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To Seal Or Not To Seal

A question I often get from property owners is; “Should I seal my pavers, concrete pathways and driveway?” Almost as if they are in two minds about having their surfaces sealed, and/or looking for any reason to not seal their pavers, driveway or pathways.  My answer is always an emphatic ‘Yes’.

Sealants are essential for protecting your tiles, natural stone, concrete pavers, sidings and walkways, concrete driveways, and pool surrounds against the natural elements and chemical contamination. Sealing will reduce the likelihood of staining and keeping the surfaces safer by preventing organic growth such as moss and algae. Properly maintained sealers will keep your pavers and concrete surfaces looking as good as the day they did when they were installed. Much like paint is used to coat cladding, Colorbond, roof tiles, timber or other building materials, sealers are an essential tool used to protect outdoor surfaces under foot.

Types of Sealers

Paver sealants can be classified as film-forming which have a gloss or semi-gloss finish and non-film-forming penetrating sealers which provide a matte or natural look finish. Paint sealers are available to purchase in every colour imaginable, these are classified as film-forming sealers also. Paint sealers are available in satin, semi-gloss and gloss finishes. 

Each type of sealer is design to provide a very specific finished look to your pavers and concrete surfaces. As an example, gloss and semi-gloss offer a wet look, and a penetrating or impregnating sealer typically does not alter the look of the surface. Both film-forming and non-film forming sealers are available with colour enhancing, or colour boost property options also.

Reaction Time

In terms of cleaning up spills and preventing staining the clean-up reaction time is important. ‘Reaction Time’ is the period of time it takes for you to clean-up the spill, measured from the time the spill to the clean-up. 

All stone pavers, concrete surfaces, most tiles and grout surface are porous to some degree and stains can occur almost instantly on any surface that has any degree of water absorption. 

Sealing of these types of surfaces will substantially reduce and even prevent any amount of absorption depending on the sealer quality and sealer type. Premium quality sealers, film-forming sealers, and paint sealers have the longest reaction time measured in hours protecting surfaces against a wide range of water and oil-based contaminants.

The types of water and oil-based damage sealers can help limit:

  • Surface staining; spills (coffee, wine, cooking oil), leaks (brake fluid, engine oil, transmission oil), drips (BBQ drippings, water leaks) 
  • Mould and Mildew
  • Salt & Mineral (airborne and waterborne)
  • Surface and sub-surface chemical spills
  • Smoke & Exhaust