Protecting pavers from the elements is an important part of maintaining their appearance and longevity. This can be done by periodically applying a paver sealer to block out moisture and fading UV rays. A paver sealer will also hinder weed growth, moss, and mildew from growing in the paver joints and on the surface. It can also reduce sand joint erosion as well.
Certain paver sealers are better than others. There have been complaints from homeowners using inferior paver sealers that most commonly say the sealer has turned white. A milky white appearance on the surface of pavers can occur when a low-quality paver sealer is used. This milky or cloudy white appearance is extremely unsightly and can be difficult to fix. The white hue is a sure sign that the sealer has failed and now needs to be dealt with in a way that will completely fix the problem.
How to fix a paver sealer that has turned white depends on the severity of the issue. In most cases, it is best to completely remove the paver sealer using a stain or sealer stripper. The paver sealer stripper should be applied according to the label instructions. The stripper will emulsify the failed paver sealer making it easier to remove with a pressure washer or stiff brush. It is important to remove all of the old sealer. Any new sealer applied over the top of old sealer will only create more issues and will jeopardize the performance of the newer sealer.
A white appearance on the surface of pavers can also be caused by polymeric sand haze. This is an issue that occurs when polymeric sand is left on the surface of the pavers after being swept into the joints. The sand is misted with water to react and create a binding agent that solidifies the sand joints. The left behind dusting of sand on the surface also reacts and leaves a white appearance that may only be noticed after the pavers have been sealed. This is a polymeric sand issue and not an issue with the sealer. However, once sealed over the sealer must be removed. The poly haze can then be removed using an acid cleaner. It’s important to thoroughly clean any left behind sand prior to misting with water to prevent poly haze. Polymeric sand that is not prone to poly haze like Surebond can also be used.
Knowing how to fix a paver sealer that has turned white by removing it completely will ensure any new sealer will perform as expected. To prevent the white cloud problem from happening it is best to research the paver sealer prior to using it. There are certain types of paver sealers that are prone to this issue and others that are not. Even if you have to pay a little more for the better sealer it can be well worth the investment. Also, watch for poly haze which may also cause a paver sealer to turn white.
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