When it comes to laying pavers, you need to learn a lot before your first job. But even after you finish that first job, there is still often a lot to learn. Some projects are never even sealed properly in their lifetime.
That’s what we are here to prevent. Sealing your pavers is almost necessary if you want them to look their best and have the longest lifespan possible. Let’s take a look at what makes paver sealers special.
What Is Paver Sealer?
Paver sealers’ main purpose is to keep paver stones looking smooth and fresh. They work much like any other sealer to prevent unwanted bacteria or fungi from growing and keeping the floors protected from the elements.
While some projects will never be sealed, you can add a paver sealer to your project at any time, even if you forgot to do so initially. Just make sure you clean the surface very well and then you can get to work.
Types Of Paver Sealer
Paver sealers come in many different types. But we are going to focus on two different categories here. We have the film-forming vs the non-film forming and the solvent-based vs. the water-based sealers to compare.
This will cover the most important part of the sealer that you choose. While there are many small things to look out for, those will come naturally. It is these two things that get people without any experience.
Non-Film-Forming Vs. Film-Forming
Non-film-forming paver sealers give the pavers a good amount of protection but aren’t the best protection. They last longer and look natural when the sealer dries, giving a matte finish rather than a glossy finish.
Film-forming paver sealers give a great amount of protection but require more applications throughout their lifespan. The sealer doesn’t look as natural when it dries but it does come in different finishes, including gloss.
Solvent-Based Vs. Water-Based
Both of these sealers can be used outdoors, are stain-resistant, and offer protection from the sun. Solvent-based sealers are usually acrylic and/or polymer. So they are thick and glossy, giving a nice shimmer.
Water-based sealers are safer to use because they don’t contain all of the chemicals that solvent-based sealers do. They are easier to breathe around and are easier to clean up. Yet they don’t always give as good protection.
Best Paver Sealers
When it comes to purchasing a paver sealer, you surprisingly can go wrong. Not all of them are created equal and some are just plain useless. It’s a good idea to get recommendations from contractors or friends before choosing one.
This sealer from Foundation Armor feels like literal magic. It works so well and dries to a glossy shine that makes your pavers extra attractive. Just beware because the sealer will actually slightly darken the pavers.
The five-gallon bucket will seal about 1000-sqft which will cover almost any project that you may have. Because you are paying for such a large amount, it is a little pricey, but most users will say it is worth it.
StoneTech makes one of the best paver sealers available. They specialize in protecting cold climates that get a lot of snow and ice, but they can protect pavers in any climate with their strong sealers.
The best part is that the StoneTech sealer can work on tiles too, or any other similar surface. But most people end up using it on their pavers. Though you can do both by sealing the bottle between projects.
You can get Miracle Sealant 511 in very small bottles, so even if you have touchup work or have a very small area to cover, you can use it without wasting money on a large bottle. but this is only one amazing trait.
It covers a lot of ground for the small bottles too. It can cover up to 4000-sqft per gallon, which really is a miracle compared to other sealers like it. Don’t like it? They have a 20-year satisfaction guaranteed.
Rain Guard Water Sealers works very well on porous surfaces, working equally well for pavers made of concrete to patios made of wood. It really is an all-purpose sealer and is great to keep on hand for emergencies.
It is fairly easy to apply and can be used anywhere, indoors or outdoors. As far as prices go this is also one of your best options. You can get a gallon of Rain Guard for half the prices of some of the other options.
Black Diamond’s sealer always dries to a wet look, so if that’s not your thing, then try a matte-finish sealer instead. If it is, then you will love this sealer that works for almost any surface as well as any area.
It also dries insanely fast, oftentimes a quarter of the time that the other sealers dry. So if you are having a party this weekend and want your pavers to look as smooth and high-end as possible, this is your guy.
How To Apply Paver Sealer
Now if you are trying to decide between a water-based and solvent-based sealers and have no idea where to start, start by making that decision. Water-based sealers are more natural while solvent-based sealers are dark and glossy.
One note though is that if you have joint sand then use a water-based sealer. If you don’t and the pavers are tight without a strong bevel, then you can use solvent-based as long as you don’t mind the shine.
Step 1: Choose Your Tools
There are two ways to apply a sealer to pavers. The first way is to use a sprayer which is better for water-based sealers. The other way is to use a roller, which is usually necessary for solvent-based sealers.
The most common way to apply a sealer to pavers is to first apply with a sprayer and then backroll over the entire thing with a roller. This takes time but will give the best coverage and won’t require as many coats.
Step 2: Wash The Pavers
The first thing you will do after you gather the tools and materials is wash the pavers. As long as the pavers are tight together and don’t have loose sand, you can power wash them. This is your best option.
If you are afraid that you will mess the grout up then take warm soapy water and a long scrub brush and get to work. This will take some time but your want to ensure that you start with clean pavers and don’t seal the dirt in.
Step: 3: Seal First Section
It’s best to work in sections for a variety of reasons. First of all, you want to be able to walk on some of the pavers. So starting with an area you can reach across with the tools, use your sprayer to cover them.
A wide fan spray is your best bet but anything is good as long as it isn’t a thick or narrow stream. Go in circles and cover the area you have chosen well but don’t do so much that it will drip, just enough to darken it.
Step 4: Roll First Section
Now that you’ve sprayed the first section, it’s time to roll it. Now you can definitely do this dry but it is usually best to roll a small amount of sealer on the roller before you apply it. This will prevent the need for further coats.
So roll it on just like you are painting, being careful not to add too much. After you spray and roll the first section, move on to the next immediately. You want to have it all dry on the same day, or it will look uneven.
Step 5: Wash Up
You may be tired after sealing your patio but it is important to clean your equipment. Rinse the sprayer out by running water through it and spraying until there is no smell or texture of the sealer left.
The roller can be washed or it can be replaced later if you throw it away. If you wash it, then wash it out well with water. You will need to scrub it to ensure that the innermost layers are cleaned well.
Hiring A Professional Paver Sealer
Since this isn’t a difficult job, there are both pros and cons to hiring a professional. If you do hire a professional, then you won’t have to worry about the job being done right or with a good sealer. They are professionals!
On the other hand, it can be tricky because although the prices are lower than for other projects, it can also be very cheap to do it yourself. So it really all comes down to whether or not you want to put in the work.
There’s no shame in either and your patio will turn out to look amazing either way. Just pick the right sealer if you do it yourself and hire someone with good reviews if you hire a professional. The rest is done and done!