Brick pavers have become increasingly popular among homeowners in recent years. Areas around the home such as patios, porches, sidewalks, and driveways can be created with brick pavers and can certainly enhance the beauty of your property.
It is, however, important to note that like concrete, wood, and other surfaces, brick pavers will last longer if they are maintained regularly. The most beneficial thing you can do for your brick paver areas is to apply a brick paver sealer. When pavers are not sealed they can suffer from effects of erosion, weed growth, mold/mildew buildup, sun fading, ant activity, and discoloring. In extreme cases, brick pavers can shift, become loose, or settle causing low areas where water can puddle.
Different Types of Concrete Surfaces and Best Sealer to Use.
Decorative Concrete – This is any concrete surface that is not simply a means of construction but that is also altered to enhance its beauty. While still serving as an integral part of the building process such as floors, walls, driveways, or patios the concrete is also transformed into a decorative piece. The altering of concrete to enhance its beauty is accomplished through a number of procedures such as stamping, acid staining, polishing, coloring, overlaying, and more.
Sealer Type to use: Use a sealer that enhances the color tones with a wet look. Typically these are Acrylic sealers in either water or solvent based. If solvent, use a “styrene” acrylic to allow moisture to escape. These come in a Gloss, Semi-Gloss, Satin, and No Gloss.
Exterior landscape pavers are extremely popular because of their versatility and beautiful appearance. They can be used as walkways, driveways, patios, garden paths, and so on. Some larger pavers that resemble a concrete block can be stacked up in a staggered pattern to create landscape and retaining walls. With many choices of sizes, colors, shapes, and textures the sky is the limit. However, pavers should be sealed to preserve their color and integrity.
Knowing how to apply a paver sealer is the key to getting professional like results. The first step in sealing pavers is to wash the pavers to remove any dirt buildup and grime. You will also need to blast away any sand joints so they can be replaced. Weeds and moss should also be removed. A pressure washer and concrete cleaner are ideal. Once the pavers are completely cleaned and have dried out for several days a new paver sealer can be applied. If your paver area has sand joints you will need to replace the sand prior to sealing. If not then you can move on to sealing the pavers.
Best Sealer for Brick Walls to Prevent Water Penetration
Bricks are used for many aspects of construction. They are considered as one of the strongest and longest lasting building materials in history. Bricks can be made of clay, concrete, stone, ceramic, or lime and sand. Like other exterior building materials, a brick wall should be sealed to slow the effects of weathering. When moisture is allowed to penetrate the brick, the damaging effects can cause cracking, breaking, crumbling, and efflorescence problems.
One of the most problematic areas of a home is the chimney. Water and moisture can cause scaling, deterioration, spalling, water intrusion in the home, and freeze/thaw damage. Waterproofing and sealing a chimney can be vital to its structural integrity.
Before sealing a brick chimney, clean the surface with a brick cleaner to remove all curing compounds or visible stains such as mold, mildew, efflorescence, or rust. The chimney should be clean and free of dirt, oil, dust and any unwanted contaminants. For severe mold, mildew, fungus, or algae use a bleach solution.
When dealing with a chimney, it is important to practice safety and never get on a ladder or roof without the proper knowledge and experience. Wear chemical resistant gloves and safety glasses when handling cleaning solutions.
There are just as many different types of bricks as there are uses for it in construction. Most commonly, bricks are used in exterior home construction. For example an entire house may be brick or just part of the house for added curb appeal. Brick can also be used for pillars or columns, mailbox structures, a chimney, or a retaining wall. In most exterior brick applications, it is recommended to seal the brick to protect it from water damage, efflorescence, fading, mold/mildew, dirt, grime, and other contaminants that can be harmful or take away from the brick’s appeal. For interior brick walls, sealing is also beneficial to the brick and will enhance its natural beauty.
To seal a brick wall, you first need to wash it. In areas surrounded by landscaping, be sure to cover and protect any shrubbery that may be harmed. Use a quality brick and masonry cleaner according to the directions. Be sure to wear protective gloves and safety glasses.
Apply the cleaner and use a stiff brush or pressure washer to agitate and break loose the unwanted contaminants. Use a rust remover where any irrigation rust or other rust stains may be present. Interior brick walls are best cleaned with a safe cleaning solution and a scrub brush. Wipe the wall clean using cloths or towels if rinsing with water is not feasible. Once all the stains are gone from an exterior wall, rinse the brick wall well with plenty of water. Let the brick wall dry for a minimum of 24 hours after cleaning.
Sealing brick pavers is something that a do-it-yourselfer can do with good results. Sealing brick pavers such as a porch, patio, sidewalk, or driveway will have numerous benefits to the pavers and entire brick paver area.
Benefits of Sealing Pavers