Types of Patio Sealer for Stone, Brick and Concrete
Choosing a patio sealer can be a bit overwhelming since there are a wide variety of them available in today’s market. When deciding which patio sealer will be best for your individual patio, it is important to consider what kind of environment your patio is in and also, what kind of material it is that you are going to be sealing. Temperature, relative humidity and the method of application will all come into play.
Patio sealers should be UV stable in order to stand the test of time and not turn yellow as they exposed to constant UV rays from the sun. Brick and concrete surfaces experience color loss of 3 to 4% per year on average.
Sealing your patio can help it to keep its natural color and prevent premature wear, stains and mold buildup. Patio sealer should be applied every 3 to 4 years to maintain the beauty of the patio. You may also want to add an anti-skid material to the sealer to prevent easy slipping in wet conditions.
Stone Patio Sealer
If you choose to seal your stone patio, you should seal it with a color enhancing stone sealer. Try to avoid a urethane based patio sealer in this case because it does not allow the stone to breathe. The resulting effect of stone that has been sealed with urethane sealer is dark blotches that develop over time. Use a product such as Siloxane, which will let the moisture out of the stone without letting additional moisture in.
When applying sealer to any type of stone or flagstone patio, make sure that after the stone has been cleaned that it is allowed to thoroughly dry for a couple of weeks before attempting to put any sealer on it. If you do not allow it to dry, you will end up with a white cloudy look instead of the clear, shiny look that you were hoping for.
A quick tip for getting all of the moisture out of the stone is to apply acetone. Acetone will draw the moisture out and allow for a beautiful, clear finish.
Brick Patio Sealer
If you prefer a more glossy appearance on your brick patio rather than the natural look of the brick, applying a sealer to the bricks will be a wise choice. Sealing the bricks will keep them looking new as well.
Brick patios should generally be sealed with a silane or siloxane based sealer. This type of sealer will waterproof the brick and protect it from water caused deterioration.
Concrete Patio Sealer
Concrete patio types include pavers, stamped concrete, acid-stained concrete and aggregate concrete. The most common and widely used type of sealer that is used on concrete patios is acrylic, and more specifically, acrylic solvent-based.
Acrylic solvent-based patio sealer will dissolve the old existing sealer that is already on the patio turning it into a liquid again. This will allow the new acrylic patio sealer to mix with the previous application leaving a uniform seal after the process is complete.
Applying sealer to a concrete patio is so simple that any homeowner could do it himself. It consists of cleaning the surface of the concrete, spraying or rolling on the patio sealer and then allowing it to completely dry.
The Best Way To Apply A Paver Patio Sealer
Paver stones are one of the favorite substrates of homeowners because they look elegant and they can last a long time. However, many DIYers get frustrated or disappointed when they realize a mistake that prevents them from getting exactly what they have expected. They sometimes forget to apply a sealer, fail to buy the right sealer, or fail to apply the sealant properly.
Why do you need to apply a sealer?
The main purpose is for protection. The sealer coats and then covers the paver stones to prevent moister and other particles from seeping into and getting lodged deep into the stones. Over time, these particles cause problems related to freezing, cracking, and chipping.
Another reason is to prevent discoloration especially when the patio is exposed to the sun. Although most paver stones are now UV-resistant, some stains and discolorations can be caused by spills. So if you want your paver stones to look natural in the years to come, apply the right kind of sealant.
What is the best way to apply a paver patio sealer? Here are some tips and guidelines.
1. Always have a solid plan.
Don’t rush any home improvement project, especially if you don’t have any experience. Take your time to do your research, to ask the opinion of your friends, and to seek advice from the professionals if you can find one. Then, make a plan. From the layout of your patio up to the procedures of your finishing touches, you must have a clear idea of what you will do every step of the way.
2. Clean your patio.
Part of the preparation is to spend a considerable amount of time in cleaning your patio. Inspect your paver stones for presence of stains brought about by leaves, chemical spills, and wine spills. In your research, find the best way and product to remove these stains for good. But take extra precautions when using cleaning agents, though. Some of them may have strong compounds that do more harm than good.
After cleaning your patio, make sure that it is 100% dry.
3. Inspect your patio and make sure that not one stone is unleveled.
You may want to use a special instrument to know which stone is not in place. If you find one, remove it and either add or take away sand to achieve the right alignment.
4. Choose your sealant.
There are different types of sealants, but according to experienced professionals, the best products are water-based sealers. They are not harmful to the environment, and they don’t spew off a bad smell. Aside from that, water-based sealants are natural stabilizers.
5. Choose your method.
The best way to apply the sealer is dependent on how accurate you follow the instructions. Some sealants can be sprayed while others can be applied using a rag or brush. If the label says you need to spray the sealant, choose a good spray. You want a spray that emits even particles and one that does not leak.
Apply the sealant twice or thrice, let it dry, and then enjoy your patio.
How To Use A Stone Patio Sealer
Different sources classify stone patio sealers differently. According to one, there are two general types of stone sealants that are available commercially: coatings and impregnators. Coatings stick only on the surface of the stone, while impregnators go deep into the insides of the substrate.
Both types have advantages and disadvantages, but when it comes to choosing which one is better for a home improvement project, criteria such as cost, slip resistance, durability, and reliability are taken into consideration.
In general, impregnators are more costly but they last longer than coatings. However, unlike coatings, impregnators can be harmful to the environment. In addition, coatings only require a simple application or installation, while impregnators may require additional or special instructions.
According to another source, sealants are classified according to their base. Some products are solvent-based, while others are water-based. Also, sealants can be classified according to the substrate’s final look. Some are called wet-look paver sealants, while others are called gloss sealers.
But whichever type of sealer you choose, you are doing it for one main reason, and that is to protect your patio from damages such as staining, salt attack, efflorescence, acid attack, and other types of damages. Aside from that, sealants can also add a dramatic effect, texture, or feel to your patio.
How can you use a stone patio sealer?
First, choose the right sealant. Professionals advise products that can go deep into the stone to make sure that no moisture and other types of liquid can penetrate. As you know, when these liquid accummulate, they will eventually damage your substrate.
If you live in a place where the temperature can drop to extreme lows, liquid accummulated in the stone will freeze and expand. Eventually, this will lead to cracks and other damaging effects.
Second, prepare your surface and some needed materials. Your surface must be clean and dry. If you’re not sure, turn on an electric fan, direct it to the substrate, and then leave it until it is completely dry. Other materials to prepare are the following: rag, brush, mop, broom, and dust pan.
Third, read the instructions on the sealer’s label, and then start applying it on your patio. You can either use a rag, a brush, or an applicator that goes with the sealant. Make sure that you are sealing it properly.
Fourth, when all areas are coated or sealed, it’s time to dry the sealant. On the label, there should be an instruction that tells you how much time the drying process takes place. To make sure that the sealant dries up completely, let an electric fan blow over the floor.
Last, apply a second or third coating. You’ll know the job is done when water doesn’t penetrate into your substrate.
Though it may sound or look easy to apply a sealant yourself, you are still strongly suggested to entrust the job to experienced professionals. Because they have been in the industry for a long time, they know which product is the best to use. And sometimes, they have sealants that only they have.
Steps on How to Seal Concrete Patio
Knowing the correct way how to seal concrete patio is essential to keep your patio in good shape for years to come. A patio that is not sealed is vulnerable to moss and algae growth due to moisture penetration, as well as suffering from cracks when the moisture in the concrete freezes. Here are the steps for how to seal a concrete patio.
- Clean the surface to be sealed thoroughly. This is one of the most essential steps for how to seal a concrete patio since you may end up trapping debris on the surface. If you wash out the surface using water, make sure that you let it dry first before applying the sealant.
- Make sure that you wait for a period where you can enjoy several consecutive sunny days before you apply the sealant since it will have to be cured for a few days after you apply it.
- The next step in how to seal concrete patio is to apply it properly. You can use a paint roller or nap roller and apply it in small sections that are less than 4 feet to make sure that you will cover the entire area evenly. Let the first coat dry overnight, test to see if it is thoroughly dry and then apply a second coat. Let dry for 48 hours to ensure the sealant is fully cured and then rinse it off with a garden hose. Let it fully cure for another ten days before allowing foot traffic on the surface.
- The last step in how to seal concrete patio is to apply a top coat of sealer. Spray the surface again to clean and then either spray the sealer onto the damp surface or pour on and spread using a brush. Let dry slightly then apply a second coat then let dry thoroughly for 36 hours.
How to Choose the Right Type of Concrete Patio Sealer
Don’t let your hard work on your patio go to waste; finish it with a concrete patio sealer that will help it resist wear and tear from exposure to the elements. Applying a sealer will also greatly enhance the appearance of the concrete as well as adding sheen to its surface and blocking the penetration of dirt and contaminants in order to make it easier to maintain. However, you also have to choose the right sealer for the job in order to ensure the best results. The different types of sealers are as follows:
- Penetrating sealers. This type of concrete patio sealer will shield the surface against moisture and deicing chemicals and are applied to exterior surfaces as well as where a natural finish is desired since this sealer will not leave a sheen.
- Acrylic sealers. This type of concrete patio sealer will form a thin film on the surface of the concrete and are available as water- or oil-based formulas. They can be applied in both exterior and interior surfaces as well as used for projects where easy application is essential. This is available in an assortment of sheen levels.
- Polyurethane sealers. This type of sealer is ideal for concrete surfaces that will see a lot of foot traffic since it creates a high-build protective film on the surface. They can be used on exterior and interior surfaces as well as on concrete countertops. Also available in a range of sheen levels with a non-yellowing and transparent finish.
- Epoxy sealers. This type of sealer is used for similar applications as polyurethane sealers but usually come in two components that must be mixed prior to being used. This concrete patio sealer is also available in a pigmented formulation if you want to add color to the surface and imparts a glossy finish.
Patio Sealer Wet Look: How to Achieve It
You have just finished working on your patio with your choice of material be it stone, concrete with pattern imprint, clay, bricks or block pavement, natural stone, wet-cast, and clay. Soon you find out you are not satisfied with how it turned out. Not an inch from the pictures of beautiful patios you have seen from the magazines or from the internet. This usually happens to most people who have just made their patio either by hiring a contractor or by DIY. What was it that you missed?
Experts will tell you that you missed applying the patio sealer. Most patio or paving will face fade or stain and needs protection. But your preference for a patio sealer wet look should make you reconsider buying not just anything in the market. So whether you used the natural stones or the man-made products, a good quality patio sealer wet look will keep it protected and looking like new.
How do you choose which is the best patio sealer wet look for you? First, classify the material you used for your patio. Patios, being outdoors need protection from moisture and sunlight. Three types of sealers are typical in the market. The topical sealers use polyurethane or acrylics and are effective in preventing stains but can easily wear off. The penetrating sealers are almost like the topical sealer but they seep deeper into the stone, protect the patio from spills and last longer than the topical sealer. The impregnating sealers seep much deeper into the stone giving protection from moisture, salt, chalking and chipping off. This type protects from extreme traffic and provides long term protection from the worst of weather.
After you have applied the proper sealant that applies to your patio, now apply the top coat to reach patio sealer wet look. Choose between using a stone varnish or a patio sealer wet look polishing liquid. Let it dry. Now your patio is ready for the next barbeque.
Which Patio Sealant Is Right for You
You finally finished your patio and spent a considerable amount of money, time and energy with this project. But your work is not considered done just yet until you have applied a proper patio sealant for your project. With several products in the market, you have to wisely choose what works best for your particular patio.
Proper patio sealant should match with your patio or pavement. Know first which type of patio you have. They range from concrete with pattern imprint, bricks or block pavement, natural stone, wet-cast, and clay.
For concrete with pattern imprint, best material to use is acrylic sealant. This type of sealant is the most common for domestic or residential applications. One main reason is that they are economical. Acrylic sealants help release and enhance the color of concrete. Maintenance requires for patio sealant to be re-applied yearly for continued protection.
For block, brick or clay, it is best to use the polyurethane sealant. This type of sealant offers longer protection and the top brands can effectively resist paint, light grease, and oils from spilled gasoline or wax. Polyurethane patio sealant helps protect your patio from turning powdery or crusty, and from possible emergence of weeds. Although polyurethane sealants cost more than the acrylic type, the highly specialized urethane types does help lengthen the patio’s life and lessen cleaning and maintenance.
For highly traffic areas, sealants are highly important in maintaining a clean look, reduced maintenance, protection from the danger of damage from wear and tear brought by the times and providing a refurbished or freshened up look every time.
Therefore, it is advisable for the DIY homeowner to read the labels of patio sealant products before ever buying and applying to your patio. Should you still have doubts on which patio sealant to buy, do not hesitate to consult your local contractor on this. You do not want the horror of having your patio destroyed because you chose the wrong sealant. So be warned.
Information about patio sealer will be added shortly!