Sealing your pavers doesn’t have to be an expensive or time consuming project. In fact, most pavers can easily be sealed in less than an hour with a bottle of sealer and a garden sprayer! In this article we are going to show you how you can quickly and easily seal your outdoor pavers.
The easiest, and most cost effective, sealer to apply to pavers is a water repellent sealer, like the Armor SX5000 WB. Designed for unsealed pavers, it will penetrate into the pores and chemically react to form a hydrophobic barrier within the pores. It won’t change the look or color of the pavers, and it won’t leave a surface film. It protects the pavers by reducing water absorption by up to 95%. By reducing water absorption, damage and deterioration caused by water absorption is also reduced. Mold and mildew growth, cracking and spalling, and staining will all be reduces as a result of the pavers being sealed with a water repellent sealer. Another great feature of the Armor SX5000 WB is how easy it is to apply. Using a garden sprayer, apply two back to back coats of the sealer. Once dry, the sealer will continue to work below the surface for up to 7-10 years.
Water repellent sealers will leave the pavers looking exactly as they did before being sealed. If you have dull and faded pavers, and want to bring out the color, or add a gloss, then you want a solvent based acrylic sealer instead. The three most popular types of solvent based acrylic sealers are as follows:
- Armor AR350 – The Armor AR350 is a wet look sealer. It will darken the pavers to give them a similar appearance to being wet, and protect them with a low gloss finish.
- Armor AR500 – The Armor AR500 is a wet look sealer. It will darken the pavers to give them a similar appearance to being wet, and protect them with a high gloss finish.
- Armor WL550 – The Armor WL550 is a wet look sealer. It will slightly darken the pavers to give them a matte wet look finish. The Armor WL550 will not leave behind a surface film.
Pavers are very porous and will soak up more material than a poured concrete surface. For that reason, gloss is typically reduced. If you want a slight enhance in color, and no gloss, the Armor WL550 is a great choice. If you want the most enhancement with a little gloss, the AR350 is the best choice. If you want the most enhancement with the highest level of gloss you can get, the AR500 is the best choice. Keep in mind, if it is your first time sealing you pavers, a third coat may be necessary. Apply the sealer to a test area to determine what the product will look like in your application, and to determine coverage rate and number of coats.
Solvent based acrylic sealers are very easy to apply. Simply apply two coats to a clean, unsealed surface. Typically you need to re-apply acrylic sealers every 1-3 years to maintain a consistent gloss finish. The best part about solvent based acrylics is how easy they are to recoat. When it comes time to recoat, you simply apply a fresh coat to a clean and dry surface.
Many of the benefits are the same when it comes to comparing water repellent sealers to acrylics, but you get more protection against surface abrasion and staining with the Armor AR350 and Armor AR500 simply because the surface coating left behind is designed to take all of the abuse.
In addition to solvent based acrylics, there are water based acrylics. The Armor WB15 and Armor WB25 are fantastic options for those looking for a gloss without the wet look, and for those looking to avoid odors during application. While many of the application instructions and benefits are the same, where solvent and water based acrylics differ is re-application. Water based acrylics require a little more maintenance when it comes to repairing and reapplying a fresh coat. Often times, screen sanding the surface is required.
If your pavers are currently sealed, the sealer you have down will determine what you can re-seal the pavers with. Typically, if you have a water based acrylic sealer down, you recoat with a water based acrylic; if you have a solvent based acrylic sealer down, you recoat with a solvent based acrylic. If you used a water repellent sealer in the past, but want to recoat with an acrylic, it is safest to apply a solvent based acrylic. If it has been years since you sealed and there is no longer a water repellent working in the pores, you can use a water based acrylic, but that is only recommended after you talk to a technician, and apply the water based acrylic to a test area to verify adhesion.
What is the best way to apply a paver sealer?
Pavers are very porous, and for that reason, it is very easy to over-apply. In addition to porosity, most pavers have polymeric sand or grout between them. The easiest way to apply a paver sealer is with a commercial pump sprayer, and then use a roller to back roll any areas where sealer has puddled. If you aren’t comfortable using a sprayer, or you would prefer to use a roller, use a larger roller (like a 1/2″ nap) so that you can get into the grooves of the pavers. Be cautious however when sealing over grout or polymeric sand, especially if the sand is loose. You don’t want sand to get stuck in the coating. If you are unsure how to apply a paver sealer, contact the manufacturer and see what their technicians suggest.