Oct 16, 2011

Hold off Sealing Your Brick Pavers until Spring

Proper conditions for sealing brick pavers is important

It's now Fall in Michigan and you should hold off sealing your brick paver patio, walkway, porch, steps, or driveway until next Spring.  Sealing pavers is tricky enough and trying to force the issue this time of year may result in costly and aggravating results. Believe me when I say it will be worth the wait if anything went wrong.

Even if the weather is dry enough for sealing, low temperatures & moisture in the paver joints can have an adverse effect on the performance of brick paver sealants.   White clouding, residue, or hazing can result from sealing in non-optimal conditions.  In Michigan, it is best to seal in surface & air temperatures between 60-75 degrees.

If the air or brick paver surface is too cold, the brick paver sealant may crystallize or turn white, leaving you with a costly and timely effort to correct. If the paver joints are too moist (wet), it can leave white lines in the paver joints and on the edges of the paving stones.

Another issue late in the Fall is LEAVES!  If you avoid them from leaving any leaf stains after fall rains, it is treacherous to avoid any from falling on freshly sealed pavers.  Usually most brick paver sealants are dry to the touch within an hour, but if leaves fall and lay flat on the paving stone surface during this curing time, this will usually result in a problem. 

During the Summer if the air or brick paver surface is too hot, usually over 80 degrees, you can experience blistering (bubbles) or have a white haze trap under the paver sealant.  High humidity days are also a no no and very windy days can adversely dry sealant prematurely creating blistering. Again if you force the issue, you will spend alot of time, cost, and effort trying to correct these adverse conditions.

As a brick paver sealing contractor, there is a small window of months in a Michigan season to perform this service.  When you add in days of rain, heat, excessive winds, and unseasonably cold days, you can see the frustration of completing this paver maintenance service each year. 

Our peak paver sealing season is usually mid-May to early July, then we get another stretch from Labor Day to mid October.  I do recommend that you go ahead and complete the power wash cleaning of the brick pavers and paver joints and re-sanding of all the joints prior to Winter.  When Spring comes around, you will only need to touch up the paver joints with sand and then get ready to seal when temps allow.

As always, only use an approved brick paver sealant on your brick pavers.  Anything at Lowes, Home Depot, Menards, or a Hardware store is NOT the correct product.  Always purchase or insist on a paver sealant that is distributed by a brick paver manufacturer. These sealers will typically last for 2-3 years before you will need to consider having another application.

Ask your brick paver contractor which paver sealant he is using and ask that he write down the brand of sealant or leave the empty container (properly sealed up) behind.  This way you can use the same brick paver sealant for future applications. Make sure prior to sealing that all paving stones and paver joints are dry.