Frequently Asked Questions
Everday we receive questions from visitors to our site, asking for help or advice. Here are a few examples which may assist you in making an educated decision before buying our products.
Q: What's the difference between a solvent-based sealer and a water-based sealer?
A: Solvent-based sealers use a solvent as the carrier for the polymer sealer. Once applied the solvent carrier evaporates and the polymer chains bind together to form the seal. This process causes the sealer to wet-out the concrete and the result is a high-gloss finish. Water-based sealers use water as the carrier for the polymer and are usually milky when first applied. The polymer beads in the water carrier then bind together to form protective seal over the surface. Water-based sealers start cloudy or milky and dry to a mid-sheen clear finish.
Q: You sell a range of solvent-based sealers for different applications, eg. Slate Sealer 321 and Stencilled Concrete Sealer 313. What are the differences between these?
A: As we're the manufacturer of quality sealers, our rigorous research and testing has allowed us to create a range of products specific to the customers needs. The main differences are in our formulations; harder surfaces require different percentages of ingredients compared to more absorbent surfaces. Compare the hardness of slate to the porousness of sandstone by pouring a glass of water on both while they are in their "raw" state. Sandstone will quickly absorb the water, while the slate will take much longer... Using the right sealer for the surface will allow you to better calculate the amount required to seal the surface and may save you money by minimising waste through over-ordering.
Q: What's the best sealer to use to obtain a high gloss or wet look finish?
A: We make a range of solvent based sealers and for most surfaces, these will give a hiugh gloss, wet look finish.
For simple concrete slabs and driveways we recommend the 310 or 311 sealers. For exposed agregates concrete use 312; stenciled concrete use 313, stamped concrete us 314, for more dense natural stone (e.g. slate) use 321; for more porous natural stone (eg sandstone) use 331. Remember to consult the application guide for the product prior to purchase or give us a call or send us an email with your enquiry. Our friendly experts are here to help.
Q: I need to seal the floor inside my home, what sealer should I use?
A: For interior surfaces, a low odour water-based sealer may be appropriate. We recommend our 401 Clear Water Based Sealer for most surfaces where strong odours are undesirable. Remember to consult the application guide for the product prior to purchase or give us a call or send us an email with upir enquiry. Our friendly experts are here to help.
Q: I've sealed my driveway and it appears to have become milky in appearance, what's happened?
A: There may be a number of issues that can cause this problem, however the main cause of a milky appearance of the sealer is moisture. When a sealer is applied to a surface a process occurs which causes the solids content of the sealer to bond together, within the surface and on top of it. If there is moisture present in the surface that's being sealed, this moisture becomes trapped within the sealer as it's curing. This moisture will bind with the sealer and cause it to appear milky.
More information on fixing cloudy, dull or milky sealers can be found here.
Q: How do I check there's no moisture in the surface I'm about to seal?
A: The best way to check for moisture in a surface is to perform a very simple moisture test. Simply tape a small square (roughly 30cm x 30cm) of clear plastic (cling film works well!) to the concrete and leave for an hour or so in full sun. If there is no condensation or moisture the surface is generally safe to seal. Note that in cooler temperatures moisture may not be evident. Test areas should ideally be in direct sunlight and left for longer in cooler conditions.
Q: I've sealed my driveway and it appears to have become milky in appearance, how can I fix it?
A: Base 399 Solvent can be used to remove water whitening. Apply liberally over affected area and work into surface with a broom then allow to dry. Re-apply sealer as required.
Q: I've applied sealer to my driveway and it appears patchy, what's happened and what can i do?
A: If water whiteneing doesn't appear to be the issue, please feel free to give us a call on 1300 850 540 and one of our expert technicians will be able to assist you. As we don't have any of our expert technicians on the road (they're all here working on the next big product from Base Coatings), taking clear photos and emailing them to us may assist us in determining the issue, and you will be advised on the best way to fix the problem.