Throughout this web site and on Aldon's package labeling you will see reference to the "Pour and Spread" and/or "Deep Penetration" technique on sealers.
Why do we make such a big deal about this technique of sealer application?
Since 1984 we have helped people around the world who have had problems with floor and wall installations. Few of these started out with Aldon products, but it has happened. Most were with a competitor's product. Almost all of those job problems would never have happened if our installation techniques had been used, even with the competitor's product.
This is the technique for a penetrating sealer:
Lets say you have a new Mexican Saltillo tile floor. A typical Mexican tile has varying density and absorption characteristics across its face because of how it was manufactured. A typical absorption rate for this tile would be 25% in the center - dropping to 15% toward the edges.
Next to this tile is the grout which has an absorption rate that would be approximately 10%.
If you paint on a sealer, you have given every square inch of this surface the same amount of liquid. Some areas will require significantly more liquid, but didn't receive it. In this case the tile needs more than the grout. If you had a slate or quarry tile instead of the Mexican tile, the grout needs more sealer than the tile.
By pouring the sealer from the bottle to the floor, you have created a puddle on the floor and each square inch of surface immediately starts to absorb what it needs, automatically. The excess is then pushed to the next section and more sealer poured into the new area. Now, no matter the variances in absorption rate, each square inch received what it needed. This is a virtually foolproof technique with numerous and great benefits. Also, the job gets done with fewer applications in a shorter time. Time costs more than sealer.
Using Aldon sealers the benefits of this application technique are:
- Penetration and bonding below the surface. Sealer can't peel.
- Strengthen and densify a soft material (i.e. Mexican tile)
- With a solvent based sealer, glue down and bond layers that might separate (i.e. slate)
- Create a barrier below the surface that will "breathe out" water vapor, but stop the upward migration of efflorescence salts.
- Improved bonding of any coloring treatments.
- If there exist any conditons that you are not aware of now, but could show up later, you have already minimized the risk with this higher quality application technique.
- The sealers are formulated for this type application with a good balance of drying time vs. working time. You will have plenty of time to apply the material, but it will dry rapidly enough to allow foot traffic as soon as possible.
- Absorption of sealer into highly porous materials can be reduced by waiting a minimum of 3 hours between applications. The first application then has an opportunity to harden and "float" the second application.
For a "coating" type sealer, the technique is virtually the same.
The difference is that a coating sealer is forming a film. In order to properly flow across the surface, automatically self-level, and form a tough film, it should be done as the label says, not painted on. A coating type sealer will not provide all the benefits cited above for penetrating types, however, this technique will insure the maximum bonding and toughest, best looking film coating while at the same time compensating for unexpected conditions that might effect a marginal application.
See Lifeguard for how to finish off any sealing project. Lifeguard is not a sealer and is designed to protect a glossy sealer from traffic wear and insure no need to redo or patch a sealer. It also brings stain resistance to the maximum possible.