This post was most recently updated on January 26th, 2022
Stamped Concrete or Paver Sealer Turned White
Thank you for visiting Concrete Sealer Review throughout 2022 and beyond for concrete and brick paver sealer tips and advice. In this article, we explain what causes concrete or brick paver sealer to turn white sometimes, and what you can do to fix it. If you have any suggestions for the best way to fix concrete or brick paver sealer that turned white, or if you have any questions, feel free to leave us a comment below.
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 no one specific reason that your old sealer has blushed by turning white or cloudy, so there is no one remedy to fix it. In this 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 the paint stores or Big Box stores brands. These “wet look” sealers have a high failure 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 salt that raises to the surface of the concrete after it is installed. This may never form or may take up to a 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 the last few years)
We have seen more and more issues with polymeric sand installs. Not so much an issue with the sand, but with poor installation. Polymeric sands are installed by sweeping the sand into the joints, then blowing off the excess from 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 “cementitious” 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.