There are certain aspects, nuances, and niches of a home that often conjure feelings of pride in homeownership. Feelings similar to the ones you felt the first days and weeks moving into your new home. Meaningful reminders that homeownership is a privilege and your home is an intimate sanctuary that creates comfort and peace of mind. If you are the outdoorsy sort, the time spent on your stylish outdoor paver patio while entertaining friends and family, relaxing on a warm summer’s day, or under the stars will surely fire up your consciousness!
Therefore, it is not surprising that sales and installation of paving stones in North America is on the rise.
“The 2015 ICPI study of concrete paver manufacturers reported a 14.5% increase in the number of pavers sold in the U.S. and Canada.” - Concrete Products, 2017
Pavers are known for their ease of installation, durability, and pleasing aesthetic to any landscape, but keeping that “good as new” look can often be an annual and laborious task. Lichen, mold and mildew growth, efflorescence, dirt, grime, red clay stains, oil, grease, acid rain, snow, ice, salts, and deicing chemicals will not only dirty the surface, but expedite deterioration. Thus, making annual (or biannual) cleaning of your pavers necessary!
Have you ever had to pressure-wash a large scale patio or pool deck constructed of smaller pavers with a low psi pressure washer? If so, then you are well aware of the amount of time, effort, mess, clean-up, and physical toll it can take on your lower back!
What about the maintenance costs?
If you do not own a pressure-washer than you are stuck having to rent one each season (or every other season). An average cost to rent a gas-powered pressure washer for a day may run you close to $100. If you use chemical cleaners beforehand that can cost an additional $20-$45 per gallon. Not to mention water usage, rags, buckets, brooms, and your time.
Or, are you one to hire a professional pressure-washing company to do the job. If so, pricing can range from $100-$500 depending on square footage. Either way you slice it, when it comes to keeping your personal sanctuary looking like new, the money can add up!
Good news! There is a way to save both time, money, and labor when it comes to maintaining your paver patio, pool deck, walkway, or driveway.
Sealing pervious pavers (read about porosity below) not only makes common sense to keep them clean but also provides protection from surface deterioration due to freeze-thaw, shoveling, deicing chemicals, salts, machines, and weather. Being able to prevent pock marks, spalling, cracking, efflorescence, and surface erosion helps protect your investment against potential repairs or replacement.
When the time comes to choosing a sealer, there is no more ideal product to use than LastiSeal® Brick, Concrete, & Masonry Sealer. What makes LastiSeal so special for sealing pavers? There are numerous benefits to the product, but we will touch upon three that matters most when sealing pavers.
1. SLIP RESISTANT – LastiSeal is a deep-penetrating sealer that is intended to internally seal porous building materials (below the surface) without affecting surface friction or appearance. This slip-resistant characteristic is ideal when sealing high vehicular-and-foot traffic areas such as, patios, pool decks, walkways, sitting areas, and driveways where pavers are commonly used.
2. SEALS OUT WATER – Porous pavers allow water to percolate into the paver. LastiSeal works by “plugging” micro-capillaries, pores, and fractures which what makes pavers porous. Once cured, pavers become much less absorbent of water (like sealing a sponge per se). A sealed paver will begin to shed surface water, preventing deep water penetration. Sealing will be particularly helpful when lawn irrigation or sprinklers are used often.
The ability to prevent deep water penetration will alleviate efflorescence, salt deposits, calcium buildup, freeze-thaw damage, organic growth, and heavy dirt buildup on the surface. Making the chore of cleaning less time-consuming!
3. STRENGTHENS – LastiSeal is unique because it binds and hardens the surface. Greatly reducing surface deterioration! This is a particular useful characteristic when salts, deicers, and shovels are routinely used.
To reiterate, pavers are known for their durability and when compared with poured concrete slabs, they can hold up better even under extreme inclement weather conditions. They are relatively easy to maintain, but problems still persist! Not all pavers are created equatl and that is why it is important to seal your pavers!
There are many different manufacturers and paver composition varies, but the types of pavers generally fall into three categories; brick, concrete, and natural stone. Shape, texture, and color varies widely amongst each type. One can also incorporate more than one type paver to achieve a particular design. Which paver to choose from greatly depends on the project at hand and obviously, personal taste.
• CLAY BRICK PAVERS - The most popular type of paver. Stain and color resistant. Can be installed in a variety of patterns. Easy to install, but commonly more expensive to have installed due to smaller size. Compared to its counterparts, brick pavers are more susceptible to cracking, chipping, and crumbling.
• CONCRETE PAVERS - Popular for commercial projects under high vehicular traffic areas. Come in various colors, shapes, and sizes. Have a high compressive strength (8,000 psi) making them less prone to chipping and cracking. Hold up much better against deicing chemicals, and absorb less water (5%) compared to standard concrete (7-9%). Strength and porosity varies amongst manufacturers. Colorant fades under UV rays and surface traffic.
• STONE PAVERS – Broad term for different types of stone pavers; limestone, granite, bluestone, slate, and flagstone being popular choices. Natural look makes them popular for outdoor landscapes. Long-lasting. Withstand the most extreme weather conditions. Cracking, pitting, spalling, surface detioration of little concern.
Pavers can also be differentiated between permeable, pervious, and porous. While there is a compositional difference, the terms generally describe materials that allow water to penetrate the surface (important when directing storm water, reducing freeze-thaw). The truth is, surface porosity varies greatly between types of pavers and when it comes to choosing a sealer, porosity matters.
Manufacturing techniques also come into play. Chemical additives often used in the mix reduce porosity e.g., added polymers are used to protect colorant, add strength, and increase density. This can potentially interfere with the absorption of a penetrating sealer like LastiSeal® Brick & Masonry Sealer. Causing the sealer to build-up on the surface, change friction, and potentially appearance.
Is LastiSeal the correct product to use for a paver driveway? How do I know if I’m choosing the correct sealer?
You can review our Sealer Guide for quick reference, but knowing the type of pavers will help answer such an open-ended question. Certain pavers are inherently more accepting of LastiSeal than others, which include (sans rock pavers):
• Mexican (unglazed)
Pavers that often vary in surface porosity;
A popular term we like to use when answering customer inquires is, “porosity varies”. Due to the many variances of pavers it is always best to play it safe and sample a product before applying to the whole surface area.
Click here to purchase an 8-ounce sized sample bottle of LastiSeal today!
When a product like LastiSeal is unable to be used, there are other options to choose from. Clear, topical-type membrane coatings can be used; acrylic, polyurethanes, clear epoxy, and waxes. Not all these sealer options are suitable however! Choosing a sealer very much depends on your specific project, location, and expectations. There is more upkeep and need to reapply clear topical sealants.
Please take the time to review Chemical Sealers for Concrete, Brick, and Masonry.
Sealing your paver patio, pool deck, or driveway may not be high on your home maintenance list, but it should be noted. Aside from the potential issues with the pavers themselves, shifting, sinking, unevenness, puddling, and shoddy installation are common complaints early on.
If you were fortunate enough to purchase a home with a paver area already installed know that paver installation is not cheap! Problems eventually will arise and although they may not be present early on, they can be expected.
Applying LastiSeal to your pavers is an easy and a relatively inexpensive solution to protecting your investment for years to come. It does not take a lot of common sense to know that by sealing out the elements and improving strength, your personal paver sanctuary will keep looking "good as new" for years to come!
Does LastiSeal have a gloss finish to it once it has dried?
A: LastiSeal FLAT leaves the appearance of the surface as is. LastiSeal SATIN will enhance the surface providing a low-gloss finish.
Will LastiSeal seal the polymeric sand between my pavers?
A: No. Polymer modified sand is hydrophobic and LastiSeal will have trouble penetrating the surface.
Can LastiSeal bind the loose sand that is in-between my pavers?
A: No. LastiSeal is too low-viscosity a sealant to bind granular sand together.
If I apply LastiSeal can I stain my pavers in the future?
A: If you use LastiSeal Brick & Masonry Sealer using a stain in the future will prove to be almost impossible. If you would like to seal and stain your pavers, we recommend the use of LastiSeal Concrete Stain & Sealer.
I sealed my pavers 3 years ago with another product. Can I still use LastiSeal?
A: It depends on lifespan of the previous sealer used. Some last, some don’t. Best to test by purchasing a small sample bottle.