Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sealing Brick Pavers- The Sealer I Prefer

Sealing brick pavers is one of the things I highly recommend. I am not going to get into why and how in this post. I just want to touch on the sealers that I have tested, used and liked.

On the market there are all types of paver and concrete sealers that can be used. When it comes down to it there are basically two types that are readily available and marketed towards hardscape contractors and brick patio owners. They are Solvent based and water based. They both have their strengths and weaknesses(again will be in another post).

My sealer of preference is by far the solvent based acyclic type. This paver sealer will give pavers a wet look, bringing out the colors giving them a dark bold look. A paver Driveway will basically look like it does after a rain or a soaking with a garden hose. It will darken up newer pavers and also bring out the color left in older pavers that may have more aggregate exposed and less of the cream coat on the surface of the paver.

I have sealed pavers that have been down for 15 years and are very greyed out because the stone and sand aggregate were showing through the concrete. After a good coat or two of a solvent based sealer you will see the pavers color jump back to life. On new pavers the color will darken dramatically since there is already so much color to soak in the sealer.

Once dried the sealer will lighten up slightly and eventually fade over the years. The acrylic left on the surface provides a protective layer from the suns harmful rays and delays the fading process of the concrete. It also provides a barrier to stains like oil, grease, and even vegetation/bird droppings. It also prevents the pavers from taking on as much salt in winter conditions.

Solvent based sealers tend to have a higher solids content than water based sealers. This means more acrylic to protect the paver. Some water based sealers do have a high solid content but the benefit of solvent is that it gets that solids to a smaller individual size which allows them to get further into the paver. This gives you a longer lasting sealer that is not as slippery since the solids aren't all built up on the surface.

I plan to post more on sealing as most contractors have questions and concerns about it and it is a subject that does not have many resources for education other than what manufacturers tell you. This will all come from a contractor with years of sealing experience with no personal agenda. Be sure to check back often more more info on sealer.

Here are a couple photos so you can see the difference that a solvent based wet look sealer makes.


  1. You should post your companys name in the event someone wants to contact you. Clearly you have expertise with being ICPI certified and a knowlege base that informed consumers are looking for

    1. the services you provide are really very awesome so it is necessary to give the complete detail about you clearly so that anybody can contact you easily

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  2. We don't typically seal pavers. Mostly because I was under the impression that pavers should be in for a year or two so they can loose all their eflorescence before you seal them. Is that your experience? Or are there some sealers you can use immediately upon completion of the installation?

    Pavers Portland Oregon

  3. The efflo has will vanish anywhere from 3-9 months depending on moisture. The more wet then drying cycles the better. As the water evaporates it brings out the effloresence to the surface. Within the first year if you plan to seal you should use an efflo cleaner which will remove that white chalky look on the paver surface. Some water based sealers say they can be used right after paver installation but it is never good to seal that soon. No paver mfg will tell you to seal right away, only the guys selling the sealer. If you are honest with your customer they will appreciate it. You can always include it in the install contract and come back and collect that portion of the job then if the customer prefers. My rule of thumb is 3 months min and then a really good cleaning is necesary. Once sealed you cannot remove the efflo unless you strip the sealer which is very very difficult and expensive, not to mention all the chemicals that could damage surrondins.

  4. Well, thank you. You're right, I have been told by some manufacturers that I could install the sealer right after installation. But was also told by paver manufacturers not to. So that's why I was really confused. This spells it out for me more clearly. I think I will wait at least 9 months to seal them when we do them from now on.

    Pavers Portland Oregon

  5. Pavers can be placed in many different patterns depending on their shape. Each paver shape will generally have several different hatch patterns that are provided by the manufacturer.

    The laying pattern and shape of the paver is very critical to the performance of the application. Contractors need to take into consideration the traffic weight loads on their paver projects. 90 or 45 degree herringbone patterns are recommended in all street and driveway applications, as these patterns will provide the maximum load support needed and will resist creeping from the turning of tires and starting or braking of vehicular traffic.
    brick pavers orlando

  6. A paver driveway will basically look like it does after a rain or a soaking with a garden hose. It will darken up newer pavers and also bring out the color left in older pavers that may have more aggregate exposed and less of the cream coat on the surface of the paver. What you’re declaring is totally correct? I am aware that everyone must say the same thing, but I just think that you put it in a way that everyone can understand.
    sealing pavement

  7. Simple and easy paver maintenance can help you avoid long-term repair or restoration costs if you just follow this manageable winterizing tips for your brick pavers. Any steps taken to avoid erosion from snow, ice, and rains will greatly improve the performance & appearance of your brick paver patios, walkways, driveways, and porches.

    Patio sealer

  8. Great information on sealing brick. How often should you reseal the brick? We are updating the hardscaping in our yard so I am always looking for the latest and greatest techniques and information.

  9. I've been looking for blogs like this lately, since I plan on installing paver lights on my walkway. I'm checking out different patterns for the paver because I plan on redesigning them to go with the lights I plan to install.

    Marlin Rog

  10. I have found your blog to be quite useful. Keep updating your blog with valuable information.

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  11. The resting design and shape of the paver is very crucial to the performance of the program. If you want to hardscape your yard as a do-it-yourself project, there are several options to consider.

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  12. This is very good information a really nice blog. keep it up!!!

    - The Paving Newton, MA

  13. Custom Pavers Miami can put the Paver according to your style by giving it the right look as per your request and then they place it in sequence.

  14. Valuable for information.. Is there any further reading you would recommend on this?

    Paver Coating Chemical