Sealing a paver driveway isn’t necessarily a requirement, but there are many advantages to sealing your pavers. Top reasons for sealing a paver driveway:
- Sealed paver driveways are more resistant to staining and deterioration caused by water absorption.
- Sealed paver driveways are more resistant to cracking, spalling, and pitting caused by water absorption.
- Sealed paver driveways are more resistant to the growth of mold, mildew, and algea.
- Sealed paver driveways are more resistant to the formation of efflorescence.
- Sealed paver driveways are more resistant to de-icing and road salts.
There are several types of pavers sealers that can be used to seal paver driveways, but the most common are penetrating sealers and acrylic sealers. Penetrating sealers work below the surface and won’t change the look or color of the pavers, while acrylic sealers darken the surface and leave behind a protective surface film.
Penetrating Paver Driveway Sealers
Concrete densifiers chemically react below the surface to form a calcium silicate hydrate barrier within the pores. They are used to increase the surface strength and density of the paver. If you choose to applying a densifier to a paver, you need to proceed with caution. Pavers are very porous and over-applying a silicate to a paver will result in permanent crystal formation on the surface. These crystals are very hard, if not impossible, to remove once formed. If a silicate sealer is used, you should purchase a concentrated silicate and contact the manufacturer about the best dilution ration. Thin coats should be applied and when applying more than one coat, the coats should be spaced out.
Water repellent sealers are the best type of paver sealer you can use for sealing a paver driveway. They chemically react below the surface to form a water repellent barrier within the pores. Surface water absorption is reduced by up to 95%, and pavers become more resistant to staining, deterioration, and mold and mildew growth.
Water repellent sealers come in many forms: siliconate water repellent sealer, siloxane water repellent sealer, silane water repellent sealer, and silane-siloxane water repellent sealer. Siliconate sealers are great to use on light or white concrete, but when applied to pavers can result in the formation of a white residue on the surface. If you are choosing this type of water repellent sealer for a paver driveway, a test area should be applied first. Next you have Silane, Siloxane, and Silane-Siloxane hybrid sealers. A Silane-Siloxane water repellent will always be the best type of water repellent sealer because it combines the best qualities of each type of sealer individually, without any of the weaknesses. You get equal protection above and below the surface, and an extended life.
Best water repellent sealers for sealing a paver driveway:
- Armor SX5000 Concrete Sealer Review – DOT approved Silane-Siloxane water repellent sealer with an average 4.9 star review.
- Siloxane PD Concrete Sealer Review – Siloxane water repellent sealer with an average 4.5 star review.
- DryWay Water Repellent Concrete Sealer Review – Silane-Siloxane water repellent sealer with an average 3.8 star review.
On average, water repellent sealers last for 7-10 years in the pores before needing to recoat.
Acrylic Paver Driveway Sealers
Acrylic paver driveway sealers are designed to enhance and protect paver driveways. They bond to the surface pores and leave behind a protective, visible surface film. Acryilc sealers are available in water and solvent based solutions, as well as low gloss, wet look, and high gloss finishes.
First, let’s touch on water vs solvent based acrylic sealers. While water based acrylic sealers have a low odor, they are more of a pain to deal with than solvent based. In order to repair or re-coat a water based acrylic, the entire surface must be screen sanded, and in severe cases, removed. With solvent based acrylics, you can use Xylene, or just put down more material. Solvent based acrylics bond better, last longer, and are significantly easier to maintain.
Aside from there benefits, they differ aesthetically as well. Water based acrylic sealers will not darken the surface of the pavers but solvent based sealers will. Solvent based sealers are commonly used to enhance dull or faded surfaces by making them look “wet”.
Best Water Based Acrylic Paver Sealers
- Seal-Krete Clear Seal Acrylic Sealer (average 4 star review)
- Armor WB25 Acrylic Sealer (average 4.9 star review)
Best Solvent Based Acryic Paver Sealers
- Eagle High Gloss Sealer (average 4.6 star review)
- Armor AR350 Wet Look Sealer (average 4.8 star review)
- Armor AR500 High Gloss Sealer (average 4.9 star review)
- Enduraseal SB Acrylic Sealer (average 4.5 star review)
On average, depending on the brand of sealer, acrylics need to be re-coated every 1-4 years.