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There’s no doubt in the fact that concrete can withstand the elements on its own. It can withstand the elements on its own – after all, it’s used to build skyscrapers, interstate bridges, and even ancient Roman temples that still stand today.

However, outdoor concrete surfaces – especially those used for vehicle traffic or pedestrian can be damaged or sustained by everyday use. In the areas that regularly experience wet and cold winters, the free-thaw cycle can widen the cracks and create areas of spalling.

If your facility has an outdoor concrete surface that you’d like to keep pedestrian-safe and attractive, you will find several options for protective coatings.

Below is an overview of the most common options ranked from the least to most protection.

Outdoor concrete sealer

At a basic level, a simple concrete sealer is designed that help to keep the moisture out and protect against minor wear and staining. The product is easy to find and is helpful in the residential market for driveways or decorative patios.

In most cases, a sealer will not stand up to the demands of a commercial or industrial facility, but for a rarely-trafficked surface, it is a step up from no protection at all.

Epoxy coatings

Epoxy floor coatings are water-resistant, durable, and protect the surface from abrasions and impacts to a much greater degree than a simple sealer. An aggregate like quartz can be broadcast over the coatings as it is set for an anti-slip surface, ideal in wet conditions.

Unfortunately, any exposure to UV light can damage an epoxy coating. It causes it to appear chalky or yellow. UV-resistant coatings add to the formula to mitigate this, but in general epoxy, it is not recommended for use in mainly sunny areas.

Urethane-based coatings

If you are looking for the next level of protection, you may want to consider a modified urethane coating. Urethane is water-resistant, durable, and can withstand staining from spilled chemicals and oils.

Water-based urethane helps protect the containment area and loading dock for a client. These add an anti-slip texture to it as well. It is a blend of urethane and is not available off the shelf. It can be formulated by a flood coating expert, as per your needs.

Waterproof stadium coating

When we talk about the outdoor surface that must withstand foot traffic and weather, your best bet must be a special waterproof deck coating, such as those designed for sports stadiums. These are often reinforced with anti-slip elements that keep pedestrians safe, even in inclement weather.

These coatings are sometimes proprietary, so it is better to contact a concrete flooring expert who can point you in the right direction.

Elastomeric traffic coatings

When we talk about outdoor surfaces, it takes a lot of abuse from vehicle traffic. You can consider investing in an elastomeric traffic coating. The type of coating offers one of the highest levels of outdoor concrete protection.

The coating forms a kind of membrane over the surface of the concrete. It shields it from damage due to water vapor, ice, impacts, and caustic elements like chlorides and salt. It is also helpful to improve older concrete surfaces with extensive deterioration and cracking. Even though, special considerations may need to be taken depending on the existing damage.


Before you think about spending energy and money on installing outdoor concrete coating, it is wise to get a flooring professional to evaluate the current state of your surface and make personalized recommendations.

You can find concrete coating service experts who can provide you with expensive to less-expensive options to suit your budget and needs ideally.

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