The two main types of paver sealers are acrylic sealers and water repellent sealers. A third type of sealer is a concrete densifier but densifiers are rarely used on pavers because white crystals commonly form on the surface. If you have weak or deteriorating pavers that require the use of a concrete densifier, view our concrete densifier article.
Acrylic sealers and water repellent sealers are very different in terms of appearance, life, and performance. Acrylic sealers leave behind a visible surface film and need to be recoated every 1-3 years, while water repellent sealers don’t change the look or color of the pavers and need to be resealed every 7-10 years. The sealer that is best for sealing your pavers will depend entirely on what you want the pavers to look like once sealed, and what you need the sealer to offer in terms of performance.
Here is a brief summary of the main differences between the two:
|Acrylic Sealers||Water Repellent Sealers|
|Leaves behind a low-high gloss||Won’t change the look or color|
|Leaves behind a visible surface film||Works entirely below the surface|
|Needs to be resealed every 1-3 years||Needs to be resealed every 7-10 years|
|Stops staining and deterioration||Reduces staining and deterioration|
Now, there are a few things that I want to elaborate on with both types of sealers.
First, if your pavers are less than a year old, you need to check with the manufacturer to see if you can seal them. Some manufacturers require you to wait anywhere from 2 months to an entire year before sealing. Sealing before the suggested time frame can result in discoloration of the pavers and/or coating/sealer failure.
Next, Acrylic sealers are fantastic sealers and very popular for use on pavers. Pavers are very porous and can allow for large amounts of water and moisture to pass through. If the pavers are wet during application, or if high amounts of water/moisture become present below the surface, you can end up with blushing. Blushing is what happens when the acrylic starts to delaminate. It can be repaired, but it adds maintenance. This is something to consider. Water repellent sealers are sensitive to moisture and will continue to work if moisture becomes an issue.
Lastly, while all water repellents won’t leave a visible surface film, some can change the color of the concrete. Water repellents like the Armor WL550 will darken the pavers to slightly enhance the color. 2-3 coats of that type of water repellent will give a wet look finish.
Use the links below to learn about the top types of sealers in each category: