Ever wonder about sealing pavers or how to seal patio pavers? Cleaning and Sealing pavers is more than just an optional step. It's one of the most important ways to protect your patio pavers against staining and unsightly plant growth (which can discolor or tarnish them over time). Once protective sealant gets into the pores, it forms a protective barrier that helps prevent stains from penetrating the surface and helps prevent plant growth.
It's also a good idea to check how effective the sealant is before you start sealing pavers. Some types of stone can be difficult to seal properly because they have a very porous grain structure. For example, sandstone is extremely porous and its pores can only be penetrated with a sealer that's specifically formulated for use on sandstone.
Consider testing a small sample of your pavers tested before going all-in. Once you've determined how well they'll absorb a sealant, you'll be better able to choose the right sealant for them.
Your paver patio will likely have been installed over a compacted gravel base. Over time, the gravel may settle and leave gaps between pavers leading to cracks and even paver movement. To make sure your patio pavers stay firmly in place, it's crucial to allow enough time for the gravel to settle.
The installation instructions that come with your pavers should include how long you should wait before applying a sealant. This typically ranges between 30 to 90 days. If your pavers are already installed, have them tested first to determine how well they absorb sealant and how long you'll need to wait before applying a sealer.
Once you know how much time has passed, it's time for the real work to begin: cleaning and sealing your patio pavers.
If you want to get the most out of your paver patio over the course of its lifetime (and yours), it's a good idea to seal those pavers. Although you can leave them unsealed, sealed pavers offer a number of benefits, including…
Sealed patio pavers are protected from stains and plant growth. By sealing your patio pavers, you'll be protecting them from future stains as well as unwanted vegetation growth (including weeds, mold, and more). This will make cleaning them that much easier and it will go a long way toward keeping them in top condition for as long as possible.
Sealed patio pavers are more stable. Without a quality sealant, water will be able to easily run into your patio's paver joints and erode the foundational aggregate. This can lead to unwanted movement and instability with your patio. Sealed pavers tend to create a more secure space.
Sealed patio pavers look better. While the practical protection of sealed pavers is nice, it's the immediately improved appearance that motivates most people to seal their patio pavers. If you choose the right sealant, you can end up with a far more attractive look than you'd have otherwise. Whether you go with a wet look, high-gloss, or matte finish sealant, sealed pavers simply look better.
So, with all of these benefits in mind, why wouldn't you seal your patio pavers? We all know that the answer to that is simple: “There is no reason!” The only real question to ask is how to seal patio pavers. And that's what we're going to attempt to answer today…
How to Seal Patio Pavers, Step One: Prepare Your Patio
The first thing you'll want to do in your quest to get freshly sealed pavers is to completely clean your patio. And when I say “completely clean”, I mean “completely clean.” Remember, any contaminants, debris, or moisture that you leave on the surface of your patio will be sealed into your pavers if it isn't removed prior to the sealant application. So, it's vital that you get your pavers looking as close to ‘new' as possible.
This means you should…
- Sweep your patio with a broom or use a leaf blower to remove all loose debris.
- Remove any stains with a power washer or a brush and cleaning agent.
- Pull any weeds and eliminate any moss that may be growing on your pavers or in your paver joints.
- Allow your pavers to completely dry so that there's no excess moisture on them.
After you finish cleaning the surface of your patio, you'll want to make sure that your paver joints have plenty of sand (the sand should come up to around 1/8” below the tops of the pavers). If you need to add some sand, now is the time to do so. Just make sure that you remove any excess sand from the tops of your pavers before you begin the sealing process.
How to Seal Patio Pavers, Step Two: Apply Sealant
Once your patio pavers have been cleaned, you'll want to use a sprayer or roller to apply your chosen sealant to your patio. Although either method will work, we recommend using a sprayer because they normally offer a more uniform, even coat than a roller.
Once you've put down your first coat, let it dry for an hour or so and assess whether you'll need any additional coats. Reapply as needed.
How to Seal Patio Pavers, Step Three: Let Your Patio Cure
Once you've gotten your sealant on your paver patios, all you'll need to do is allow it to cure. Under normal circumstances, the sealant should dry within 24 hours, though it's a good idea to check out the label on your sealant to be certain. For most sealants, you should be able to resume normal foot traffic after those 24 hours have passed. This is a very important step in learning how to seal patio pavers, as you don't want leave footprints or track seal into your home.
If you were wondering how to seal patio pavers, now you know. It's not so hard after all, is it? Hopefully this guide gave a brief overview on how to seal patio pavers and pavers in general. And that's a good thing since you'll want to reseal them every 2-3 years to keep that protection and enhancement going strong as long as you have your patio.
Are you looking for the best patio paver sealer for your patio? Contact us for more information about sealing your patio.