Brick Paver Patios and landscaping blocks have become increasingly popular in the last 10-20 years. They offer an alternative to regular plain white concrete by adding old world charm which resembles walkways and streets of the 19th century. Brick Paver patios can be customized to be designed for any area. They are very popular for driveways, walkways, around pools, etc. Of course with any exterior horizontal surface, there is a need for general maintenance with brick pavers by cleaning and sealing on a regular basis.
Brick paver sealers are water repellents and coatings that are specifically designed to be used on paver stones and block.
Paver sealers have 3 main functions:
So what is the Best Brick Paver Sealer? Well, there isn’t one that stands out from the rest for all scenarios. To determine what paver sealer is best you must first understand the differences between the sealers and what you would like to achieve when done.
Solvent Based Paver Sealers
Traditionally, these are the most popular and have been around for the longest time. These paver sealers are typically high in acrylic solids and will darken the surface. Available in Matte, Semi-Gloss, and High Gloss shines. Due to changes in state’s VOC laws, solvent based sealers may not be available locally but rather purchased online.
Crystal clear in liquid form. Popular solvents are Xylene, Toulene, and other Aromatic Solvents.
Pros: Last about 2+ years. Darken the color more so than water based sealers. Add a higher level of gloss if desired. Typically only one coat is needed. Higher level of protection against UV degradation and fading. Better for vehicle traffic.
Cons: May need to be rolled on as many cannot be sprayed (too thick). Will not solidify joint sand as well as a water based version. Square footage is less, typically about 100-125 sq. feet per gallon.
Water Based Paver Sealers
Water based versions of paver sealers have been forced on the scene in the last 5-10 years due to low VOC (volatile organic compounds) laws. Currently there are over 16 states in the US that restrict the availability of solvent based sealers. Water based sealers still contain acrylics, but will have a lower solid content.
Milky white in liquid form that dries clear.
Pros: Easily applied with a garden type pump sprayer. Will penetrate better into the substrate and sand joints. Hardens jointing sand better. Square footage is better than solvent based sealers. Typically 150-200 sq. feet per gallon.
Cons: Multiple coats are needed. Will not darken as deeply or leave a high gloss like a solvent based paver sealer. Medium level of protection from UV degradation and fading. Softer acrylics, can be prone to tire marks on a hot day.
Solid Acrylics vs Breathable (Styrene) Acrylics
When choosing a paver sealer is best to understand that not all acrylics are created equal. There are many paver sealers that contain inferior acrylics that will blush to turn white in color. Notably Behr Wet Look Sealer and H&C Water based sealer. Best for a paver sealer is one that does not seal the surface 100% but rather breathe. These sealers are less prone to trapping moisture, which may lead to the dreaded white haze. Most high quality water based sealers will not blush as they a thinner in viscosity. Solvent based sealers containing a solid acrylic will have a tendency to blush/turn white. If you choose a solvent based sealer, make sure that it is a “Styrene” acrylic as these have tiny pinholes that allow the coating to breathe.
Joint Sand Stabilizing
A side function for paver sealing is the ability to help solidify or stabilize the jointing sand from erosion. While most paver sealers will do this to some extent, some are designed specifically for this purpose. Examples: SB-1300 and SB-7000.
Unfortunately, joint stabilizing sealers do not add a high level of gloss or a deep darkening wet look.
Wet Look Paver Sealers
“Wet look” sometimes gets confused with “gloss”. Using a paver sealer that will leave a “wet look” means you are darkening the surface similar to as if it was wet with water. These sealers may or may not contain a shine level of some sort.
Gloss Paver Sealers
Gloss sealers will add a shine to the surface ranging from matte to high gloss. In most scenarios you will also darken the pavers with a wet look. These sealers may be prone to being slippery when wet.
Hopefully you now have a better understanding of the different types of paver sealers that are available. If you would like help choosing a paver sealer please answer these questions in the comment are below:
Answer 5 Questions in Comment Area to find the Best Paver Sealer for you!
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