Sealing Apartment Breezeways


#1

Got a client who is a property manager for a large apartment complex. They are wanting to cleaning the breezeways, walkways and stairs for the 18 buildings in the complex. They also want to look at sealing the concrete.

  1. Tenants, by evidence all over the place, appear to have little regard for spills and such.
  2. Prosoco has a sealer that has a high resistance to spills, oils, etc ( I believe it is SLX) which is also one of their most expensive sealers. I am talking with my Rep about the list of possible products to use.
  3. Has anyone sealed an apartment complex like this?

My gut keeps telling me, this will not be a good ROI for the client, as the residents won’t care of cleaning up spills and even the very best sealer is going to degrade when spills are left on it. The client will pay the big bucks to seal and then a year from now being disappointed that it still does not look new.
I have already set the expectation of concerns with sealing in this environment and the high likelihood of a significantly reduced life of sealer and recommended with sticking to yearly cleanings but would like any anecdotal results from someone here that has actually done it.


#2

I’d send them a message and ask if it’s supposed to be used for that outdoor high traffic area purpose.

there are many types of sealers…don’t discount two step epoxy either. Talk to a knowledgeable sealant company. I wouldn’t wing it on something like this.


#3

Silanes are deeper penetrating than silozanes [spelling] but silanes are a VOC product. We have used silanes on 3 new dumpster pads & had beading 4 years after application


#4

Other considerations are final appearance and what most of the spills consist of i.e. oil or water based stuff. There are some “clear” concrete sealers that will leave a blotchy look on creamed/broomed finished concrete. Some sealers are better at blocking water and others are better for oil. I have had good luck with SEK Surebond 4400 but it has been for homeowner pool decks, not high traffic like breezeways. Assuming most of the breezeways are covered you won’t see UV breakdown and the sealer should make subsequent clean up much easier.


#5

Thanks for the responses.

To help the conversation -

Sealer Consideration - will be a solvent based product as VOC regs do not apply here.

As far as contaminants - I can only assume a bit of everything. Just thinking out load here - people in and out of their apartments, carrying food, trash, etc. I imagine over the course of a year, just about anything would get spilled and left to dry.

As far as UV, these buildings face all directions, so some breezeways,stairs, walkways would see very little sun while others would get direct light for much of the day.

They key thing here, is the manager keeps thinking this is going to last 5-10 years which I just am having a hard time seeing.

@Maelstrom - what kind of a dumpster pad - restaurant, retail or office? Just curious as restaurant would be a totally different situation than say office.


#6

This was retail trowel finished , I have applied same sealer to worn broom finished Entry’s & appearance was not uniform due to peaks of broom finish totally worn down in high foot traffic areas. I use https://www.euclidchemical.com/products/construction-products/penetrating-sealers-liquid-densifiers/penetrating-sealers/baracade-silane-100-c/


#7

How much is the stuff? And how does it hold up to the grease?


#8

Will still require cleaning but it will be easier if sealed.
Lifetime of coating will depend on product, surface prep and if its applied by reputable professional, not the maintenance guy who has painted a bit before.
Slip factor is sometimes an issue, if non slip additives are required the surface will hold more dirt than before negating effect of sealer.


#9

I see your in Austin, I’m in DFW. I would recommend you speak to Doug Mineart SEK Surebond, He’s the regional rep that covers TX. He’s out of AR. He’s a good guy and has come to more than one job site with me to help me come up with the best solution and address all the variables. His cell number is 470-505-9476.


#10

Cleaning filthy, oily sealed concrete with hot water & chems is going to reduce life of sealer, and as the bushie said, prep is critical, moisture content can be an issue. I have never paid less than 79.00 per gallon [minimum 5] & always ask how long has product been on the shelf, you want a born date of 6 months or less.


#11

Circling back -

I am not worried about prep or cost.

What I am trying to determine is the ROI based on the most likely life expectancy under the conditions noted.

I have years of experience with surface sealers within restaurants environments in a interior application and you have to reseal at least every 6 months. They just get beat to crap from the foot traffic, spills, grease getting tracked out from the kitchen, etc.

Now I am looking at only doing an impregnating or penetrating sealer to avoid slip concerns common with surface or acrylic/epoxy type sealers.

Having said that, has anyone sealed breezeways in an apartment complex?

I am really trying to figure out if it is even worth doing. I think within a year it will look bad, as residents are going to spill whatever is in their trash on it and not clean it up, kids making whatever messes kids make, etc. If it is not cleaned up quickly and let to soak and dry, then it will eat away at whatever sealer you have.

This is a $34k job. I always put myself in the clients shoes - if I am spending that kind of money, I expect it to last a certain amount of time. That is the question I am trying to answer - how long will it last?

I am currently doing a $31k sealing job, but is it limestone walls, pillars and monument signs. It is going to last for 10 years since their will be nothing affecting it.

I am talking with a Prosoco Manufacture Rep (not dealer) and he is trying to find someone who has done this in the last several years (His area is all of Texas).

It seems that sealing apt complexes is not a common thing and I am guess the reason is their is no ROI for doing it. But I may be totally wrong.


#12

I had a property manger want an entire community’s driveways sealed for similar reasons (oils, spills, and so they could pressure wash them less). In the end we told them that it was probably best to not seal them as it was cheaper for us to come every year and pressure wash them for like 5 years than it was to seal them one time.


#13

Not worth the trouble in my opinion.
Very little ROI if any.
If and when concrete looks too bad they can always epoxy.


#14

I say its better to spend less to get frequently washed breezeways, rather than spend more just to protect the surfaces which really dont need it. Frequent washing will keep it clean, but sealing t’s just sealing. Unless they still want you to wash them with regularity.


#15

Thanks for the responses. Confirms what I was thinking.

I know she wants to seal and I stand to make a nice penny from it, but that is not what my company is about.

We are supposed to be the experts, and should put the client’s best interest first and foremost.

Not sure I could sleep well at night knowing that even though it is their money, I took advantage of someone who didn’t know better.

I will be giving an education in the morning instead of cashing a nice check. It is the right thing to do.

Thanks everyone.


#16

Still, if they feel the need to move forward with the sealing, dont hesitate to let them know your still their guy.