A Homeowner's Guide: How to Seal Your Block Paving

June 14, 2021

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Are you a homeowner asking how to seal block paving? Block or brick paving offers a stunning aesthetic for any property, enhancing curb appeal and creating a homey, welcoming look. Individual blocks can also be lifted and replaced when damaged, making it easy to maintain and repair block patios, walkways, driveways, and other surfaces.

Polyurethane sealants are often best for block paving as these provide a strong barrier against wind, weather, and heavy traffic. Polyurethane also acts as a binder for sand and other materials in brick and block pieces, keeping them strong and preventing premature cracks and other damage.

Homeowners and commercial property owners should understand how to maintain all the paving materials on their property, whether that’s concrete, asphalt, wood pool decks, or block paving. Proper maintenance helps avoid otherwise unnecessary repair and replacement costs, while ensuring paving materials always look their best.

If you have block or brick paving outside your home or commercial structure, note a few tips on how to seal block paving and keep it looking like new. You can then discuss your paving repair and installation questions with a paving contractor near you as needed.

How to Seal Block Paving

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Check out a few simple steps to DIY block paving sealing, and remember to call a pro if any of these steps seem overwhelming or difficult, to ensure the job gets done right.

  •       Your first step is to give your block paving a thorough power washing. Schedule this for a good two weeks before sealing, so the blocks have time to dry. Ensure you remove all dirt, dust, lichen, and other residues from every nook and cranny of your block paving!
  •       After you’ve allowed the bricks to dry completely, you’ll want to then sweep them thoroughly, ensuring you remove any loose sand or dirt the power washer missed.
  •       Add jointing sand between the pavers. This sand helps improve the lock between blocks, keeping them in place and helping prevent premature damage.
  •       Sweep away any excess jointing sand. Give the blocks a thorough visual inspection, ensuring you haven’t missed any dirt, dust, sand, or other debris.
  •       Check your paving sealing directions and apply the first coat with a roller. Ensure you have enough sealant ahead of you that you can easily roll it into place and not “skimp” on materials in any area.
  •       Note that the jointing sand will darken during this process; this is normal and also helps ensure even coverage over all the block paving.
  •       Once the first sealant coat is dry, apply the second coat at right angles to the first, to ensure even coverage. If you moved down the length of a sidewalk, for example, apply the second coat across its width.
  •       Keep what is called a wet edge during this application process, meaning that you shouldn’t allow a section to dry before moving on to the section next to it. In other words, once you start working, keep going until the entire pavement is sealed properly.
  •       Ensure you let the pavers dry for 24 to 48 hours before walking or driving on them. Note that sealer takes longer to dry in wintertime, to stay off those blocks for at least 48 hours after sealing during winter months.

Is It a Good Idea to Seal Block Paving?

Never apply sealant to fresh paving, as it takes several months for jointing sand to settle and for bricks and blocks to acclimate to their environment. Adding sealant over a fresh block can mean not allowing those bricks to absorb surrounding moisture and then expand and contract as needed to settle into place properly.

However, once that paving is at least six months old, it’s vital that you apply sealant every few years or as needed to protect them from weather, high winds, heavy traffic, and other excessive wear and tear. Sealing also protects against fading, so your brick or blocks look like new for as long as possible. If you have concerns about brick or block paving on your property, talk to a paving installation contractor about needed repairs or maintenance!

Time Limits to Seal Block Paving

A general “rule of thumb” is that you should seal block paving every 2 to 5 years. To decide the best schedule for your property, note the everyday wear and tear your paving suffers regularly, including harsh sunlight and heavy rains, both of which break down brick and lead to premature damage.

It’s also good to consider the amount of traffic and especially vehicle traffic going over your block paving, if any. The heavier and more frequent the traffic, the more often you’ll need to seal that paving. Sealing also keeps out dust, lawn care chemicals, snow salt, and other residues; if these are especially prevalent in your area, have the block paving sealed every 2 years or even more often, for maximum protection.

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Does Jet Washing Damage Block Paving?

Regular block paving cleaning keeps those blocks or bricks in good condition! Dirt and grime including air pollution residues, pool chlorine residues, snow salt, and other debris wear away brick, paver stone, and even concrete, leading to premature damage and expensive replacement costs.

Regular power washing also keeps your outdoor space safe for foot traffic. Sand, silt, moss, mold, mud, and even everyday dirt can mean slick surfaces underfoot and a higher risk of slip and fall accidents. All that dirt and debris also creates an unsightly, unwelcoming space!

While regular jet washing can remove dirt and grime from block paving, you might have read that this process is damaging to those materials and can actually do more harm than good. This information is both right and wrong! How so?

It is true that improper power washing techniques including using too much pressure or the wrong detergent can chip and crack brick, concrete blocks, patio stones, and other materials. You can even dislodge those stones and create messy splatter when attempting DIY power washing.

While DIY power washing is often damaging to block paving, professional power washing and especially soft wash systems are an excellent investment for your property. A professional power washing contractor will ensure a safe yet thorough clean for a variety of outdoor paving materials, without damage or the use of harsh chemicals. Professional pressure washing ensures a safe walking surface while also keeping your block paving looking its best!

Investing in Sealing Your Driveway

Since a home’s driveway suffers so much wear and tear throughout the year and might also be covered by the family’s cars more often than not, you might wonder if sealing a driveway is worth it. Before you put off driveway sealing, remember that sealing does more than just keep pavement looking good; regular sealcoating provides a barrier against water, wind, rain, and harsh weather. (see https://powerwashingsarasota.com/services/paver-cleaning-and-sealing-sarasota/)

In turn, sealing protects asphalt, concrete, brick, stone, and other materials from premature damage, including cracks, chips, loose aggregate, and potholes. In truth, driveways need regular sealing more than any paved area on your property because they suffer so much wear and tear and heavy vehicle traffic! Sealing will keep the driveway in good condition and reduce repair and replacement costs over the years.

Does Block Paving Sealer Stop Weeds?

Block paving is designed to provide a barrier along paver surfaces, protecting those materials from harsh sunlight, high winds, heavy rain, foot and vehicle traffic, and other such damage. In turn, sealing can also block weeds from growing between blocks and keep mold, mildew, moss, and algae from developing along its surface.

Not only will regular sealing help keep weeds from growing between blocks but excessive weed growth can indicate that it’s time to seal your driveway or walkways! Consider using a weed killer and removing overgrowth before sealing block paving; a quality pressure washing can often help kill and dislodge weeds. Once the block walkway or driveway is clean and free of weeds, apply your sealant to keep them from growing back.

The Best Paving Material for Residential Properties

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The best paving material for your property will be durable, attractive, and budget-friendly! Note a few considerations about your various options so you can discuss your choices with a landscaper or paving installer near you.

Concrete

Concrete is tough and durable and made from readily harvested, easily recyclable materials, so it’s a very eco-friendly paving choice. Concrete can also be painted or stained and then stamped to look like blocks, stone, and other materials, or to offer a bit of visual interest outside your property.

The downside of concrete is the price, as it’s often one of the most expensive paving materials on the market. It’s also somewhat difficult to fill in gaps, cracks, and chips, so repairs can also be more expensive over the lifetime of property ownership.

Asphalt

Asphalt is naturally bumpier than concrete so it provides added traction; this can mean less risk of skidding and sliding even in winter weather! The dark color of asphalt also holds heat so it can more easily melt snow and ice. That dark color also means less glare during bright sunny days.

The soft texture of asphalt can also absorb more sound than concrete, creating a quieter environment. It’s also often easier to repair asphalt cracks and gaps with over-the-counter patching materials, reducing your repair costs over time.

Block paving

Block paving offers a stunning aesthetic difficult to duplicate with other paving materials. Individual blocks also break up the look of long driveways and large walkways, keeping the space from looking dull and monotonous.

Using individual blocks or bricks for paving also allows for easy repairs. You can quickly swap out a damaged brick or block for a new one and just reset the area with jointing sand, for a like-new appearance. Those individual blocks also provide added traction, reducing skidding and sliding.

One downside to block paving is its uneven surface, which can be somewhat tricky for pedestrians! This is especially true for public walkways where pedestrians might wear a variety of shoes with various sole designs and heel heights, some of which might be very precarious on an uneven block surface.

Restoring Faded Pavers

Many faded pavers aren’t necessarily faded; instead, they might simply be coated with dust, dirt, soot, air pollution residues, and other grime that creates a dull and dingy look. In these cases, a good power washing will restore their appearance!

If your block paving looks faded and worn, invest in the services of a professional power washer. He or she will have access to commercial quality equipment not easily found at home improvement or hardware stores. A professional power washer will also know the best cleansers to use for restoring paver appearance and for ensuring they look like new.

If pressure washing doesn’t restore your pavers, you can opt for painting or staining. This job is best done by a pro, to ensure you use materials meant for pavers and to protect your lawn and landscaping from damage. Fresh paint or stain can also allow you to change the color of your block paving, for an entirely new look around your property.

When to Replace Block Paving

If maintained properly, cleaned regularly, and sealed when needed, block paving can last at least 10 years if not even indefinitely! Stone is especially water-resistant and durable, providing an excellent surface for patios, walkways, pool decks, and other high-traffic areas.

Brick and concrete blocks are also especially dense and durable but will need regular sealing, to keep out moisture and ensure the materials are in good condition. Cleaning brick and concrete regularly also removes damaging sand, silt, and other gritty debris, so your pavement not only looks its best but also lasts as long as possible.

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Plano Asphalt Paving is happy to explain to our readers how to seal block paving, and hopefully you found this information useful in keeping your block paving in good condition. If you’re in the area and need fresh asphalt or other paving for your property, turn to our trusted Plano asphalt paving contractors. We have over 20 years of industry experience and stand behind all our work with a full guarantee you can trust! For more information or to get started with your no-hassle, no-obligation appointment, give us a call today.

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