There are two primary categories of water-based paver sealers that you can use to seal your pavers. The first is a water based penetrating sealer, and the second is a water based acrylic sealer.
Penetrating Water Based Paver Sealers
The best penetrating water-based paver sealer to use on pavers is a Silane-Siloxane water repellent sealer. Silane-Siloxane water repellent concrete sealers penetrate into the surface of the pavers where they chemically react within the pores to create a hydrophobic barrier that won’t change the look or color of the pavers. Water and other liquids will bead off of the surface of sealed surfaces, reducing damage and deterioration caused by water absorption such as cracking, spalling, pitting, freeze-thaw and salt damage, mold and mildew and efflorescence. A great water based penetrating sealer is the Armor SX5000 WB.
The two other types of water-based sealers are siliconate water repellent sealers and silicate sealers. Siliconate water repellent sealers can leave behind a white residue when applied to pavers, and should be avoided. The same can happen with silicate sealers, only instead of a white residue, white crystals will form. Silicate sealers should be avoided on pavers as well.
Water Based Acrylic Sealers
If you want a low to high gloss finish, then you want a water based acrylic sealer. Water based acrylic sealers will form a protective low to high gloss finish on the pavers that will reduce damage and deterioration caused by surface abrasion, surface spills, exposure to the elements, and water absorption. Two great water based acrylic sealers are the Armor WB15 and the Armor WB25.
If you are going to use a water based acrylic sealer on your pavers, there are a few things to consider:
- Pavers are very porous and will absorb a lot of material. For this reason, gloss level can be reduced. If you are torn between two different types of sealers, it is best to apply them both to a test area on your pavers to decide which sealer you prefer the look of.
- Before sealing your pavers with an acrylic sealer, make sure your pavers have been cleaned well and allowed to dry for at least 24-48 hours. While the pavers may look dry on the surface, they can trap moisture below the surface which can result in coating failure.
- If you are going to use a water based acrylic sealer, make sure that the new sealer is compatible with your old sealer. You can’t apply a water based acrylic sealer over a solvent based acrylic sealer, or over a water repellent sealer.
Regardless of whether you choose a water repellent sealer, or a water based acrylic sealer, you want to make sure that if you are applying a sealer to pavers less than a year old, that they are able to be sealed. Some paver manufacturers will allow you to seal your new pavers immediately, and other paver manufacturers will require you to wait up to a year before sealing. If you apply a sealer before they suggest you seal them, it could result in sealer or coating failure.