Sealing a paver surface can be beneficial for many reasons. All sealers are different, but benefits may include protection, color enhancement, and possibly even joint stabilization. Sealers can protect the surface from stains, UV exposure, and harmful substances such as salt or other corrosives. A gloss, or "wet-look" finish will enhance the appearance of the paver surface, bringing out the natural colors of each paver. A joint stabilizing sealer will lock in joint sand increasing the integrity of the paver installation and deterring pests such as weeds and ant hills. Sealed pavers are also much easier to clean and maintain. |
Begin by carefully reviewing the sealer instructions, technical bulletin, and/or Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). Keep them nearby for reference throughout the duration of your project.
Gather required supplies including sealer, tools, and necessary safety equipment such as safety glasses/goggles, gloves, and respirators if applicable. Use an industrial, hot-water pressure washer to steam-clean and powerwash the concrete paver surface to remove any grease, grime, stains, dirt and debris.
The steam also helps open the pores of the surface ensuring a strong bond between the surface and the sealer. Use biodegradable degreasers and detergents where necessary to help remove heavy stains, oil, or efflorescence that may be present. If you don't have access to a hot-water pressure washer, consider hiring a mobile pressure washing service to ensure the cleanest surface possible.
For a solvent-based sealer wait until the pavers are completely dry before application and shut off any nearby sources of flame (pilot lights on gas water heaters, etc.). Some water-based sealers may be applied to a damp surface.
Mask off any nearby surfaces or structures that you want to prevent from being sealed.
Following the manufacturer's instructions, carefully use a pump sprayer or short-nap roller to evenly apply a coat of sealer to the paver surface. Coverage rates will vary greatly depending on factors such as the condition and porosity of the surface but typically range from 100 - 400 sq ft per gallon. Apply sealer liberally but be careful to not over-apply.
Sealer will typically be dry to the touch within an hour for foot traffic or a second coat of sealer if necessary. The freshly sealed surface should be protected from all moisture and heavy traffic for 24 to 48 hours while it cures.
Clean all tools and materials immediately upon completion. Water can be used to clean water-based sealers. Use Xylene or the manufacturer recommended cleaner for solvent-based sealers.
Follow proper maintenance instructions for the sealed surface. Pressure wash as needed, but use care not to use too much pressure which can cause damage to the surface or strip off the sealer. Depending on the severity of weather and amount of traffic, a reapplication of sealer may be desired every 3 to 5 years.
PLEASE NOTE: This list is a general overview of how to seal concrete pavers. When you choose a sealer, be sure to follow the product manufacturer's specifications for preparation, installation, and maintenance. Each sealer will have its own special considerations with respect to safety precautions, application techniques and clean-up methods.
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