By sealing using a paver sealer, you can protect your paver project from stains, fading, and salt damage. Exposure to the elements will naturally start to fade your paver over time, but stains can occur in a number of ways. For example, cars & equipment may leak fluids on driveways or fruit from landscape plants can fall and their pigments can dye the paver surface. Therefore, sealing is a valuable way to prolong the life and look of your concrete pavers.
Paver sealing also allows you to create a specific look for your paver project. We will talk about these options below, but different sealers will give you different outcomes. You can enhance the color of your pavers or apply a specific finish.
Choosing Your Paver Sealer
Paver Sealer modes of Action:
Film Forming Sealers are applied to the surface and create a barrier on top of the concrete. Two popular kinds of film sealers are acrylic resin-based sealers and polyurethane sealers. Acrylic sealers are a more cost-effective option that can be blended with other additives to enhance their performance. Although, some sealers of this type will turn yellow after exposure to sunlight, so it is a good idea to look for a ‘pure acrylic resin’ variety that won’t discolor.
Polyurethane sealers are a more expensive film forming sealer. They work by creating a thicker layer of sealer and do not discolor. That being said, they can sometimes be slippery and do not allow the concrete to breathe, which sometimes causes hazing.
A penetrating sealer will not change the look of your concrete, but are an effective way to prolong the life of your pavers. The concrete paver is penetrated by specialty resins that defend against a variety of elements.
High Gloss Paver Sealers
These are solvent based sealers, some of which are known for giving a ‘wet look’ to your pavers. They do this by darkening the surface of the paver with a higher concentration of solids. This can sometimes enhance the color profile of the paver, but may not be a look that everyone will love.
Satin & Gloss Sealers
These mid-range finishes are generally water based and can provide you with a variety of looks depending on their composition.
No-Gloss & Matte Paver Sealers
These are penetrating sealers. Because they do not sit on top of the paver they do not fundamentally change the look on the top of the paver.
How to Apply your Paver Sealer
If you plan to seal newly installed paver you should wait at least a week before applying penetrating sealers. Film forming sealers may require 30-60 days before they can be sealed. Always follow manufacturer instructions.
Before applying your paver sealer the surface needs to be clean. If you have existing stains a variety of paver cleaners can be used. This is also a good time to repair any damaged areas in an existing patio, driveway, or sidewalk. Efflorescence may also occur and should be removed with a specialty cleaner, before sealing.
A dry surface is essential to make sure the sealer adheres to your pavers properly. As a general rule wait 24 hours after cleaning to ensure your pavers are dry.
Always protect yourself when applying sealers. Read the manufacturer recommendations for the formula of your choice, but long sleeves, pants, water proof gloves, and eye protection are advised.
Using a sprayer or roller apply the paver sealer of your choice in a few thin coats. Keeping a wet edge while you work. You should plan to finish your coat of sealer once you start. Let your paver sealer dry in between coats. This can take anywhere from a couple of hours to a day depending on weather conditions. Therefore, you should always check the surface to make sure it isn’t at all tacky or sticky to the touch before applying another coat.
After applying your paver sealer there are some maintenance tips you should keep in mind. Wash your pavers with soapy water every few months. Sealing too often may cause a white haze to form on top of your pavers. Plan to apply sealer every 2-5 years, and spot treat as needed after cleaning.
There is a lot to consider when choosing the paver sealer that is right for your project. The professional landscape installers at Landscapes Unlimited can ensure that your paver project is finished to perfection. We offer design and install services to help you make your dream Minnesota landscape a reality.