sealing pavers

Once Buddha Builders has installed your beautiful new  drivewayretaining wall, or backyard oasis, you will want to keep it looking beautiful for many years to come. The first thing clients ask is how to keep it as beautiful as the day it was installed. The short answer is to seal it. Applying a paver sealer is the best way to protect a new, or old, installation looking good for years to come.One of the ways to do that is to apply a paver sealer.

Benefits of Sealing Your Pavers

One of the main benefits of sealing pavers is to reduce maintenance by slowing the growth of moss or mildew in damp areas and inhibit weeds to keep your pavers looking new. It will also prevent stains from oil, food and drink spills, BBQ grease, dirt, leaves and pet messes. With the sealer, stains will stay on top of the sealant and not penetrate into the paver pores.

When To Seal Permeable Pavers

Paver sealer should be applied 60-90 days after installation is complete. That time will allow for a full weather cycle on your installation and enable your pavers to reach their optimal joint stabilization. It will also allow for the naturally occurring efflorescence to emanate from your pavers. In all concrete jobs, salts migrate to the surface in the first few months causing a whitish coating. Buddha Builders will clean and seal your pavers to keep our installations looking beautiful.

What Else You Should Know About Sealing Pavers?

Paver sealers can be broken into two categories; water-based and solvent-based. Both water-based and solvent-based sealers will provide long lasting protection to newly installed, or older concrete surfaces. They are designed to protect your pavers from wear and tear and as the paver’s primary means of stain resistance by preventing stains from penetrating into the concrete.

While water-based sealers do not have the strong solvent order and are easier to clean up, with Buddha Builders doing the job, the only difference between the two is the appearance.  Solvent -based sealers will “wet out” and penetrate concrete surfaces well. The result is a glossier finish that enhances the color of underlying concrete. If you like the look of pavers after it rains, this is the preferred choice. Water-based sealers will appear milky white when applied, but will cure to provide a lower-gloss, matte finish.

Sealing pavers is not an absolute necessity. Unsealed concrete won’t immediately deteriorate, pavers will still last a long time. They just require more maintenance. Any stains must be immediately cleaned up, before they can penetrate the pore of the concrete.

Pavers are a long-term investment, and without sealing, they won’t maintain their new look for more than a few years. Sealants are designed to protect pavers not just from stains, but from the elements. Western Washington has all four seasons, and sealing will protect pavers from sun, rain, snow and ice. Sealing creates an invisible layer that protects your pavers from the elements and anything foreign, like leaves and moss, that might drop or try to grow between them and repels water, oil and spills.

Depending on your expectations, concrete will look good and not fade right away. Eventually, UV breakdown will cause unsealed pavers to fade and lose their color. Paver sealers also contain an additive that will harden joint sand, making it less likely to have joint loss through settling or shifting sands. While not required, sealing is highly recommended.

Full disclosure; it is possible to seal your own pavers. But there are a few things that can go wrong with a DIY sealant project. Improper preparation will make it almost impossible to get a good seal and will not protect the pavers, compromising their visual longevity. Improper cleaning before sealing will trap stains under the seal, resulting in the pavers looking worse than they did before they were sealed.

A common problem is improper application of sealant, causing “hazing” from a white film trapped under the sealer. That will require stripping the sealer and starting the project all over again. Some home owners believe that is some is good; more is better and over apply their sealer which will create a haze and diminish the look of their urban landscape.

In the end, with rental of a pressure washer, purchasing paver cleaner, efflorescence remover, new sand and the time it will take for a DIY sealer project, it is more cost effective to let Buddha Builders, with our work guarantee, to do it for you.

Paver sealant is an important maintenance tool to keep paver patios, walkways, driveways and pool decks looking as beautiful as they day they were installed. And, as they say, there is no time like the present. The ideal conditions are 75 degrees and sunny, a narrow window for Washington summers. Generally, pavers will dry and seal anywhere between 50-90 degrees, but temperature can affect dry times.  In warmer weather, pavers are dry in a few hours, in cooler temperatures and shady areas they may require up to 24 hours. solvent-based sealants evaporate faster, so lower temperatures are better for application.

Ready build your outdoor living space oasis?

Whatever you choose, adding a sealing service to your permeable paver installation will keep your outdoor oasis protected, low maintenance and looking good for years to come. Invest in your Zen and schedule a sealing service today.