We're Here to Help
Frequently Asked Questions
Below you’ll find answers to the questions we get asked most about sealing.
Use our SEALER BY SUBSTRATE link on the Resources Page as your starting point. Here we list sealer products and cross reference them with a variety of natural and man-made substrates. All sealers listed here protect and increase stone life. Our unique chemistry addresses a variety of challenges including: Stabilizing, strengthening and repairing soft or older, decaying stone. Consolidating sealers for porous stone– increases stone life and stop efflorescence. Stain resistance to a variety of materials: Outdoor organic materials including molds and algae, leaves, nuts/seeds, oils, wine and red clay. Enhancing sealers that darken stone with wet-look and emphasize stone color available in matte, gloss, semi-gloss finishes. Note: Serveon sealers can be used in combination to achieve a wider variety of solutions.
ALWAYS CLEAN THE SURFACE PRIOR TO SEALING: Remove dirt, leaves, loose particles, loose stone, grease and stains before application. If power washing, let the area dry for 24-48 hours.
DO NOT APPLY OVER PREVIOUSLY SEALED AREAS: If unsure if application area has been sealed before, test a small area. If product does not absorb, this indicates prior sealing or too dense a substrate; applying the product over a previously sealed area can result in a white haze or oily film forming on the surface that is difficult to remove.
IF ACID ETCHING: Serveon Sealants makes a phosphoric based cleaner (CL500) for concrete and limestone and for removing grout and mortar clumps left on other surfaces and efflorescence. It is milder and safer to use than muriatic acid and very effective. With any acid cleaner, be sure to rinse with a neutralizer such as Serveon’s NU100. Leaving the surface after acid etching without neutralizing can affect the bond of the sealer.
Wet-on-wet refers to a method of sealing where additional coats are applied before the previous coat has dried. Your surface must be properly cleaned and prepped before beginning and dry. Once the first coat has been applied and absorbed into the surface, the second coat is applied over it. This can take from 1 minute or less for porous stone to 5 or more minutes for denser stone. Consult the product data sheet for the specific details. The second and or subsequent coats can be applied as long as the surface area has not dried and the sealer continues to absorb.
For most sealers, the substrate, meaning the surface and below it need to be thoroughly dry. Be sure no water is applied, or heavy rain occurs for a minimum 24 – 48 hours prior to application depending on amount of rainfall. If area to be treated has been underwater for long periods such as a waterfall or the backside of the substrate is adjacent to water, additional drying time will be necessary. Electronic Moisture Meters: An inexpensive tool ensuring you the substrate is sufficiently dry to seal. Meter readings below 12% indicate it is safe to apply sealant. Note: Some of Serveon sealers are suitable for less than dry/ damp surfaces.
Rule of thumb; do not apply if the surface temperature exceeds 95o F (or) falls below 50o F. For most products, the ideal application temperature is a surface temperature of 55 to 90oF. In summer months, stone exposed to direct sunlight can be substantially hotter than the ambient temperature. Sealants need time to penetrate and be absorbed. High heat can evaporate the liquid carrier too quickly leaving unabsorbed chemical on the surface, that if allowed to dry can be difficult to remove.
Yes, our sealers can and will prevent efflorescence. Serveon makes several sealers that in addition to protecting the substrate surface; they also form a powerful matrix below the surface that will prevent efflorescence in concrete, limestone, grout from coming up through the tubes, capillaries and pathways and depositing the unsightly white deposits of calcium carbonate.
Water-base sealers cannot be applied over a previously sealed solvent-base or water–base surface, with the exception below. This is the downside of water-base sealers. However, Serveon Sealants has developed technology for several water-base sealers that can be applied over previously applied water base sealers, solvent-base sealers, and themselves. Click Here to see the sealers.
Yes, in general, solvent base penetrating sealers will penetrate over previously sealed penetrating solvent or water-base sealers. They will not penetrate over film forming sealers such as acrylics or polyurethanes water or solvent-base. Acylic-based sealers can be applied over virtually any previously sealed surface as will most polyurethanes.
Sealed surfaces can be cleaned with mild detergents mixed with water such as Fabuloso and low psi power washing. We don’t recommend the use of products containing heavy “de-greasing” surfactants such as Dawn liquid detergent.
Sealing your concrete will protect it against damage and deterioration against water absorption and surface abrasion. Sealed concrete is more resistant to: Cracking, spalling, pitting, freeze-thaw and salt damage. During its 28 day cure time sealing also reduces dust.
Yes. In most instances you will need to use a film forming sealer like an acrylic or polyurethane. Serveon Sealants has several sealers for stained concrete. Penetrating sealers usually made with siloxanes or silanes can be blocked from penetrating by the stain used to color the concrete.
The water test is a quick, simple way to check if your substrate needs to be resealed. All you need to do is drop a small amount of water onto various sections and look to see if the water beads or absorbs. You can tell if the water has been absorbed into the substrate because it will darken. Sealers vary in their useful life depending on the chemicals used, the amount of chemical used, and if it is a film former or penetrating sealer. As a general rule, acrylic wet look sealers last around two years, urethane sealers from 2-4, silicone-based sealers from 3-5, but some silicone sealers can be shorter and some a little longer. The useful life of a sealer is also influenced by the amount of traffic and exposure to UV rays.
The time needed to cure will depend on the chemistry of the sealer, the temperature and humidity. Serveon Sealants are formulated to cure as fast as possible in order to minimize inconvenience. Penetrating sealers will usually be dry enough for foot traffic within an hour. Film forming acrylic wet look sealers are usually ready for foot traffic within 90 minute. Consult the applicable Data Sheet for the published cure time.
Yes, some sealers can increase slipperiness. Acrylic wet look sealers can create increased slipperiness. To reduce the slipperiness, an anti-slip grip additive can be added to the sealer. The anti-slip grip is made up of tiny polypropylene round balls that protrude slightly above the surface of the sealer making the surface less smooth and consequently less slippery.
If it rains before the sealer has cured it will probably cause the sealer to not completely bond. In the case of acrylic wet look sealers, in addition, it will usually turn white. If the sealer has cured or cured enough to repel the rain, the rain will probably not affect bond or the remainder of the curing process.