Paver sealant is used for several reasons. First, it protects the pavers from becoming stained with solvent-based products such as oil, fuel and anti-freeze, therefore making them easier to clean. Sealing pavers also prevents seeds from germinating in the mortar, causing weeds to grow and break up the pavers. The prime reason to apply a sealant though, is to provide paver protection. There are many ways to apply sealant, but only one method that is foolproof.
Before you begin the process of sealing pavers, you must choose which type of paver sealant you want to use. They are available in low sheen, high gloss, low gloss, matte, and flat finishes. There is no recommended finish, as it is all a matter of preference. The sheen and gloss finishes will give your pavers with a shiny appearance, while the matt and flat finishes maintain the natural look of the pavers.
Paver sealant must not be applied until at least 60 days after installation. This allows the concrete beneath to cure and the pavers to settle. Applying the sealant too soon will result in a cracked appearance, caused by the pavers shifting.
If you have applied sealant before, and deem it necessary, strip the pavers. This can be done using a methylene chloride stripper, available at most do-it-yourself stores. Be sure to follow the directions on the package very carefully, as they vary per brand.
The day before you are to begin sealing pavers, cut back the grass that is creeping over the top and sides. Using a spot cleaner, remove any stains, rust, or paint as best as possible. Scrub the pavers with a nitric acid cleaner to remove any salts and dirt. This cleaner will not harm grass, plants or water supply. Next, use a power washer to rinse the pavers clean. Skipping this step may result in a white film developing, caused by the sealant reacting with salts on the pavers.
On day two, begin by re-sanding the pavers and blowing the area clean with a power blower. Using a paint roller with an extended handle, begin sealing pavers by applying the sealant to the surface. Start in a distant corner and work backward, to prevent yourself from becoming trapped in a sea of sealant. Avoid using too much sealant, as it will result in an uneven appearance. Allow the paver sealant to dry for a couple of hours and reapply if necessary.