How Many Coats of Paver Sealer do I Need? Paver Sealing Guide
Anyone who has worked with pavers knows how important it is to establish good maintenance practices with it. Sealing is a crucial part of paver maintenance. Knowing why and how to properly seal your pavers is pivotal to its long term value. A very common question we get is: how many coats of paver sealer do I need?
Anyone who has researched about hardscape elements has discovered how good pavers are. Few elements are as reliable and aesthetically appealing as pavers. However, many people forget about the maintenance aspects and are caught of guard when they discover sealing is necessary.
The goal of this article is to talk about sealing and explain how does it work and why it is so important. In order to do that, we will start by explaining how sealing works.
How Many Coats of Paver Sealer do I Need?
Two coats are more than enough to protect a paver installation. More is not better when it comes to paver sealing. Using too much sealer is a common mistake that we often encounter.
To understand why that’s the case, first we need to talk about how sealer work.
Sealers are divided in two categories: topic sealers, and penetrating sealers. Topic sealers are the ones who leave a film on top of the pavers, while penetrating sealers are designed to be soaked by the pavers and act from within.
Either way, their objective is the same, prevent the pavers from absorbing moisture, water, and any kind of liquids. The strategy is different, but the goal is the same.
But there’s a catch. In both cases, too much sealer can create a roof effect. Even sealed, the pavers still need to be able to breathe and allow water to evaporate. Too much sealer can prevent that.
In the case of topic sealers, too much can leave a terrible film on top of it. The film can greatly alter the looks of the pavers, leaving a haze on top of it and completely ruining their texture.
As for penetrating sealers, they are designed to fill the pores of the pavers, so using too much can be even more catastrophic. Too much can accumulate on the surface, also affecting the looks and texture of the pavers.
And it goes without saying that, in both cases, two coat are the cost benefit sweet spot. More than that and you will be sending unnecessary money.
How Sealers Work
As we mentioned, the goal of the sealers is to prevent the pavers from absorbing liquids and moisture.
Topic sealers do that by creating a protecting film on top of the pavers. Water can then freely flow on the surface of the pavers instead of being absorbed by it.
Penetrating sealers work differently. They go inside the pavers and fill their pores. With the pores filled, there’s no room left for water to enter the pavers.
Most pavers, in case you didn’t know, are porous. The only exception are porcelain pavers, currently considered the best pavers in the market.
Sealers work to create a “virtual non-porosity”, either by filling the pores or creating a protecting film on top of the pavers.
That way, the pavers are protected not only against absorption of liquids, but also weather effects and freeze-thaw cycles.
The application of sealer is simple, but the choice and mixing of the right one isn’t.
Sealers are applied either by a pumping spray method or using a paint roller. In both cases, the goal is to work on small areas, one at a time.
Divide your installation in small areas that you can safely work by yourself and apply the sealer evenly. Move on to the next area, taking care not to walk on the previous one. After some ten minutes, you can repeat the process and add the second coat on each area.
Mixing the sealer however, as we mentioned, can be tricky for inexperienced people. Especially because sealers work very differently from each other. Some need to be diluted, in water or thinner, while others can be applied directly.
In the thinner cases, the dilution can be dangerous, and it needs to be done with extreme care.
How Many Coats of Paver Sealer are Needed – Professional Help
There are so many options of sealers in the market that making a choice can be hard for people without experience. If you’re one of those people, your best bet is to work closely with professionals.
We always recommend hiring a qualified hardscape professional around your area to help you with sealing and giving it the care and time it needs.
Here at Eagle Pavers, we have helped countless homeowners choosing the right sealer for the project. We know how important it is to a paver installation, so follow our advice and look for a professional to help you.
And if you happen to be around our area of activity, the Sarasota and Manatee counties, in FL, why not give us a call to help you?