What’s Better Solvent or Water based Sealers for Wintertime Projects?
Applying water based sealers in the wintertime can be challenging but not impossible. Certainly, all outdoor decorative concrete should be sealed with a solvent based sealer from December-February. Though solvents are less temperature sensitive overall, they still should not be applied in freezing conditions. Water based sealers can be used for indoor flooring projects in occupied homes or businesses under the following conditions:
- All surfaces should be at a temperature greater than 60°F with an air temperature difference of 5 degrees or less.
- Central heating, radiant or convection heaters, or similar heating devices should be turned off during application.
- In-floor heating should be set at 60-65°F before application and turned off during the process.
- Apply the sealer from a paint tray. Do not pour directly onto the floor.
For best results in dry conditions, dampen the applicator with warm water and shake out the excess before beginning the application. If you have a new construction project that might be difficult to heat, consider sticking to a solvent-based sealer. Keep in mind that floors sealed with acrylic sealers must be waxed with either a Residential or Commercial Wax and Floor Polish depending on traffic and use. Read over our complete acrylic sealer and concrete wax applications before proceeding.
Water and solvent based polyurethanes can be installed during the winter but the ambient and concrete surface temperature should not fall below 65F. Due to the strong odors, always be mindful of applying solvent based sealers indoors and ventilate well to the outside. If ventilation isn’t possible because weather conditions, reconsider using the solvent and select a water based product instead.
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