The proper way to install Paver Sealer for interlocking pavers
Over the past few years, polymeric sand and joint stabilizing paver sealer has become more and more popular. At Two Brothers Brick Paving, we prefer to use a joint stabilizing paver sealer over polymeric sand whenever possible. For the most part, they achieve similar results in the joint – keeping the sand in tact. In this article, I’m not going to discuss the pros and cons of paver sealer vs polymeric sand (I’ve already done so in an earlier article on polymeric sand), instead I’m going to share with you how to properly install paver sealer. Note that our sister company, Perfect Paver Co, offers paver sealing in Dayton, Ohio.
Step 1. If you’re sealing a paver patio that’s been down for sometime, you’ll want to make sure and remove all vegetation growing in the joint. This can be done usually by pressure washing with a high psi pressure washer. You should be able to blow the vegetation right out of the joint.
Step 2. Clean the pavers. Almost always, we recommend pressure washing pavers before sealing. It will require that you do step 3, however, it will achieve the best end result. Using a 3500 psi pressure washer and a fan style tip, take your time going over every square inch of the pavers. If needed, go back over a second time. Just make sure to hold the pressure washing wand about 8″-10″ away from the pavers because if you get too close you can cut grooves in the pavers. Again, make sure you’re using a fan tip and not a jet tip. If you have rust stains or any other stains that won’t come out, try cleaning with a general purpose cleaner sold by Surebond.
Step 3. After the pavers have dried for at least 24 hours in direct sunlight (may take longer in shaded areas or cooler times of the year), you’re ready to re-install the joint sand.
Advanced Version: We recommend that you fill the joints with the same course sand that was used for the setting bed (what the pavers are laid on top of) to fill up the joint. This can be difficult to do without a vibratory plate compactor as the size of the sand is a bit larger than most paver joints. The vibratory plate compactor will vibrate and force lodge the sand into the joint. Most gravel distributors will carry this sand; they call it concrete sand or course sand. You will need about 1- 5 gallon bucket of this sand per 100-200 square feet of pavers. You’ll want to evenly spread the sand out over the patio covering every square inch. We use a base rake but you can use a push broom. Take the top of the broom and put it one the pavers creating a plow affect. Push the broom around upside down going back and forth over the pavers until the sand is evenly spread over all the pavers (about 1/8″ thick). If your sand is wet or damp at all, you will need to spread your sand out first so that the sun can dry it out. Then you will be able to broom it around easily to get the even layer.
Once the patio is covered with a consistent layer of dry sand, you’re ready to compact. Using a vibratory plate compactor, go over top of all the pavers. Spread the sand back out with your broom and go over them one additional time. Now sweep off the sand and the joints should be full. You’ll want to remove the sand so that the sand is just below the sharp edge of the paver aka the chamfer. For tumbled pavers that don’t have a sharp edge, we recommend that the sand be about 1/16″-1/8″ down from the edge of the paver. You can use a blower to achieve the desired level of sand in the joint. Blow off the patio very good when you’re done to make sure there are no particles of sand sitting on top of the pavers.
Simple Version: If you lack the tools and time needed for the advanced version, you can go about it this way and achieve a similar result. The only down fall is that the sand that you must use is smaller and can easily gets removed from the joints in time.
After you’ve completed step 2, you’ll need to get sand back into the joints. In this simple version, you can use mason sand or fine sand. Most Home Depots will sell bags of Quikrete Mason Sand in the same isle as the bagged concrete. You can also get mason sand from your local gravel company in bulk form. If you’re getting bags, you’ll need about 1 bag per 100 square feet. This sand is much finer and will fall right into the paver joints making it easier to fill the joints without the use of vibratory compaction equipment. Sweep the dry sand (must be dry and the pavers must be dry) into all of the joints keeping the sand about 1/16″ – 1/8″ down from the edge of the paver. When all of the joints are filled, use a blower to remove any excess sand sitting on top of the pavers.
Step 4. You’re now ready to apply the paver sealer. Just make sure that the pavers are 100% dry, the sand in the joint is 100% dry and there is no rain in the forecast for at least 24 hours. The paver sealer we use most often is made by Surebond and it’s called SB-1300. It’s a water based sealer that penetrates into the surface of the paver and also has the bonding additives that will harden the sand joint. You’ll need a pump up sprayer and a squeegee.
Fill your pump up sprayer with the paver sealer – do not dilute. Start spraying the paver sealer directly on the pavers at a rate of about 80 square feet per gallon. Once the paver sealer starts to pool in the joint, you’ll know you’re ready to move on. It’s best to have a second person running the squeegee. The idea of the squeegee is to pull the paver sealer from the top of the pavers down into the joints as you want about 75% of the sealer in the joints to fully harden the sand. Pretty much as soon as you start spraying, your squeegee person should start squeegeeing. If you we’re using a paver sealer that isn’t a joint stabilizing sealer, then you wouldn’t need to use the squeegee and you could pretty much just spray on the paver sealer with a much higher coverage rate.
Here is a video done by Surebond to show how its done. //www.youtube.com/embed/HZpnYnBAfd4
Best of luck with your paver sealer project. If you would like to speak with us about sealing your project for you, please don’t hesitate to contact us here. We offer paver cleaning and sealing services in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Columbus areas.