What's Out There?
What are solvent based sealers?
Solvent based sealers are typically a acrylic polymer blend with a varying amount of solids in them that determine the thickness or coating level you will get after applying. Solvent based paver and concrete sealers perform very similar in performance as the water based sealers but tend to give a thicker, higher gloss appearance. Solvent based sealers are also associated with more challenges and difficulty during application. Below are some important characteristics of solvent based sealers.
- Typically contain high levels of V.O.C.'s (Volatile Organic Compounds)
- High odors (ventilation required)
- Surface must be completely dry before application
- Almost always rolled on (too thick to spray)
- While rolling, do not let the leading edge dry, will leave lines on pavers
- Should not be applied too thick
- Some can cause a "yellowing" appearance over time
- Can be slippery depending on thickness and over-coating
- Can trap moisture
- Can cause the pavers to turn "white" if not applied properly or in moist areas
What are water based sealers?
Water based sealers are also acrylic polymers, like the solvent based, but with the polymers dispersed within the water molecules. This thinner blend allows for the sealer to be sprayed on the surface which often gives a more uniform and consistent coverage. Once the sealer is sprayed on the water begins to evaporate bonding the acrylic polymers together to create the sealed surface.
- Typically contains very low V.O.C.'s (Volatile Organic Compounds)
- Very low odors if any
- Surface may be moist when applying
- Is usually sprayed on
- Difficult to over apply unlike solvent based
- Most do not trap moisture that turns the pavers white
- Fades away more gradually over the years
- Easier application and cleaning
- Nice article on water based paver sealer - CLICK HERE
Do the big box retail stores carry the same products?
There are always varying levels of products out there in the marketplace. Contractors will typically have access to a commercial grade product that will come with a warranty/guarantee that may last many years. We have been given feedback from many customers that products they picked up from the chain stores did not perform to their expectations.
(click on the photos for more samples)
Solvent Based Samples
Here are a few samples of sealing with solvent based sealers. They are usually rolled on and create a thick film over the pavers. Often if it is rolled on too thick it will trap moisture and cause them to turn white. They will also begin to chip or flake away over time causing them to look terrible. Often times we find ourselves having to completely strip away all the sealer before cleaning and resealing.
Water Based Samples
In here you will find examples of pavers being sealed with the more popular water based sealers. Today's technology has created some excellent choices in water based paver sealers that will not trap moisture and turn the pavers white. Water based sealers go on white and dry clear, while deeply penetrating the surface to seal out stains and oils. Paver Savers & Concrete recommends Seal 'n Lock water based two part sealer to its customers. Seal 'n Lock is backed by a two year guarantee from the manufacturer who is located in Tampa, FL.
Paver Sealing Gone Bad
These are some examples of what can happen if the wrong product is used or if it is applied incorrectly. With the Solvent based sealers you must make sure that all the efflorescence and oils are removed from the pavers before sealing. The pavers must be absolutely dry before applying the solvent based sealers to them as well.
Paver Savers Recommends:
Paver Savers & Concrete specializes in the application of Seal ‘n Lock's brick and concrete interlocking Paver Sealer. The Seal ‘n Lock cleaning and sealing process is an “All-In-One Day” process that rejuvenates and returns the natural color and beauty of your brick pavers, clay pavers, artistic pavers, cement driveways, acrylic overlays, artistic stone, travertine tile, pool decks, and other flat surfaces. Seal 'n Lock is the best brick and concrete paver sealing product being used on the market today. After many years of research and testing, Seal 'n Lock has introduced a product to the market that not only outperforms others, it is backed by a two year warranty and is also guaranteed to never turn white or cloudy!
Most paver and concrete sealing products can take anywhere from 2-5 days, the Seal ‘n Lock cleaning and sealing process is completed in one day. All surfaces are cleaned, paver joints re-sanded, and two coats of sealer applied in a matter of hours and not days. The Seal ‘n Lock System is environmentally friendly, odor free, and contains no toxic chemicals. The Seal ‘n Lock system also contains algae and mold inhibitors, prevents weed growth and makes maintaining your hardscape a breeze. Backed by a two year warranty the sealing provides a protective barrier against stains and weather and stabilizes paver joints to eliminate stray sand and loose pavers. Increase your property value and add curb appeal by rejuvenating your hardscape today! The result is a rich, long lasting luster that will seal and protect your investment for years to come.
Seal 'n Lock Before and After Video
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