Preparation and Application
Once you have decided on the type and style of sealer you wish to use on your new pavers, you can start preparing the area for application. If the pavers are brand new, and freshly laid, it is important to allow time for them to completely dry out. Many of the concrete manufacturers make pavers to order, and therefore come off the production line, packed onto pallets and delivered to your house all in a 10 day period. Concrete can take up to 28 days to cure and if possible, you should allow them that time before sealer is applied. During this time it is important to take extra special care as they are at their most vulnerable in an unsealed state. Tend to any dirt, leaves and footprints as soon as possible to ensure they are in tip top shape when it is time to seal.
Once allowed to fully dry out, they will no doubt require a light clean. Once again, there are many paver cleaners on the market, ranging from Alkali (detergent like), chlorine based and highly acidic cleaners (such as Hydrochloric Acid). Pavers should NEVER be cleaned with Hydrochloric Acid and in most cases you will void any Warranty offered by both the paver manufacturer and the Sealers manufacturer if used. Hydrochloric Acid was not designed to be used as a paver cleaner, but has been over the years for its highly corrosive characteristics, making light work of most stains or grout deposits (and the decorative finish). However, it is extremely easy to damage the decorative surface of the paver and is highly advised against!
If you have taken reasonable care through the unsealed period, a light clean is most likely all that is required with a Heavy Duty Alkali Cleaner (such at Environex HD Cleaner). Once again, allow to fully dry out after cleaning (a day or so). If you have some more severe and specific staining, have a chat with one of our sales staff and they will recommend the correct product to use.
It is always recommended, regardless of sealer type, to apply with a Lambs Wool Applicator or for finer detail areas, a brush. Never use a paint roller as this will apply the sealer too thick and push it around the area. A Lambs wool applicator will apply the sealer far more evenly and allows the pavers to suck the sealer up and absorb it.
Before undertaking the whole area, test the sealer on a left over paver or on an inconspicuous area. Once satisfied with the results the whole area can be undertaken. Most sealers will require a minimum of at least 2 coats, which is generally allowed for in the coverage estimates. As a general rule, you will get 4-5m2 per litre of sealer with 2 coats depending on the porosity of the surface. Most sealers have a re-coat time of approximately 8 hours. It is recommended not to undertake any sealing during the heat of the day, on days where rain is forecast, or when the surface temperature is greater the 30 degrees. The best time would be a dry day, first thing in the morning when the temperature is cool and the space is shaded. The second coat can then be applied at the end of the day, or the following morning.
• Surface cleaner (dependant upon type and severity of soiling)
• Lambs Wool Applicator
• Chosen Sealer
• Paint tray (sized suitably for applicator)
• Brush for finer detail areas
• Solvent for cleanup
In most cases, sealing is as simple as painting a wall. The keys to any successful sealing job is quite simply: make sure the area is clean and dust free, apply with the appropriate applicator, complete at least 2 coats (apply each coat at 90 degrees to the previous coat).
Stay tuned, we will be adding some great new DIY Videos shortly, including How To: Sealing Pavers.