When building or remodeling, you’re faced with a multiplicity of options. And it’s not just about what material you’ll use. It’s the size, shape, color, texture, and quality of those materials. It’s the designs you’ll use to turn those individual pieces into a unified whole. And to make your decision, you’ll have to think about everything from purchase and installation costs to required maintenance and everything in between.
So why would a brick paver sealer be any different?
Seemingly, there are countless options out there. And if you feel overwhelmed by the choices, don’t feel bad; it’s easy to get confused when you step into any big box store or look around online for products in this category. So let’s talk about what you should consider before choosing a quality brick paver sealer.
First, we’ll take a look at the natural enemies of that beautiful new (or old) brick and stone surface you want to protect: water, sunlight, and oxygen. Then we’ll explore your options for sealing your pavers, and what to avoid.
Let’s dig in!
Before you visit your local home improvement or hardware store, make sure you have a clear idea of the material you want to protect with a sealer.
While every choice comes with at least some benefits and drawbacks, there are a handful of options that are more well-rounded than others. Brick pavers are one of those options. And the reason why is obvious: they’re easy to install, come in a variety of colors, are reasonably priced, and are incredibly durable.
These are some of the most common natural enemies of brick and stone, so they’re good places to start with your research.
Sunlight can wreak havoc on surfaces like pavers if left unprotected. But it often takes years for the damage to show up. That doesn’t mean that you can just ignore this threat – the effects of the sun’s ultraviolet rays on brick pavers is often irreversible.
Brick paver sealer stops this from happening by blocking out unnecessary UV rays with a clear, protective barrier that’s virtually invisible when applied correctly.
Water is another major threat to materials like brick and stone. But this enemy plays fast and loose.
When paver materials get wet, they can expand or contract quickly and cause cracking. And that’s just the beginning: water damage is also incredibly hard to repair, takes a long time to develop, and once it’s there you may need to replace your pavers rather than fix them.
But brick paver sealer stops water with a microscopic polymer barrier that’s flexible but tough. It also prevents future damage by keeping surfaces dry and stable.
Finally, oxygen can cause another issue you’re probably familiar with: oxidation.
Oxidation is the chemical reaction that occurs when iron or steel (the most common components of brick) come into contact with oxygen. You may have seen the results of this reaction on an old car bumper or something similar – what used to be a metallic surface is now covered in rust.
Brick paver sealer won’t stop oxidation, but it will block out any oxygen that tries to come into contact with your pavers long enough for the oxidation process to be halted.
All right, so you’ve decided on brick pavers for your new surface. Here are some tips on how to choose quality brick paver sealer to protect it:
But once you’ve gotten your brick patio, walkway, driveway, or other space paved, you’ll need to think about brick paver sealer. After all, no paver job is complete until it’s been sealed. By doing so, you’ll ensure that it lasts as long as possible and looks its very best.
Why is Brick Paver Sealer Important?
Brick paver sealer offers a number of important advantages over leaving your pavers naked. For one thing, sealed pavers are protected against staining and contaminants such as food, oil, and grease. Without sealant, your pavers will absorb these materials and can quickly become dirty and dingy.
In addition to providing protection against stains, sealer keeps paver joints from being infested with weeds, moss, and other unwanted vegetation. Contrary to popular belief, weeds don’t grow up from beneath your pavers. Small seeds fall in the sand that’s in your paver joints and grow from there. However, if you have them sealed, you’ll keep those tiny seeds from taking root.
Of course, you also want your bricks to last as long as possible with a sealer. And this is actually a big part of sealing: providing a layer of protection that keeps the brick paver components from deteriorating in the elements.
Sealed pavers will also be less likely to shift or move over time.
Finally, sealer does more than just protect your brick pavers. It also brings out their natural colors and can even enhance their overall look with a high- or semi-gloss sheen.
In short, sealer is an essential part of any paver job.
Choosing a Quality Brick Paver Sealer…
There are plenty of different options to choose from when selecting a quality brick paver sealer. So, how can you decide which is the best one for you?
Look for a Brick Paver Sealer that’s Water-Based
Like other kinds of sealant, brick paver sealer comes in water- and solvent-based varieties. We recommend choosing a water-based option because they’re better for the environment, less toxic for you, and easier to install. And they have all those advantages while still giving you the same top-quality seal job.
Look for a Brick Paver Sealer that Fits Your Needs
Some brick paver sealer is designed for very particular uses. For example, some include UV protection which makes them great for any location that’s going to be in prolonged, direct sunlight. Others are better at guarding against oil than others, making them a good choice for driveways or other places where vehicles will be parked. So, as you think about the right sealer for you, consider what it’s made for and what kinds of protection you’ll need.
Look for a Brick Paver Sealer that’s Easy to Apply
If you can get your hands on some brick paver sealer samples, take one and try applying it. See how difficult it is to work with, if there are any drips or runs, if it takes too long to apply, or anything else of the sort. Choose a sealer that’s easy to apply because you’ll be happy with the results the first time around the circle.
Look for a Brick Paver Sealer that Offers Many Application Coats
Brick paver sealer is typically only as durable as it is thick. In other words, if you have one thin coat, you won’t have a very good seal. However, if you apply multiple thicker layers of sealer with a pump sprayer, you’ll be left with a durable layer that keeps out moisture and preserves your bricks for as long as possible. Look for sealer with many application coats because it’ll provide the best protection for your brick paver investment.
Look for a Brick Paver Sealer that Includes an Anti-Microbial Agent
Bacteria and other microorganisms can quickly become a problem in the moist, gritty environment of brick pavers. These organisms can cause discoloration and odors, but they can also lead to fungus and mildew. So, if you want to keep these creatures at bay, choose a sealer that includes an anti-microbial agent. You’ll be glad you did when your pavers stay clean and safe for use for many years to come.
Choosing a Quality Brick Paver Sealer…
In the end, use your discretion. Check out some different sealer options and let your own needs be your guide as you pick the best one for your particular job. In any case, though, brick paver sealer is an essential part of a quality pavers job.
Look for a Brick Paver Sealer that Offers the Look You Want
Just as paver sealers differ depending on the kind of protection they offer, they also differ with regard to the enhancements they can provide. Some leave a matte finish. Others will give you a high-gloss look. Still others will leave your pavers somewhere in the middle. Consider what you want your pavers to look like once they’re completed before you choose a sealant.