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Driveway Pavers - Concrete & Clay

For the thinner and more absorbent type of tile that is
also called "pavers", see our page on unglazed tiles.

How to:

Seal | Clean | Repair | Protect
Strip & Restore | Easy Care

Paver Sealers and Sealing instructions
driveway pavers sealing clay brick paver walkway cleaning
Concrete Pavers .................. Clay Pavers

Sealing clay pavers - endview showing spacer ribs driveway paver brick

Advantages of Driveway Pavers:
. Extremely tough and durable. Used in Europe for decades in high volume commercial parking areas.
. Sand joints and bed allow for easy removal for design modifications or subsurface repair work.
. The sand bed and joint method saves money over concrete bed and joint.
. Great variety of colors and shapes allow for a wide spectrum of creative design. Also available in a "tumbled" type that is more antiqued and has rounded edges.
Pavers can sometimes arrive with efflorescence (white powder stains), transit scuffing, vibration scuffing, or acquire these later. See this page for restoration tips.
About sand stabilizers and white smears or spots on pavers:
Sometimes a paver installation might have a "sand stabilizer" mixed in with the sand. These are basically a glue type powder and can use terms like "polymeric" or "poly..." something, or some other descriptive word.
Many times this powder ends up on the face of the pavers, then during the wetting process to liquify the glue in the sand, it is also liquified on the pavers resulting is white spots or smears. Or, another cause is a little of the glue washing out during the wetting process and leaving the light colored smears on the pavers.

This residue needs to be removed before sealing. Usually, lacquer thinner will dissolve this glue and allow it to be wiped off. If not, test a sealer stripper to clean the glue off. This issue can be avoided because a petroleum solvent based acrylic sealer can also glue together the sand particles in the single step of sealing.



Your Choices for Sealing

This surface (driveway rated pavers) is dense and low absorption. Water base penetrating sealers have a difficult time penetrating down. Solvent base penetrating sealers may require being sprayed to achieve a smooth finish.

Our suggestions to test are:
  • Penetrating petroleum solvent formulas with acrylic solids. These can be sprayed to finish nicely, but solids level might need to be adjusted if manufacturer allows dilution.
  • Water based film forming that can flow out and self-level.
  • Water based penetrating that is usually invisible when dry.
  • Click here to see What effects you can expect from each sealer type.

  • Click here to see our suggested sealers, cleaners, and application tools.
Most people have no idea about the history and characteristics of their flooring. You can click this link to see how to easily test with water drops and understand which sealer is most appropriate for your goals.

Some questions you may not be thinking to ask right now that could become important:
    . Was it sealed in the past? Does that matter?
    . Will a new sealer be compatible with whatever was used before?
    . What sealer will give the visual results you want?
    . Will you also be able to have a sealer solve problem(s)? ( Answer: yes. Just know which to pick.)


Items of Interest

You may have heard of concerns about Agglomerates. All of them would be prevented with the information we provide here. Therefore, you can have the floor you want!

How to select a sealer
To select a sealer it is good to have some idea of the absorption rate so you achieve the gloss level (none to high) and all the other benefits available without using more sealer than necessary. Also, you can test for (and protect against) acidic liquid sensitivity.

A sealer can do far more than just bead water and look pretty! To see what that is click here.

Important: If your project has had any sealer applied in the past, it must be evaluated differently. To see why, Click here!

Sealer "solids" levels?
This discussion applies only to the petroleum solvent based sealers. With the water based sealers, solids level is not a consideration.

A porous surface will require more gallons (more money) of a lower solids sealer than using a higher solids level sealer. That, plus different surfaces have different requirements. It is only a matter of which is best for your needs.
The more porous the surface, the more solids will be required to achieve the desired effects of gloss, strengthening, stopping efflorescence, etc.

The more porous the surface, generally the greater the need for the sealer to create a stronger surface.

An old sealer below the surface, even after stripping, will lower the absorption and porosity to some degree. Sometimes it is uneven below the surface and can create an uneven coloring effect with a color enhancing sealer applied later. Another reason to test first.

Do not believe yet that you have the type of surfacing you were told:
There is no need for confusion or problems brought about by misidentification of a surface type, yet it happens all too often. Sellers use fancy marketing names that can be misleading about the true nature of a surfacing. For instance, a customer was told they bought "Petite Granite" for a bar surface. But, unlike granite it was etching circles from wine drips. After simple testing, it proved to be a limestone which is treated very differently than granite. It was easily restored and protected after a 60 second test. Please review our "Surface Types" page to compare pictures, descriptions, and testing if needed, to confirm you have what you were told.

Colors fading?
The iron oxide pigments used in concrete products, and the colored clays in clay products, do not fade . The appearance of fading is actually from tiny efflorescence particles (white powder) in the pores. It can be removed and color restored with a good efflorescence cleaner and then stopped from returning, and color restored, by sealing with the appropriate "color enhancing" sealer.

Renew a glossy finish
Re: "penetrating sealers": do not apply thin layer upon thin layer. Apply a sufficient quantity to insure below surface penetration & bonding. A layer of sealer on top of another layer of sealer can result in poor bonding between layers and that can cause separation peeling that looks grayish.

Concerned about Doing It Yourself or what your contractor says?
If you are concerned about doing it yourself - consider that the satisfaction of a project is directly related to YOUR knowledge of what needs to be done and how. Who actually does the work is less important.

The goal for contractors is - NO CALL BACKS. A good contractor will understand the logic of not taking shortcuts.


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