Sealing pavers is the best way to protect your investment in patios, walks, pathways, pool decks and retaining walls. When properly sealed, bricks and cement building blocks require very little paver maintenance in the future.
High-performance sealants create a protective finish that helps to maintain a paver’s original color – or bring it back to original brilliance after a few years exposed to weather and traffic. Sealing pavers helps to repel stains, guard against premature wear and stave off molds and mildew.
Sealing Pavers – Protect, Preserve
An even application of paver sealant protects the surface and preserves the color, texture and appeal of the blocks. It’s best to seal new paver structures soon after installation. The first application can be expected to last 2-3 years depending on the severity of our Madison WI weather and the amount of and type of traffic grinding in dirt and debris. Regular paver maintenance, including washing away loose dirt and grime, helps the sealant last. Eventually, a thorough cleaning and resealing is required to restore original color. Paver structures are not “install and forget” hardscape, but they make up for their maintenance requirements with years of hard use and eye-catching appeal.
Beyond good looks, the benefits of applying sealant include:
- Inhibiting the growth of weeds and grass between pavers
- Reducing the growth of moss or algae
- Reducing the chances of ants or insects burrowing between the seams
- Holding sand in the joints
- Repels oils, grease and stains
- Enhances color and texture – keeps the surface “bright”
- Makes routine cleaning easier
- Protects stones from extreme weather conditions
- Protects against salt and ice-melt products
- Reducing surface wear
- Keeps pavers tight
All Paver Sealants Are Not The Same
The products used for sealing pavers vary from basic to specialized – providing different looks, stabilizing joints and providing fungicides to resist moss, mildew and mold depending upon the local demand. Consider choices for a specific “look:”
- Natural Stone – use a penetrating sealant that provides a matte finish. Almost invisible, it protects and provides a better slip-resistance than most.
- Satin, Semi-gloss – to prolong the “new look” it is easy to maintain while protecting against stains.
- High-gloss – proves a “wet look” to dry pavers and gives them a true polished appearance. Darkens the pavers bringing out the deepest colors. Very good at preventing stains from penetrating into the stone.
The task of sealing pavers is taken on for several reasons, including:
- Protection from the elements – the key challenge to keeping pavers look new is weathering caused by the sun’s UV rays. UV degradation causes the surface to break down. Pavers are very durable but the color pigments will fade as they age. Sealing your pavers keeps the colors vibrant longer.
- Enhancing Appearance – Sealants on bricks and pavers work like varnish on wooden surfaces. They draw out color and contrast to provide visual interest.
- Stabilizing Joint Sand – sealing pavers provides a hardening agent to the sand between the pavers. The hardening prevents displacement from wind erosion, foot traffic, rain, ice/snow and invading weeds.
- Quick Cleanup – sealants make pavers less porous so routine paver maintenance is easier. The protective coating means stains, oils and dirt don’t sink into the block – and spills are removed with ease.
Sealing Pavers – How-to Tips
Some manufacturers suggest waiting a year before sealing pavers for the first time while others recommend specific sealants when installation is complete. Check with your hardscape professional who will know what the maker of the stones you’re using requires.
Preparation for the application is key to its success. Prepping the surface includes:
- Insuring the surface is dry – and that no rain is forecast within the next 24 hours.
- Cleaning the surface of any loose debris – special attention to stains. Use a good, stiff broom or a power blower – be careful not to blast away the sand in paver joints. Pull and weed or grass that sticks up.
- Apply sealer with a low-pressure sprayer.
- Use a squeegee to maneuver the sealant into the joints and to remove excess from the pavers.
- Let the treated surface dry for 2-3 hours before anyone walks on it.
- Keep off pavers walks, driveways and patios for at least 24 hours to allow the sealant to completely dry.
Pavers can be resealed and high-quality sealant should be reapplied every 3-5 years – or according to the recommendation of your hardscape installation contractor.
Paver Maintenance and Installation Takes Experience
Planning and incorporating patio paver ideas to blend with a complete hardscape design takes skill and foresight. With proper planning and installation by trained professionals most anything is possible.
Contact Marvin Martinez at Martin’s Brick Pavers, 608-630-8855 or email us at www.marvinsbrickpavers.com for professional installation and routine paver maintenance – including sealing pavers to protect the investment in your Madison WI home.