Choosing the right type of paving sealer is essential. To keep your pavers looking like new and performing as expected you need to carefully consider your options. The most important consideration is Breathability. If your seal cant breathe it won’t last long. This is even more critical with paving than poured floors. Every joint is a place where water can get into the substrate. As the water comes to the surface it needs to be able to escape. If the sealer doesn’t breathe the water gets trapped. this results in discolouration, and eventually sealer delaminination will occur. This usually appears as a picture frame effect. The edges of the paver turn a different colour than the centre.
Reconstituted concrete and limestone pavers suffer worst from this issue. As the water leaches through the paver, it dissolves and carries along any unreacted minerals from the concrete curing reactions. These form salts under filming sealers as the water tries to escape. Breathable sealers allow moisture to be released as water vapour. The paver sealer isn’t damaged as the water vapour passes. And since water vapour can’t carry salts, they stay behind in the paver where they belong.
Water Based Sealers paver sealers are suitable for most types of natural stone, clay, concrete and reconstituted limestone pavers. They are acrylic co-polymer sealers which penetrate into the substrate to create a matrix from the inside out. The matrix developed below the surface remains for the life of the paver. A maintenance coat every 3-5 years is recommended to rebuild the wear layer. This is the portion of the matrix that sits above the surface. The best sealer to use will depend on the porosity of the paver.
Use Pro Seal 770 as a first coat on highly porous pavers to reduce porosity. Examples of highly porous pavers are reconstituted limestone, porous natural limestone, sandstone and coarse concrete pavers. This would include most Brickmakers and Midland Brick concrete pavers. Pro Seal 770 will also subtly enhance colours in natural sandstone and oxide coloured concrete pavers without making the surface look artificial. For best results Pro Seal 770 should always be sealed over with ProSeal 896 or Pro Seal 898.
Pro Seal 896 is by far the most important paver sealer in the range. The cross linking is tight enough to keep out most stains but not so tight as to limit breathability. This allows pavers to dry out after rain or in the event of rising damp. This will prevent the growth of mold and mildew, and stop salt damage and efflorescence. Use as a stand alone sealer on clay, dense concrete, and most natural stone pavers.
Use Pro Seal 898 only on dense stone and polished concrete pavers, or over the top of Pro Seal 770 or Pro Seal 896. Pro Seal 898 is a good option as a final coat if higher levels of gloss are desired.
Guard Industry sealers are full penetrating sealers. When applied correctly they leave no visible film on the surface. They won’t make surfaces slippery at all. There are three main Guard Industry paver sealing products.
ProtectGuard is a full penetrating paver sealer best suited to very porous pavers. It will repel water, oil and stains without altering the appearance of the paver at all. This sealer has a strong beading affect and is completely breathable. Since it leaves no surface film it does not alter the natural characteristics of the paver at all, including the grip levels. As such it is a really good option for pool areas and paving in public spaces. This protect is guaranteed to be effective for at least 10 years!
ProtectGuard HD® is works similar to ProtectGuard but it has been developed to give it greater abrasion resistance. The HD stands for heavy duty. Use it for applications where there is really high traffic such as footpaths and other public open spaces. Will even handle light vehicle traffic. It is also has better penetrating power. So its a better option for pavers with low porosity. If a water droplet takes longer than 1 minute to penetrate, use HD.
ProtectGuard WF Premium® is a penetrating wet-look paving sealer. It penetrates deep into the surface and produces a very rich colour enhancement similar to a wet paver. Its most economical on dense materials but can be used on any surface. Since it is penetrating and completely breathable it will not delaminate, blister or peel. These issues plague most other wet look sealers available on the market. WF will even bring out full colour on very coarsely honed materials. This means you can get a wet look on very rough pavers. With excellent grip under foot.
Special Application Sealers
Dense stone pavers or pavers that are suffering from some sort of issue may require special treatment. Please refer to our pages on natural stone and remediation if either apply to your situation.