The three primary types of silicate sealers are sodium silicate, lithium silicate, and potassium silicate. All silicates undergo a chemical reaction with the free lime and calcium found in concrete, cement, and brick. This reaction forms a crystalline barrier within the pores of the concrete (Calcium Silicate Hydrate). The strength of this barrier, however, is dependent on the type of silicate you use and the concentration of the silicate (determined by the manufacturer).
Potassium Silicates: Potassium silicates, when exposed to water for a long period of time, will actually start to break down. They are the least popular type of silicate sealer.
Sodium Silicates: Sodium silicate sealers are popular because of their price point. The primary downfall to sodium silicates is that they contain salt. If you over apply a sodium silicate sealer unreacted material will be pushed to the surface. Once the water evaporates, the sodium will react with the oxygen and turn to an efflorescence substance. While over application isn’t typical, it does happen. To remove the efflorescence substance, simply use Lime Away and a wire brush.
Lithium Silicates: Lithium silicates are more expensive to manufacture which means they come with a higher price tag. They are very reactive sealers with a very low viscocity. They are the highest performing silicate on the market.
Foundation Armor manufactures three silicate based sealers. The Armor S1000 and Armor S2000 are sodium silicate based and the Armor L3000 is a lithium silicate based sealer. They are specially formulated to outlast and outperform all other silicate based sealers on the market. They are approved by the U.S. Military as water and moisture barriers. Learn more.