I am about to put concrete sealer on a driveway and inside a garage. What sealer should I apply, if I am specifically interested in preventing water from getting in cracks and causing frost heaves and less interested in aesthetics? Brand recommendations, as well as types (e.g., epoxy, silicates) are welcome.

  • A sealer won't do much for cracks. – DA01 Aug 15 '12 at 3:20
  • I think frost heave (cracking and tilting of concrete) is from the ground underneath freezing and thawing. You may be thinking of spalling (pieces of the surface pop off)? – dbracey Aug 16 '12 at 19:54

Epoxy is not light stable (ie: it will discolor) and silicates are densifiers, but do not seal concrete. It's likely that you have a broom finished driveway and machine trowelled garage, so whatever chemistry you use needs to be compatible with both types. Most film formers (acrylic, epoxy, urethane, etc) will require an acid etching (at minimum) for proper adhesion on trowelled substrates. Though film formers are usually preferred for their aesthetic qualities, and you've said that aesthetics aren't that important.

Bottom line is, I would recommend a penetrating sealer; either silane or siloxane. You'll get maximum protection from freeze/thaw damage and deicing chemicals, and good longevity (about 7 years outdoors, 10 in the garage). ChemMasters offers silanes with 40 % to 100 % active ingredients (Aquanil Plus 40, 55 or 100). These are solvent-based products, and you may find the solvent fumes overwhelming when used in an enclosed area like a garage. Spallguard WB is water-based (no solvent fumes) with 10 % active siloxane (siloxane is a larger molecule and requires fewer actives to seal concrete). This may be a better choice for you.

*Please note that I am affiliated with ChemMasters (link in profile) and there might be similar products available from other vendors *

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    FYI, see diy.stackexchange.com/faq#promotion. That said, this answer is actually pretty good and seems to specifically answer this question and adds useful information. – auujay Jul 6 '12 at 18:31
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    @auujay I agree so I edited the answer to include a disclaimer and remove the website link. – Steven Aug 15 '12 at 1:09
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    @Steven why remove the website link? That should be fine. – wax eagle Aug 15 '12 at 13:14
  • If someone disagrees then by all means edit it back in, but the point of the site is to provide help to people, not tell them a specific site to buy it at which benefits the poster. – Steven Aug 15 '12 at 13:31
  • If removing the link makes the answer worse then the link should stay. Link + disclaimer is fine as long as readers know the affiliation. In the ideal case the the person answering would list their product + disclaimer + competitors, but I don't think editing the post to remove the link is beneficial if it actually makes the answer less useful. I'll post this comment as an answer on meta for more discussion. – umassthrower Aug 21 '12 at 15:35

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