What is the Best Method for Sealing Pavers?
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.
If you have pavers already down in your outdoor space and unwanted weeds are cropping up between them you will have to kill them off before putting down your sealant.
Sealing pavers can be an easy task, but the surface needs to be prepared well first.
To kill the plants, dilute some bleach in a spray bottle filled with water and spray the plants. Let it sit for a few hours then rinse it off with a high pressure hose, the plants should be good and dead, and wash away easily.
After this, you can add some sand between all the pavers, and prepare for the sealing step. Just follow the directions on the package.
If you are planning to add some pavers for decorative purposes, it is a good idea to seal them. Often the intricate patterns of the designs used make it nearly impossible to weed between all of them. Preventing any growth between them is a great way to preserve the design you have chosen.
On the other side of the coin, if you want to create a more rustic look, having moss placed between the pavers can create a beautiful look. It all really depends on what vision you have for your outdoor space. If you are unsure what works for you, just ask your installer for recommendations.
@sweetPeas - Pavers for driveways and walkways are basically the same as pavers used for landscaping. They are also sealed in the same way. Landscape pavers are different in that they come in many different colors, shapes, and sizes. You can make your patio, walkway or borders around plants, either curved, or straight or a combination of both. Straight pavers look more formal.
Using a sealer on landscape pavers is a wise idea. It will protect the pavers from the weather elements. It will also help to deal with stains like oil and gasoline.
Whatever paver sealer you choose, check to make sure that it will not harm the pavers.
We have a landscape project in the works and would like a little information on landscape pavers. Is there any difference between regular and landscape pavers? Do they need to be sealed?
We would like to make some paths around plantings, and put in a large patio. I wonder how curved pavers would look. It might be a more difficult project. Maybe, we'll end up hiring a professional to do the job.
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