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Stamped Concrete or Paver Sealer Turned White

Paver Sealer Turned White

Paver Sealer Turned White

Why has my Brick Paver or Stamped Concrete Sealer Turned White?

This is a very common question and a fairly common occurrence. Typically this happens to filming acrylic based sealers that leave a shine on the surface. These sealers are typically applied to brick pavers and stamped concrete surfaces to enhance the overall appearance.

There is not one specific reason that your old sealer has blushed by turning white or cloudy so there is not one remedy to fix. In his article we will go over the main reasons that your sealer has failed so you will be able to fix this problem permanently.

Cheap Acrylic Sealer

In general just stay away from paint store or Big Box stores brands. These “wet look” sealers have a high fail rate due to the inferior acrylics used.

Solution: To fix you will need to remove the sealer with a concrete or paver sealer stripper.

Trapped Water/Moisture and Over Applied Sealer

Trapped moisture under the sealer is the most common reason that the sealer has turned white. This happens to sealers that are not breathable or over applied. The sun will raise the moisture out of the concrete or bricks but the water cannot escape as it is trapped under the sealer.

Solution: Applying a solvent such as Xylene or Lacquer Thinner will emulsify the current sealer, removing the trapped moisture and restoring the shine. Not a guaranteed fix but is worth the attempt.

Solution 2: If the solvent does not work you will need to use a sealer stripper to remove and start over.

Efflorescence Salts Trapped under Sealer

Efflorescence is a soluble salts that raises to the surface of the concrete after it is installed. This may never form or may take up to year to show. Make sure that all efflorescence is removed prior to sealing the surface.

Solution: Strip off the sealer first then use an efflorescence cleaner to remove the white residue.

Polymeric Sand Issue (New as of last few years)

We have seen more and more issues with polymeric sand installs. Not so much an issue with the sand, but rather poor installation. Polymeric sands are installed by sweeping the sand into the joints then blowing off the excess form the top of the surface. The sand is then misted with water to activate the polymer bond. The problem arises when the sand is not completely removed from the top of the surface prior to misting with water. The polymeric sand in many cases contains “cementious” properties. This when activated by water may leave a thin layer on top called a “poly haze”.

Solution: Strip off any sealer then use a mild acid or white vinegar to remove the poly haze.
Please ask any questions you may have on removing the white haze from your brick pavers in the comment area below.

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18 Responses to “Stamped Concrete or Paver Sealer Turned White”

  1. Diane St John says:

    I have a paver driveway in central lFlorida. It has been sealed 4 times with a solvent base sealer. It no longer has its vibrant color after sealing. It fades within 3 to 6 months, If it is wet from rain it looks beautiful but as soon as it dries it is very pale looking no color. Any suggestions?

  2. pat says:

    when using white vinegar to remove white haze, should I rinse with water

  3. Cristina says:

    i just installed stamped concrete on my pool deck and the joints area is discolored to a grey tone. What has caused this because a sealer was applied.

  4. Ryan d says:

    Will the stripper remove the color

  5. Randy says:

    After having sealed the paver patio I had installed, some areas turned a milky white. The contractor applied a diluted
    mixture of sealer over the milky areas and, when dry, the milky look was gone. However, following the next good rain we
    experienced caused certain treated areas once again to turn white. 90% of the patio looks great but all we see are those
    white areas. I am frustrated, but the contractor has not yet been paid for the sealing part of the project. How much must
    I expect before rendering the final payment? I do not want to be a bad customer but I expect a properly done job.

  6. Robert Watson says:

    what is the best stripper to remove old sealer from a paver driveway

  7. Julio says:

    My contractor is quoting my $3800 to strip the "wrong" sealer off my driveway that is trapping the water and turning the driveway white. He says it can take up to 4 days to strip and re-strip until the sealant is removed. The driveway and walkway is about 1,000 sq. ft.

    • Concrete Sealer Help says:

      Striping is difficult and depending on how bad it is, may take multiple times to get off. We normally charge about $2-3 a sq foot to strip and reseal. His price may be correct though for what is charged in your area. I would get at least one more quote to compare. Make sure they both know how to do it.

  8. Mary Ann says:

    I had my pavers and coping on my lani around my pool cleaned and sealed but they have turned white. I know you can strip them but my pool co. has told me you CANNOT get that stripper chemicals in the pool water. Please help, I do not want to have to live with them the way they are. What can I do?

    • Concrete Sealer Help says:

      You have to strip to remove so there is no other way. You may just need to change the pool water after you are done.

  9. Karen says:

    Good afternon, my name is Karen, I have an issue with my pavers, last year I sealed me pavers however it was not done correctly, after it was finished it looked wet and grainny from the sand, I hired someone to remove the sealed and he made the problem worst, he put a stripper on it waited for one hour and power wash it, well it didn't work now my pavers have white film over it, I realize now that he waited too long. Is there anything or anyway I can correct this eye sore

    • Concrete Sealer Help says:

      You would need to properly strip and remove the old sealer. Use the Clemons Concrete Sealer Stripper and pressure wash off. Once removed, you can seal properly with the Super Seal 30.

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