Concrete Sealers and the Environment: What You Need to Know

Learn about concrete sealers, stains, and their environmental impact

There is a lot of confusion surrounding concrete sealers. Are they good for the environment? Do they help or harm the ecosystem? Let’s look at some of the important environmental facts that everyone should know about concrete sealers...

Concrete sealers help conserve concrete and reduce waste

Concrete is a locally-made product that can last for a long time; with the proper care and maintenance, it will last decades. However, when concrete needs to be replaced, it often ends up in landfills or waste areas.

There are uses for old slabs of concrete, such as erosion barriers on river banks, but they are often taken to landfills and recycling centers for disposal. Not only is this costly, it creates waste in the landfill. While recycling may be a better option, it still requires energy to recycle slabs, not to mention the fuel for hauling this heavy material to the facility.

The best strategy is to get the most use from the concrete you already have, and this means concrete sealers. Because concrete sealers extend the life of a driveway, sidewalk, or concrete patio, they are essential products for “green” buildings.

Water-based sealers are considered more eco-friendly...

There are two general types of concrete sealers: water-based and solvent-based sealers. For the most part, water-based sealers are considered more eco-friendly because they don’t release as many chemicals into the air when drying.

If you are adding a layer of concrete sealer to an indoor structure, it is often recommended that you use a water-based sealer like Cobble Loc Matte or Cobble Coat H2O.

Low VOC means fewer chemicals are released into the air

“VOC” is a term that you will come across when looking at concrete sealers. Standing for “volatile organic compounds,” VOC is a measure of the carbon-based compounds that are released by sealers and other products, including plastics and rubbers.

A product with a lower VOC is more environmentally-friendly. If you are concerned about clean sealers, find a product that has a low VOC like Cobble Impregnator.

VOC regulations vary by state, county, and city

Before you start laying down a sealer, you should be aware that regulations for water-based and solvent-based products will change depending on where you live. Your state may have specific guidelines for VOC levels, while counties and cities could have even stricter laws. Make sure you or the contractor you are working with fully understands the regulations in your area.

There is a lot of confusion surrounding the ecological impact of concrete sealers, but as you can see, these are safe, reliable products that don’t harm the environment and keep concrete out of landfills by extending its useful life.

Let us help you choose the right sealer

Contact SurfaceLogix today to learn more about concrete sealers and stains. We would love to help you choose an eco-friendly concrete sealer to use on your driveway, sidewalk, our patio!