Aug 12, 2009

Brick Paver Sealing is for the Brick, NOT the sand in the joints!

After completing a brick paver sealing of a paver patio today, the customer said while handing me my check, "so I will not get any weeds, right?". It drives me crazy that customers are only concerned with the sand in the joints being sealed and not the patio stones. Sealing pavers is for the brick, NOT the sand!

Today's customer never commented on the enhanced color and appearance of the brick paver patio. They never asked any questions regarding the long term performance of the paving stones surface or protection from natural elements. They were never concerned about the cost or frequency of an approved brick paver sealer application. They were only concerned during my estimate and my completion of services about a 100% guarantee of NO WEEDS!

I usually have to slowly explain to potential clients that sealing of pavers is for the enhanced appearance and performance of the concrete paver. But as predictable, customers only hone in on the sand in the joints. They believe that the brick paver sealer is for sealing the joints, therefore making the sand permanently hard like mortar so weeds can not grow. It is true that the paver sealer will typically flow into the joints and temporarily harden the sand. But as the interlocking brick pavers expand or heave due to winter frost, these joints will absorb the pressure and loosen. Snow, ice, rain, and wind will eventually erode the sand and create opportunities for weed seeds to germinate.

I could have saved this customer 100's of dollars if the paver joints were their only concern. I could have simply used some brick paver polymeric sand in all the paver joints to harden for the season. Simple touch ups of paver joint sweeping each Spring will keep joints filled and hardened to deter any chance for a weed seed to establish. I always tell customers that the number one reason to seal brick pavers is for aestheitc values of the paving stones, NOT for the sand in the joints!