Paver Sealer: To Seal or Not to Seal

From Outdoor Living by Belgard Blog

Outdoor living space with patio, fire pit, walls and outdoor dining located in Fishers, Indiana includes Bergerac and Weston Wall. Project designed and completed by McCune Outdoor Living. The project utilized the following Belgard products manufactured by 4D Schusters of Indiana. Bergerac – Harvest Blend with Brittany Beige Weston Wall – Harvest Blend

“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.

10 Quick Facts About Gator Base

By Mike Huber of Alliance Designer Products

First off, what is Gator Base? Gator Base is a foam base product that has been engineered and designed specifically for pedestrian paver installations. The panels are lightweight and incredibly easy to move around and work with. In this blog post, we’re going to outline, step-by-step, what a typical Gator Base installation involves.

Gator Base panels can help save time, money and labor on many different types of hardscape applications. Manufactured using lightweight high-density polypropylene, five Gator Base panels will cover 28.9 square feet and weigh only 6.6 lbs!

In this post, we’re going to share 10 quick facts that you might find interesting about this product:



1. Saves 6” of excavation
Gator Base will actually replace the six inches of compacted crushed stone that’s needed in traditional pedestrian hardscape jobs.

2. Provides better protection against freeze/thaw
Gator Base acts as a thermal blanket. It’s three times more effective than crushed stone as an insulator and significantly reduces freeze/thaw cycles.

3. Increases profits by decreasing labor costs
Michael Tous of GrassMasters explains how he saves an average of $30,000 per year using Gator Base! Check out what he has to say in this video testimonial.

4. Perfect for jobs with tight access
Because big, heavy pieces of equipment aren’t needed for Gator Base installations, the product proves to be the perfect solution for jobs with limited access.

5. Extremely durable
Gator Base is built to last! With over 3.5 million square feet already installed, this product is proving it can withstand the test of time. It will never leach chemicals or degrade in the native soil.

Gator Base Installation (1)

6. Offers better load transfer
Gator Base panels interlock to distribute the static and dynamic loads to a very wide area, a very effective means of spreading out any pressure on the soils below.

7. Features water evacuation channels
Gator Base has been designed to return water to the native soil through built-in evacuation channels.

8. LOCK-N-GO Technology
Designed with a tongue and groove system, Gator Base panels quickly and easily lock into place to form a durable monolithic slab.

9. No heavy equipment needed
Did you know that it would take about 1,440 lbs. of crushed stone to fill 28.9 square feet six inches high? That’s a lot of excavating and heavy lifting! Five panels of Gator Base weighs in at 6.6 lbs. and will cover this same exact square footage!

10. 3.5 million square feet installed!
The number of Gator Base jobs continues to rise in North America … 3.5 million square feet and counting!

For more information on Gator Base and how to use it DOWNLOAD THE GATOR BASE CASE STUDY HERE

New Building Materials for the Green Home

A rebounding construction market combined with an increased focus on sustainability has created the perfect environment for innovation. Consumers and businesses are keeping a closer eye on energy costs, and many see construction projects as an opportunity to set a positive example. As such, researchers are scrambling to come up with building solutions that are more environmentally friendly yet just as effective as their predecessors.

Below, read about four of the most exciting innovations that are paving the way for the next generation of building materials.

1. Self-Regulating Materials for Temperature Control

Indoor climate control has always been a challenge. The bigger you build, the less ability you have to fight against the natural elements on the other side of the wall. The right insulation can get you partway there, but as outside temperatures fluctuate, building occupants are inevitably forced to tweak indoor conditions. The constant up and down, while doable, can run a significant energy bill.

The good news is that the solution might be right under our noses. Researchers are taking a close look at how organisms are able to maintain equilibrium for everything from sugar content levels to temperature. Remarkably, biology allows most living things to regulate inner temperatures regardless of outside conditions, by way of surprisingly basic biochemical reactions. It’s not just complex organisms — even primitive ones have at least some ability to regulate heat.

What does that mean for building materials? Essentially, scientists are attempting to mimic in buildings what we are able to do naturally: self-regulate based on environment. Early prototypes have taken the form of self-regulating gels that effectively respond to outside temperature; in other words, they are made to heat when conditions are cold and remain inactive when within the right temperature range. It’s like wrapping your building in an ultra-responsive and efficient thermostat.

2. Sustainable Concrete and Brick

We live in a concrete world, but that comes with a downside: Concrete production is dirty. It emits an enormous amount of carbon. Exacerbating the problem is that concrete is strong but not permanent, and that means manufacturing more and more of it over time.

One solution that researchers have explored in recent years has been the concept of sustainable concrete. Essentially, it’s concrete made from organic, renewable materials. The rice from ash hulls, for example, has been shown to effectively produce a form of concrete by holding sand and stone components firmly in place. What’s more, the end product is stronger than traditional concrete – meaning you don’t have to use as much.

Similarly, manufacturers are making use of new brick-making techniques and materials. One notable material is cow dung, which can be used to replace clay. In addition to giving a builder eco-friendly credibility, it can be a smart investment. Bricks made from cow dung have been shown to be lighter and stronger than their clay counterparts while costing about the same.

3. Lightweight Composites

Composites have come into play more and more in recent years, and for good reason. They can be crafted in such a way as to be incredibly effective and resilient. Next-generation composites will be made lighter and possibly comprise organic elements.

One interesting example is boards made of chicken feathers. It is made by compressing otherwise wasted feathers and traditional cement. Researchers tout it as a material that is incredibly lightweight and naturally termite-repellant. It’s also less flammable than other composite materials. It’s just the beginning as researchers continue to look into ways to incorporate organic materials into traditional building materials.

4. Organic Insulation

As noted at the start of this article, insulation is the go-to solution for indoor climate control. While typically effective, insulation is notorious for having environmentally unfriendly properties. Some forms have been demonstrated to have serious negative implications for humans, and most are stubbornly difficult to dispose of in a safe, clean way.

To beat the bad wrap of traditional insulation, builders are increasingly open to organic alternatives. They are sustainable, effective and often recyclable. For example, researchers have been able to produce mushrooms to harness their fungal mycelium — which acts as a binder when combined with certain agricultural byproducts. It can be made to be structurally rigid in all kinds of settings. It’s incredibly effective, and the product is highly versatile as a building material.

Similarly, sheep’s wool is being used as a renewable and effective insulation material. Further, its benefits have been known for as long as it has been used for clothing — it is difficult to burn and is safe around people. As an additional benefit, it is fairly easy to place and recycle. For anyone who has been involved in a demolition, you understand what an enormous benefit that is, as traditional insulation accounts for a significant amount of wasted materials.