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August 24, 2017 • Mike Huber

Sealer Series #6: 6 Sealer Don'ts

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It's the sixth and final post of our 2017 #SummerSealerSeries. We hope you've enjoyed it so far. Today we're concluding the series with six things not to do when sealing pavers. Bookmark this page for future reference because you won’t want to forget these!


Photo by Designs by Sundown, a member of The National Association of Landscape Professionals


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There’s a science to sealing pavers. If you take a shortcut, your project may wind up doomed to fail. Awhile back we outlined some general installation procedures in our blog post, Steps For Sealing An Outdoor Concrete Patio. In this blog post, we’re going to share what NOT to do when using a paver sealer.


1. DON’T skip efflorescence cleaning.
Efflorescence cleaning is a mandatory step in the sealing process. It’s actually so important that we’ve written an entire blog post about it (Why You MUST Use An Efflorescence Cleaner Before Sealing Pavers)! To make a long story short, failing to use an efflorescence cleaner prior to sealing can be detrimental to your project. From trapping dirt and debris to improper bonding of the sealer, a variety of bad things are bound to happen if sealer is applied to an unclean surface.


2. DON’T use the wrong type of roller.
Solvent-based sealers require the use of a special roller. Need proof? Just dip a regular roller into a solvent-based product and watch as it magically swells and melts away! We offer two different types of rollers and they come in two different colors so you can’t get it wrong … our grey roller is for solvent-based sealer and our yellow roller is for water-based.


3. DON’T flip a coin on using water-based vs. solvent-based.
If you’re resealing your pavers, it matters what type of sealer was used previously. A water-based sealer cannot be applied on top of a solvent-based sealer. So, if you’re unsure what you’re working with, perform a Xylene test. Once you determine what type of sealer you need to use, you should also perform an adhesion test in a small, low-traffic area to make certain the product will be fit for the job.


For steps on how to perform a Xylene test and an adhesion test, refer to this blog post: Solvent-based vs. Water-based Sealers


4. DON’T over-apply.
Alliance sealers are a one-coat application process. Over-application of a sealer can lead to a white or hazy appearance and delamination. Many times we’re asked if additional sealer can be applied in order to achieve a higher gloss or enhancement. The answer is no. A single coat is all that is needed. Applying additional layers can negatively impact the overall aesthetic of the end product.


Expert Tip: The best practice for applying an even coat of sealer is to first use a sprayer and then back roll.


5. DON’T dismiss the weather when planning a sealing job.
Intense heat and moisture are a sealing job’s worst nightmare! Flashing can occur if the surface temperature and/or air temperature is very hot when the sealer was applied. As a general rule of thumb, a hand test should be conducted if temperatures seem questionable. If the pavers are too hot to touch, then they are definitely too hot for sealing. (Usually anywhere between 60-80 degrees is ideal.)


On the other hand, moisture can cause unattractive white spots to appear on a sealed surface. To avoid the damaging effects of moisture, be sure that the pavers are dry when you start and that there is no rain predicted for at least 24 hours after the sealer gets applied.


6. DON’T mix different sealing products together.
We don’t recommend mixing different sealing products together and there are a few good reasons for this advice. First, there’s a great chance the chemistry won’t work. Obviously you couldn’t mix a water-based and a solvent-based product together. However, there are also some products that should never be mixed together even though they’re both water-based or solvent-based.


For products that technically can be safely mixed, it would be impossible to achieve that same mix ratio should you need to cover more area resulting in a different appearance from each batch. So bottom line … don’t mix!


For more info on avoiding epic sealer mistakes, be sure to read our blog post, How To Prevent Common Sealer Issues


Looking for a fast and easy online resource that covers all of your questions about sealing concrete pavers? Click here! 

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