Sealing concrete pavers to prolong their life

Sealing concrete pavers to prolong their life

Introduction

Interlocking concrete pavers are quite a standard solution for patio, walkway, and driveway surfaces. Interlocking concrete pavers have been a decorative alternative to brick, clay, and concrete for decades.

The first interlocking concrete pavers were shaped as 4″ x 8″ bricks, called Holland Stones, and they are still referred to by that name today.

Instead of being set in concrete, the individual concrete pavers were placed in sand, which performs better than concrete. The term “interlocking” comes from each concrete paver being locked to another, meaning they cannot move independently.

The interlock is achieved using sharp, angular joint sand, which must be of the right quality to maintain the interlocking properties. Each concrete paver has a ridge that runs on its side, making proper spacing possible and helping to create a sand joint.

Benefits of sealing pavers are many

Sealing pavers pros and cons

Sealing pavers has some pros as there are products manufactured for it. For the cons, you need to make some effort to maintain them, like with concrete sealers. Green things around the pavers might suffer during the sealing. Lastly, as an ongoing thing, it will cost you.

For the pros, read along.

Why seal your concrete pavers

After your concrete pavers are installed, they are exposed to all the outdoor elements like sun, rain, dirt, foot traffic, vehicle traffic, stains, etc.

Without the sealing of the pavers, the cement and color pigment of the pavers will gradually erode. This will cause the concrete pavers to change colors. So you want to protect your work/investment adequately. To help prevent the concrete pavers from eroding and changing colors, seal them with a deep penetrating sealer.

Using sealer on the new pavers/just-cleaned ones will also help to bind and stabilize the sand in the joints. It will help against wind, rain and also against weeds growing in the joints.

If your pavers have seen better days, color boost sealers are available so that you can save them. Buy a small test sample and try it on one stone to see how it looks.

Quality commercial-grade sealers are designed to protect concrete pavers from the elements. The sealer will guard them against erosion, oils, organic matter, and anything else that gets spilled and causes staining. The sealing of concrete pavers has preserved the natural color and beauty for many years.

What kind of concrete paver sealant should you buy?

Now that you’ve invested in concrete pavers protecting your investment by sealing them is a good idea. After the concrete pavers have been filled, you should re-seal every 3 to 5 years to keep your pavers looking new. Sealing your concrete pavers will also be important in how long they last.

Ordinary store-brand sealers won’t last as long as those manufactured by a company specializing only in paver sealers. Lower-quality concrete paver sealers can turn white and cloudy. This can lead to problems for future re-sealing, resulting in having to strip off the old sealer. This can be expensive and may cause damage to the concrete pavers.

The removal might be chemical or mechanical; it might leave a mark on the surface. It will also cost money, so it’s better to save yourself the trouble and buy the correct product immediately.

The process of sealing concrete pavers is relatively easy. A company certified by the concrete paver sealer manufacturer might be your best bet if doing it feels troublesome. They have been educated and certified in the products and the process and have generally installed a variety of paver sealing jobs.

If you want to try sealants, I’ll also cover that shortly, as it’s something that everyone can do.

Cleaning the interlocking concrete pavers

Before applying to seal, the first step is to ensure the surface is good-looking and clean so you won’t seal dirt. The most usual thing in our driveway is petrol so that I will cover that here. Other cleaning tips are here and here.

Suppose any petroleum products have come into contact with concrete pavers. In that case, the pavers must be cleaned as soon as possible. The longer the petroleum product remains on the surface of the concrete paver, the deeper it penetrates the surface. This also means that the harder it will be to remove.

The best thing to use for cleaning petroleum products off the surface of concrete pavers is a high-quality, citrus-based liquid detergent. Apply to the surface and let it soak for 15 – 20 minutes; then wash the concrete paver with hot water.

If the stained area isn’t spotless, you may need to repeat this procedure more than once. Another alternative is to replace the stained concrete pavers with new ones. (Although, this is more challenging than it sounds).

Other than petrol, all the dust and weeds must be removed if you want to do a good job. After the concrete has dried, brushing some sand to the joints might be good if they’re not complete. Please wash it quickly; it should be ready for sealing the next day.

How to use sealants on concrete pavers

First, we must ensure the concrete is dry from the cleaning. If it’s dry weather and no rain has fallen, 24 hours is a good time for concrete to dry. After you’re sure the pavers are dry, sweep away all the dirt the wind has brought during the night.

Now, read the instruction label and put on the proper protective equipment. Do a test sample on some easy spot to ensure the sealant gives the look you want. If you have a green light after testing, proceed to seal.

A pump sprayer/garden sprayer is suitable for this job. You can fill it, pump some pressure, and set it to give a good mist. You don’t want to spray puddles of sealant; that’s why I recommend using mist. It’s also easy to see that you get an even amount of sealant everywhere.

Note: If you’re using a sealant that needs a solvent, use the metal pump, as some solvents can melt the cheaper plastics.

Now, spray an even mist on all your pavers and see they are equally wet. I suggest watching some tutorial videos if you’re unsure how they should look. If you’re using water-based sealants, the process should be repeated every few years when it starts to see some life.

The sealants that need heavier solvents can last longer. Depending on the thickness of the layer, even 5 to 6 years.

Conclusion

Installing concrete pavers can be a challenging and costly process. It involves careful planning, digging, leveling, and compacting the ground before placing each paver.

However, once installed, pavers can add value and beauty to your property. To ensure they last a long time, it’s crucial to take steps to protect your investment.

One way to do this is by using a paver sealer, which can provide a protective barrier to prevent water, dirt, and other debris from seeping into the pavers. Additionally, some people prefer the appearance of a wet look sealer, which can give the pavers a glossy finish that enhances their color and texture.

A wet look sealer can also make the pavers easier to clean and maintain, as it can prevent stains from adhering to the surface. Overall, using a paver sealer is a smart investment that can help maintain the beauty and functionality of your pavers for years to come.