Applying a sealer to exterior decorative flatwork is the last step before turning a project over to the owner. If the sealer turns cloudy, peels off, blisters, or otherwise mars the appearance of the surface, remedial steps can be costly. A bad sealer application may even require removing and replacing the concrete. So it pays to know what can go wrong, and why.

Film-forming sealers that contain acrylic polymers are preferred because acrylics allow water vapor to escape from the concrete and resist chalking or yellowing when exposed to sunlight. These products fill very small surface depressions, enriching color intensity and making it easier to keep the surface clean. Acrylic sealers are available in solvent- and water-based formulations. The most effective products contain 100% acrylic resins with a solvent carrier.