choice. It can be applied to new or existing concrete surfaces. The penetrating sealer also covers up to 250 sq ft per coat, making it a more economical option.

Why Should You Consider This Product?

With the concrete sealer, there is no wetness and no color to the concrete. It means protecting concrete from staining and fading while maintaining its natural appearance.

The Ghostshield siloxa-tek 8500 water & salt repellent concrete sealer is designed to prevent water seepage. It also causes water to bead up on the aggregate driveway like a windshield gloss. 

You can also use this sealant on sidewalks. It is salt and ice-resistant, making it suitable for use in areas where winter weather conditions are common. Use a roller or sprayer to apply the sealant to the aggregate concrete.

Pros:

  • Provides a natural finish with no color
  • Rain water beads on the pavers and poly sand
  • Easy to apply with a sprayer or roller
  • Salt and ice resistant
  • Seals tough at sealing sidewalk

Cons:

  • Instructions are a bit confusing
  • Provides a weak seal on an outdoor fireplace

04) Rain Guard Water Repellent Sealers for Concrete Pavers

It consists of silane/siloxane compounds that penetrate deep into concrete pavers to form a barrier that repels water. You can use the penetrating sealers indoors or outdoors because it resists moisture damage.

Unlike other finishes, the concrete sealers have an invisible finish that won’t yellow or change the surface’s texture. With each gallon, they cover up to 200 square feet.

Why Should You Consider This Product?

These eco-friendly concrete sealers prevent discoloration on concrete pavers. They come in water-based formulas and can be used on new and existing pavers.

Rain Guard water repellent sealers for concrete pavers are designed to keep water from penetrating the surface and causing damage. You can prevent black mold from growing on concrete by using sealers.

With a garden sprayer, you can apply the sealers easily and let the pavers breathe. These solvent-based sealers dry fast within one hour and will protect the surface from staining and fading.

Pros:

  • Doesn’t change the color of the concrete driveway
  • Driveway beads water well
  • Prevents black mold on concrete
  • Easy to spray the water-based sealant
  • Dries fast within 1 hour

Con:

  • Covers less area per gallon than others

05) Masonrydefender Penetrating Concrete Sealer for Driveways Patios

This penetrating sealer from Masonrydefender contains silane/siloxane that provides a non-glossy, invisible coat to your concrete surface. It does not alter the color or appearance of the surface and leaves no residue.

Masonrydefender penetrates the surface of concrete to form a protective barrier and leaves behind a residue-free finish. It is a water repellent and de-icing salt protection product that safeguards against pitting or cracking.

You can also prevent freeze thaw damage with it. This penetrating sealer can provide up to 90-150 sq ft of coverage.

Why Should You Consider This Product?

MasonryDefender penetrating concrete sealer for driveways patios keeps concrete surface looking new for a long time. It provides a watertight seal. This sealer easily keeps rainwater from the surface of the concrete. 

You can apply it easily with a garden sprayer, and there’s no trace left after the rain. It also forms a durable barrier against stains, weathering, and other damage. Masonrydefender is also great for keeping mold off sidewalks and driveways, as it dries quickly and completely.

Pros:

  • Keeps concrete looking good long-term
  • Prevents concrete from absorbing rainwater
  • Seals concrete and masonry well for a long time
  • Can be applied with a garden or pump sprayer
  • Prevents mold growth on sidewalks and driveways

Con:

  • Salt-filled streets may require 3 coats

These are the best concrete sealers for driveways and patios. With one of them, you can keep your decorative concrete looking new. Choose a sealer that is right for your needs to protect the stylish finish of your concrete.

Comparison Chart of Sealant for Aggregate Concrete:

Product NameWeightColorMaterialType
Dap 18021 Concrete Filler and Sealant10.1 Ounces (3 pack)GraySiliconized latexSolvent-based
Foundation Armor Acrylic Concrete Sealer41.9 pounds (5 Gallon)ClearAcrylicSolvent-based
Ghostshield Siloxa-Tek 8500 Concrete Sealer9.08 Pounds (‎1 Gallon)ClearSilane/SiloxaneWater-based
Rain Guard Water Sealers for Concrete Pavers2.4 Pounds (‎1 Gallon)ClearSilane/SiloxaneWater-based
Masonrydefender Penetrating Concrete Sealer8.36 Pounds (‎1 Gallon)ClearSiloxaneWater-based

Buying Guide on the Best Exposed Aggregate Concrete Sealer

best concrete sealer

The textured surface of the exposed aggregate concrete is attractive but susceptible to stains and fades if you don’t seal it. A good quality sealer will protect the concrete and keep it looking new for years. Here are a few things to consider when choosing the right exposed aggregate concrete sealer:

Solvent or Water-Based Sealer:

You can choose from solvent or water-based sealers. Each one has its unique properties.

Solvent Based Sealer:

Solvent-based exposed aggregate concrete sealer is suitable for indoor and outdoor surfaces. These sealers contain acrylic or latex material, providing a low gloss finish that will not be yellow over time.

They can be breathable, so you don’t have difficulty breathing while sealing. Water-based sealants are also safe to use and have little odor.

Water-Based Sealer:

A water-based concrete sealer for exposed aggregate has a clear or natural finish. It is also a low VOC sealer made of Silane/Siloxane. With minimal maintenance, the coating protects exposed aggregate concrete surfaces for a long time.

This sealer penetrates deep into the concrete pores to create a hydrophobic barrier that repels water and other liquids. It helps to resist staining and fading and makes cleaning exposed aggregate concrete surfaces much easier.

Your concrete will also look its best with the sealer since it will resist staining and fading. The coating can be applied to exposed aggregate concrete by a sprayer, roller, or brush. With regular maintenance, the sealer will help to keep your exposed aggregate concrete looking like new for years to come.

Volume and Coverage:

Based on the size of the surface you are sealing, you will need different amounts of sealer. The coverage area varies on different exposed aggregate concrete sealers. You can use thin sealers or thick sealers, depending on what you need.

Another reason has to do with the porosity of the concrete. Some concrete is more porous than others, affecting how much sealer is needed to coat the surface properly. One gallon of sealer will cover about 50-250 square feet, depending on the porosity of the surface.

The application method can also impact the coverage area. When you apply the sealer by hand, you’ll need more than when you use an airless sprayer. When choosing the best concrete sealer for exposed aggregate, you should consider all of these factors.

Dry and Cure Time:

brick paver sealers

Depending on the temperature and humidity, the sealer will dry more quickly or more slowly. Generally, the sealer will take about 24 hours to dry completely. Some sealers have a fast drying time so you can recoat it after an hour.

Cure time also depends on high and low temperatures. It can take up to 72 hours for the sealer to cure completely. This will give the sealer time to harden and form a durable protective barrier.

Low VOCs:

One area where low VOCs products can make a big difference is with exposed aggregate concrete sealers. Many sealers contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can off-gas into the air and cause health problems.

When choosing a sealer, always look for one labeled low-VOC, zero-VOC, or non-toxic. These sealers emit minimal fumes and are much safer to use. Low VOCs sealers are just as effective as traditional sealers at protecting exposed aggregate concrete from staining and wear.

These sealers produce fewer fumes during application. For these reasons, your next project is worth considering low VOCs exposed aggregate concrete sealers.

Durability:

As aggregate concrete is often used in high-traffic areas, it must withstand a lot of wear and tear. Rain, ice, or snow melts can cause the concrete to crack and flake. The best aggregate concrete sealer will form a barrier that blocks rainwater and moisture from seeping into the concrete and causing damage.

It’ll keep mold away from growing, which can cause the concrete to deteriorate. The sealer will protect against staining from dirt, grease, and other substances.

A high-quality sealer that’s been applied correctly can last for several years. But if the sealer is applied too thin or if it’s not compatible with the concrete, it may only last for a few months. Use a high-quality aggregate concrete sealant and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to get the best results.

Ease of Application:

Applying a sealer to exposed aggregate concrete can be a messy job. If you’re not careful, the sealer can get on your clothes, skin, or in your eyes. Wear gloves and protective clothing when applying the sealer.

Some sealers are more accessible to apply than others. Water-based sealers are typically the easiest to apply because they don’t require any special equipment. Sealers often require the use of a tube or pump sprayer. Applying the concrete aggregate sealer with a roller or brush is also a good option.

How to Apply Sealant to Exposed Aggregate Concrete?

penetrating concrete sealers

Since exposed aggregate concrete is attractive, it is a popular choice for driveways, patios, and walkways. This unsealed concrete can become stained and faded if it is not sealed correctly. Here is a guide on applying the sealant to exposed aggregate concrete.

Step 01) Clean the Concrete Surface:

The surface must be clean and free of debris before applying sealer. Use a pressure washer to remove dirt, dust, or pollen from the surface. If there are oil or grease stains, use a rust remover or degreaser to dissolve them. Allow the concrete surface to dry completely.

Step 02) Apply the Sealer:

It is best to use the sealer when the sun is not shining directly on the concrete. Use a sprayer, nap roller, or brush to apply the first coat of sealer.

Apply even strokes and work in sections. Do not allow the sealant to puddle on the surface. If this happens, you must remove the excess with a squeegee. Allow the first coat of sealer to dry completely according to the manufacturer’s instructions before applying a second coat.

Step 03) Apply the Second Coat:

After the first coat of sealer has dried, apply a second coat. Use the same method as you did for the first coat. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, let the second coat of sealer cure.

How Long Do You Have to Stay off Concrete After Sealing?

How Long Do You Have to Stay off Concrete After Sealing

It depends on which sealer you use. Water-based sealers typically only require a few hours of drying time before you can walk on the treated surface. But solvent-based sealers can take up to 48 – 72 hours to dry completely.

The time also depends on weather conditions. When the weather is hot and sunny, the aggregate sealer will likely dry more quickly. But if it’s cold or cloudy, it will take longer for the sealer to dry.

Can You Pressure Wash the Exposed Aggregate Concrete Sealer off?

A high-power washer can remove concrete sealer from exposed aggregate concrete. If the layer is thin, it will blast the sealer right off. But if the sealer is thick, removing it will take some effort.

To remove the old sealer, start with a low-pressure setting and work your way up. Hold the nozzle about 6 – 8 inches away from the exposed aggregate surface, and make sure you’re moving it back and forth as you clean.

If the sealer is still not coming off, you can try using a chemical stripper. These products are chemical based, have toxin warnings, and require gloves and eye protection.

You can also apply to sandblast the paver sealer off. This method is very aggressive and can damage the concrete if not done correctly. It’s best to hire a professional if you’re not comfortable using any of these methods.

How Long Should You Wait to Seal Exposed Aggregate Concrete off?

How Long Should You Wait to Seal Exposed Aggregate Concrete off

You must wait at least 30 days before sealing exposed aggregate concrete to cure and harden fully. If you seal too early, the penetrative or decorative concrete sealer will not properly adhere to the surface and will not provide the desired level of protection.

It may prevent the concrete from being cured properly, which can lead to cracking. Even the surface becomes uneven. So be patient and give it 30 days before applying the sealer.

How long does Exposed Aggregate Concrete Sealer Last?

The lifespan of an exposed aggregate concrete sealer depends on the type of sealer: water or solvent-based. It also depends on the environment it is used in (indoors or outdoors) and the elements it is exposed to (water, salt, dirt, UV rays, etc.)

In most cases, exposed aggregate concrete sealants will last six months to seven years. Solvent-based latex and acrylic sealers last up to 7 years, while water-based sealers can last up to 5 years.

We here tried to share most of the essential information on exposed aggregate concrete sealers. If you want to use the best sealer for exposed aggregate concrete, choose one from our list. Now it’s time to pick the one that matches your needs.

5 Best Sealer for Exposed Aggregate Concrete in 2022

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