The main difference between a sealer and a sealant is that a sealer is sprayed or brushed onto a large surface to form a film or coating that isolates the material from the environment. A sealant is basically a filler that’s applied into joints, gaps, voids and cracks, not on the entire surface. Both sealers and sealants are typically used to make a material waterproof, dustproof or air proof.
Sealers form a film, while sealants leave an elastic or rubberized coating.
For example, concrete sealers are sprayed onto concrete to make it waterproof. Concrete sealants are applied into the joints between concrete slabs. Grout is a sealant as it’s applied onto the joins between tiles.
There are different types of sealers and sealants that you can use. Let’s take a quick look at some of the most common ones.
Examples of sealers
Wax is a pretty cheap sealer but it’s not very durable. It’s typically used as a temporary solution as it has a very short lifespan. Wax leaves a thin film on the surface it’s been applied to. It should only be used in cold environments. Wax quickly melts as temperature raises.
You can use paint as a sealer to waterproof outdoor furniture and wood. It’s relatively cheap and easy to apply. You can apply it yourself, you don’t need to hire a professional for this job.
Paint will crack and peel over time, especially when exposed to direct sunlight for long periods of time. Applying a new coating of paint requires removing the existing layer first.
Acrylic-based sealers are perfect for outdoor projects thanks to their high UV resistance. They’re the perfect choice if you want to preserve the aesthetics of existing materials.
As a downside, acrylic sealers tend to wear pretty rapidly. This means you may need to apply a new layer of sealer more frequently than anticipated.
Epoxy sealers are some of the most durable sealers available on the market. They quickly bond with the surface they come into contact with. They’re completely waterproof too.
Epoxy is more expensive than other sealers but lasts longer.
Tar is an excellent damp proofing sealer if you’re on a budget. However, it tends to crash and quickly degrades under extreme heat. As a downside, tar smells pretty bad and it may take a few days before the smell disappears completely.
Examples of sealants
Grout is typically used make the joints between tiles waterproof. You can successfully use it in your kitchen and bathroom to prevent moisture from getting under the tiles. There are three main types of grout: concrete-based, acrylic and epoxy. Only epoxy grout is completely waterproof.
Silicone is a gel-like sealant that’s used to make surfaces waterproof or air proof. It’s easy to apply, cheap and very durable. It’s a multi-purpose sealant that successfully adheres to a plethora or surfaces.
Can sealants prevent the growth of moss or mold on concrete driveway?
Sealants for outdoor use can successfully prevent the growth of moss and mold on concrete driveways. Make sure to apply two layers of sealant for the best results. Epoxy-based sealants are the best choice.
Sealants applied between the joints of concrete slabs may degrade faster due to constant exposure to sunlight and rain. Make sure to check the sealant’s integrity regularly and repair any damaged areas.
Can you apply concrete sealer over an old sealer?
You can apply concrete sealer over an old sealer as long the area damage is not too big and the end result is aesthetically-pleasant. Ideally, use the same type of sealer. Make sure to apply a generous layer of sealer and cover the entire area.
How can I remove sealant from concrete?
There are two ways to remove sealant from concrete: mechanical or chemical. You can grind, blast or sand the sealant off if you want to use a mechanical method. Alternatively, you can use a chemical stripper.
Always wear protective gar when removing sealants. Mechanical methods create noise, and dust. Chemical strippers contain harsh chemicals.
Make sure to dispose of the waste materials in accordance with local laws.
To prevent unwanted events, hire a professional to do the job for you.
A sealer is applied onto a large surface to form a film or coating, while a sealant is a filler that’s applied into joints, gaps, voids and cracks. Both are typically used to make surfaces waterproof, or air proof.