Paver Sealer: To Seal or Not to Seal

“Do I need to seal my pavers?” The short answer is Yes.

Paver sealant is an important maintenance tool to keep paver patios, walkways, driveways and pool decks looking as beautiful as they day they were installed.

However, “too much of a good thing” can come into play, and you should be wary of over-applying paver sealer by reapplying too often, which could create a haze. This week’s blog offers tips for knowing when it’s time to seal and how to best achieve the desired look.

Should all concrete pavers be sealed?

Yes. Concrete is porous and will absorb stains if not sealed. Sealants can also protect paver color from fading.

Do all paver sealant brands offer the same basic protection?

There are definitely some poor paver sealing products on the market. Don’t trust the fact that you bought it at a big box store or that it’s a high-profile brand. Just because a brand is good at one product category (like paint) doesn’t mean they are the best in another. Belgard recommends Techniseal® sealants. When it comes paver sealant, Techniseal® is a pioneer in the industry has a robust R&D department, resulting in effective and durable products specifically created for paver installation and maintenance.

Is any one paver sealant finish more protective than another?

There are basically two types of paver sealants: film-forming (gloss or semi-gloss finish) and non-film-forming (matte finish). Film-forming sealants, such as Wet Look and Clear Look, offer the ultimate protection because they create a physical barrier on the paver surface. However non-film-forming sealants, Natural Look and Color Boost, still offer excellent protection and last a bit longer.

Techniseal Concrete Paver Sealer

How long should new pavers cure before they are sealed for the first time?

If using a non-film-forming paver sealant, wait one week before sealing. If using a film-forming sealant, wait 30 days to avoid trapping moisture under the protective barrier.

Is there a prep process before applying paver sealant?

Even new pavers should be cleaned with Techniseal® Paver Prep prior to sealing. Not only will it clean the pavers, but it will open the pores on the surface to allow better penetration of the sealant. Older pavers will also benefit, as Paver Prep will remove any efflorescence (or whitish salt buildup) that has accumulated. Any stains should be removed prior to applying Paver Prep, using the specific stain remover for the type of stain. For more information, read last week’s blog on paver stain removal.

How long should pavers dry after being cleaned and prepped?

The answer depends on your climate. In warm, sunny climates, the pavers will be dry and ready to seal in a few hours. In cooler climates or shady areas, it’s best to wait about 24 hours.

What are the ideal weather conditions for sealing?

Ideal conditions would be 75 degrees and sunny; however, anywhere between 50-90 degrees is generally fine. Take note that solvent-based sealants evaporate faster, so lower temperatures are better for application.

How often should paver sealer be reapplied?

The basic rule of thumb is every 3-5 years. For film-forming sealants, you will be able to notice when the physical barrier is showing signs of wear. For non-film-forming sealants, you will begin to see a significant color change of pavers during a rain when the sealant is wearing thin. Keep in mind that in cases of a really heavy rain, even well-sealed pavers may darken for a couple of days until the water fully evaporates, which is not an indication of sealant failure.

PAVER SEALING APPLICATION TIPS:

  • Like with painting, it’s best to keep a wet edge on a continuous area. In other words, don’t let a section dry before you finish. Once you start working, keep working.
  • An application sprayer (available at any hardware store) makes it easier to work faster.
  • Apply paver sealant to saturation. Get the pavers good and wet to make sure all crevices are covered. Then use a dry roller to soak up the excess to avoid lines and drip marks.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Visit Techniseal’s website for more DIY paver sealant application tips. When in doubt, hire a professional. To find qualified contractors in your area, visit the Belgard contractor locator.

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30 Replies to “Paver Sealer: To Seal or Not to Seal”

    1. Pricing for this service can vary from market to market. To get quotes in your market, find qualified contractors on the Techinseal contractor/dealer locator by clicking here.

  1. I’m planning to clean and seal my pavers in the near future. Unfortunately, a few pavers appear damaged when the painting or masonry contractor was cleaning small spills with acidic solvent and stiff brush. These areas are unsightly. I’m unsure if the sealer will help. Any recommendations.

    1. I have Cambridge Pavers totally lightened, they are in direct path of weather elements. I have other pavers that underneath an Overhang the color is more Vibrant I have complained to Contractor but Ann Getting no help. These pavers are only 2 years old and I had noticed the difference in color almost immediately. Can you offer advice to fix Even sealing you can still see color difference.

    1. There are pros and cons to each, and you can get a matte finish in either type. Solvent-based sealants will often darken the pavers a bit, emit odor more during application and be a little more difficult to clean application tools afterwards. However, they offer stronger UV protection and will often wear longer. Another consideration is that solvent-based sealants evaporate faster in warmer weather, so it’s better to apply when it’s not quite so hot outside. For additional assistance, click here to visit the Techniseal support page.

  2. Sealing concrete helps to make sure that it lasts longer and does not crack quickly or stain. Before reading this article I didn’t know that concrete was porous and absorbed things. I’ll be sure to reseal my pavers soon since I last did it about three years ago.

  3. Are there sealants that will keep a surface cooler? We have a large paver patio around our pool and it can get pretty hot during summer months.

    1. According to the experts at Techniseal, this is not a benefit currently provided by any sealants on the market, but they feel it’s a trend worth pursuing, so stay tuned!

  4. Within less than 18 hours of a second application of sealer in 50 to 60 degree weather in the afternoon, the surface was still sticky and there were still areas with white patches of excess sealer the next morning when it rained enough to get everything wet again. More rain is expected over the next couple of days. Has this or will this harm the effectiveness of the application? Should another coat be applied when finally dry?

    1. You question was forwarded to Techniseal, and we will update this reply with their answer. For a quicker response, please click here to contact them directly.

  5. Prepped and made sure my pavers were dry and it was sunny. Most of the job looks pretty great however some spots look like I may have dripped too much and look white. Should I let it dry all the way then assess or try to remove excess while tacky?

  6. I like how you mentioned that pavers should have a certain amount of time pass before making sure that the sealant has been cured since there is a process when it comes to applying paver sealant to masonry brick tiles. Another thing I noticed is that you should be careful when it comes to buying sealing products off the market just in case you might come across a counterfeit one. While I haven’t the slightest when it comes to looking for paver sealing, at least I can guarantee that there aren’t going to be any fake products on the market since I know what brand names to watch out for in the future.

    1. Sand the joints and then seal. If using a non-film-forming paver sealant, wait one week before sealing. If using a film-forming sealant, wait 30 days to avoid trapping moisture under the protective barrier.

  7. I just had 3717 sq ft of Belgard Holland Stone 4 x 8 pavers done. 2300 sq ft of driveway and walkways and 1400 sq ft of patio. Border is charcoal and interior 45 degree herringbone of gray and granite. House is 700 ft. from ocean in Vero Beach FL ( and no I am not rich or even close.)

    Pavers were installed 2 weeks ago and I want to get the very best protection with longest lasting coat.

    Driveway sees sunlight most of the day. Patio 1/2 the day. Just built home so I can’t afford $6000 to seal pavers. If I missed a necessary point let me know. I used to seal my pavers at my former inland house in gloss with shark grip mixed in.

    1. The specific recommended product would vary depending upon what aesthetic you’re looking for (natural look, matte finish, satin finish, color boost, wet look). There’s also an anti-slip grit available called “SureFoot” that’s available for either solvent-based and water-based products. For more specifics on each, contact service@techniseal.com.

          1. I was looking for a place to buy the product and could not find a dealer or store selling it near me. I was not looking for an applicator to spray it on.

            I had to go with Ure Seal out of Lakeland FL. Will let you know how it goes.

  8. I had a contractor come in and do a sidewalk for me laying down Lafitt Granada slab.4 days after he layed it it is all changing color and is all lifting. Also does this have to be sealed the contactor said no.

    1. Belgard always recommends sealing to protect pavers from damage caused by UV rays, stains and debris. If the pavers are changing colors and lifting, contact your contractor for a followup visit. By changing color, do you mean there appears to be a whitish film on the surface of the pavers? If so, that’s a natural process called efflorescence that happens in certain climates. The salts in the pavers can migrate to the surface. If so, you will want to remove the efflorescence before sealing by using a cleaner like Techniseal Paver Prep. In the odd case that the color issue is due to a defect in the product itself, Belgard offers a lifetime limited warranty. Your contractor should warranty the workmanship for at least a year from installation if you used a Belgard Authorized Contractor.

  9. Thanks for helping me understand that any stain must be removed first before applying the seal coat to ensure the effectivity of it. With that in mind, it would be better to hire professionals to do this for us since I am not that confident with my skills. We just need the driveway to be fixed before the cracks widen and have a more costly repair needed.

  10. I’m glad you mentioned that you need to clean the paver before you seal it. I’m sure that’s true for any surface. If you have a lot of dirt trapped under the sealant, it can make it easy to scrape off. At the very least you’ll have a bunch of dirty looking spots permanently on your floor.

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