Hi, Mark, with the Perfect Paver Company here to answer another frequently asked question. Today’s question is, “Will sealing my pavers, make them look brand new again?”
So, unfortunately in most cases, the answer is no, unless of course your pavers are brand new. So what I want to try to do today is educate you on what you can expect from sealing your pavers. And I want to start by giving you a little education on how a paver is made and what happens as it weathers and how that affects the appearance that you get when you seal your pavers.
So, the first thing I want to do is explain to you how a paver is made. So when they make a concrete paver, it’s a mixture of aggregates, medium-sized small size, sand, and Portland cement. The Portland cement is the powder. That’s the gray stuff that you see mixed in around all of the rocks. The Portland, cement, and the sand mixed together is where the color lives. So when they made this paver, they mixed all of those ingredients, the sand, the small rocks, and the Portland cement together. Then they mixed it with a color additive; the color additive lives in that Portland cement.
So if you look at the top of a weathered paver, you’ll see that you start to see some of those rocks, the Portland cement has weathered away. And as I mentioned before, all of the color lives in the Portland cement, you can now see the natural color of the rocks. So the more your paver weathers, the more rocks are exposed and the less color containing product is still left in the paver.
So here, I’ve got this paver that’s been sealed on this side, not sealed on this side, and you can see there’s definitely some color enhancement, but it doesn’t look as good as it could look because of the aggregate being exposed in the paver.
The way that a paver weathers is actually by rain. So as rain continues to hit the surface of the paver, it will start to deteriorate the finer material or the Portland cement from the surface of the paver and start to expose those little aggregate pieces. You can actually see this, if you look at your pavers that are maybe under the overhang or under a roof at your front door and compare those to the pavers that are further out in your yard or your driveway.
You’ll notice that you’ll see more exposed aggregate to the pavers that are exposed to rain versus the pavers that aren’t.
So if you look at a newer paver, you will see that you don’t see any of the exposed aggregate. You’ll notice the before, it’s more of a muted out a look, and then it’s enhanced pretty significantly by being sealed because there’s more of the pigment, more of the Portland cement that contains the pigment left in the surface of the paver. Therefore, you’re going to get more enhancement when we seal it.
So side by side, they both been sealed. And as you can, you’re getting more enhancement from the new paver than you would from the older paver, primarily because of the pigment.
So I talked about how the age and how a paver is weathered plays a role and the results that you get from sealing your pavers. The other thing that I want to talk about is the actual color of your paver. So there are a few different color ranges or color options when you get pavers. You can have more vibrant colors like reds, oranges, greens, blues, and you can have more earth-tone color pavers, like tans, grays, and those types of colors.
Typically, when a manufacturer makes a paver in an earth tone color, they’re trying to make it look like nature. So the color isn’t going to be as enhanced, it’s not going to be as vibrant, it’s going to be a little muted out and feel more natural and organic. When you go with reds, oranges, blues, and greens, it’s intention is to be vibrant.
So when you seal a paver that has that vibrant style color, like a red, green, blue, orange, you’re going to get a lot more enhancement, but still needing to factor in the age of the paper because you can see a difference. This is a red paver here on the right and a natural tone paver on the left. You’re getting more enhancement here on the left, but this is a brand new paver. This red one is probably a 20 year old paver.
So color plays a big role as well. Reds, blues, green, oranges; they’re going to get more color enhancement, while earth-tone colors like tans and grays; you’re going to have less color enhancement from those. But that should be expected because you’re hoping for those colors to continue to be more earth tone, natural, organic looking.
The third factor in determining how well your papers are going to react to being sealed is how well they’ve been maintained throughout their life.
If it’s an older paver, but it’s always been regularly sealed, then it’s more likely to have less exposed aggregate because the sealer, if it’s kept on a paver will help prevent that deterioration from happening.
Sometimes we get the most difference between the before and after on pavers that have been previously sealed and most importantly pavers that have been previously sealed incorrectly. So when a paver has been sealed incorrectly, the sealer will eventually turn a milky white and hide all of the color like the picture below.
It will appear as if all of the color in the paver has faded away. However, when we come in and strip all of that sealer away, then you get to see what you actually have left in terms of color and that paver and then we reseal it and all of that color comes back to life.
So when you’re looking at a before and after of a job that was sealed previously incorrectly, and it had been sealed a lot, or it’s a newer paver, like the example below, and then it’s been stripped and resealed correctly, it looks very dramatic in the before and after, but we didn’t do anything to that paver other than strip it and reseal it correctly.
So, that’s why you’re seeing the most dramatic difference in those pictures because of the fact that the sealer had turned white and failed, and once that’s removed and sealed correctly, you get a lot of pop or a of enhancement if the paver that we stripped does, in fact look good under the sealer or it’s been well maintained.
So that hopefully gives you a quick rundown on what you can expect by sealing your pavers. Please comment below with any questions that you might like me to answer in my next frequently asked question video.
Thanks, Mark from Perfect Paver Company!
Hi, I’m mark with the Perfect Paver Company, back with this week’s frequently asked question. Why should you seal your travertine pavers?
Trust me you’re not alone if you have travertine pavers, you had them installed, they were beautiful and just a few months after, you see mold, dirt, and maybe even vegetation growing up everywhere. It’s so frustrating because you made the investment in your travertine pavers because it was supposed to look better and now it’s actually making your pool deck or your outdoor space not look as good. So the question all the time that we get is, “why should I seal my travertine pavers?” and that’s a great question.
There’s a couple of reasons, the first reason that we suggest you seal your travertine pavers is because travertine is extremely porous. There are a lot of holes, capillaries pores, and those types of things in the travertine and those holes can fill up with moisture and water and stay damp, creating the perfect conditions for things like mold and algae to not only grow and germinate, but thrive and it kind of takes over. You have this beautiful pool deck made of travertine and the next thing you know, you have all this black mold and it’s just dingy and dull.
So, by sealing travertine with the proper sealer, a nice penetrating version of sealer, it’s going to minimize water’s ability to soak into that stone and therefore the stone is going to stay dry under the sealer and it’s gonna make it harder for things like mold, algae, and mildew and those types of things to grow.
Now, just sealing it by itself won’t completely eliminate the problem, but the other cool thing that it’s going to do is it’s gonna make it easier for you to also keep it clean, get that organic material off the surface of the stone. By getting that organic material off, those microscopic spores of mold and algae that’s trying to germinate won’t have any food to be able to derive.
So, the other reason why we suggest sealing your travertine pavers, especially in a Florida climate, is if you’re around a pool deck that’s a salt water pool. If you’re near the water, there’s a lot of salt in the air and travertine is actually a form of limestone. Limestone is very sensitive to salt.
So we utilize a sealer that acts as a salt barrier that prevents salts ability to deteriorate the stone or deteriorate that limestone. It will actually eat it if it’s left unprotected, so seal your travertine because it makes it easier to maintain it, it can make it look better depending on which style of sealer that you go with, and it’ll help protect it against deterioration from salt.
Hope that answers all your questions about why you should seal travertine pavers and if you would, leave me a comment below and let me know what you’d like me to answer in next week’s frequently asked question.
Thanks again, Mark with Perfect Paver Company. Hope you have a great day.
Hi, I’m Mark with The Perfect Paver Company, here to answer this week’s question of the week, why do some pavers turn white after being sealed?
So there are two types of sealers. There are breathable sealers and there are non-breathable sealers.
Breathable sealers allow ground moisture to perculate up through the paver and back down through the paver without trapping that process from happening. Non-breathable sealers do the opposite.
So, when you have a non-breathable sealer, you’re essentially trapping ground moisture underneath the sealer and you can develop things like hydrostatic pressure which basically builds up a pressure strong enough to start to lift the coating from the paver and then that space inbetween the paver and the coating fills up with moisture and you basically see condensation and that gives off that white appearance. So, it’s really important to seal your pavers with a breathable sealer.
So, the other reason why pavers can turn white after being sealed is not related to the sealer as much as it’s related to what’s called efflorescence. So, in pavers, there are natural salts. Primarily pavers made from concrete, there are natural salts. We refer to them as efflorescence. When ground moisture or when rain goes down into the paver, those natural salts in the paver stick to that moisture and then when it evaporates back up through the paver, it takes the efflorescence with it and it leaves it on the surface as the moisture evaporates away.
When you have sealers that are not breathable, it can trap that efflorescence in underneath of the sealer. Now, it’s still likely that if you’re experiencing efflorescence, you’re still going to see that regardless of whether or not you have a breathable or non-breathable sealer, but you’re going to see less of it when you have a breathable sealer.
In addition to that, when your pavers are installed over top of a concrete base, there’s nowhere for that water to go when the water drains down through the paver, and hits the concrete base. It kind of get stuck there. So, what happens is the natural salt stick to the moisture in the concrete base as well and it pulls that salt up through the paver and leaves a deposit on the surface.
So, if you have poor drainage, if you have pavers installed on concrete base and you’re seeing white on your pavers in those areas, it’s likely efflorescence and it’s being magnified by drainage issues.
So, I hope that answered your question as to why pavers can turn white when they’ve been sealed and by the way, if you have a question that you would like answered in a future question of the week, please comment below and I would be happy to do so. Thanks again and have a great day!
Hi, I’m Mark with the Perfect Paver Company here again with this week’s question of the week and this week, I’m gonna answer, what is polymer and why do your pavers need it?
So in between interlocking pavers is a joint and during installation that joint gets installed with sand. A product that came out on the market, and in about the last five to seven years is called polymeric sand. What that is, is a mixture of natural sand and polymers or plastic. They mix those together in the manufacturing process and when it’s installed in the joint and you activate it with water, it activates the polymers, the polymers bind to the sand and when it dries it cures into a hard grout like material.
So the purpose of installing the polymeric sand in the joint is to help keep the pavers locked together, but it also helps keep the joint filled with the material that stays locked in the place. Before polymeric sand, you would install just natural loose sand in the joint and over time as rain and frequent cleanings would happen, that loose sand would get washed out, causing a void and that void would fill up with organic material, dirt, and other unwanted things.
So polymeric sand goes in the joint during installation or during restoration when you’re cleaning the pavers up. It locks itself into place and makes it so that it can’t fill up with organic material like dirt and debris, and one of the benefits of it is because your pavers are now easier to maintain because the joints filled with locked sand, it’s more difficult for things like weeds and vegetation to grow on the joint because it doesn’t have that organic material in the joints. So that’s polymeric sand in a nutshell. I hope that answers your question and by the way if you guys would comment below with the question that you might have about pavers, I’ll be happy to answer that in an upcoming segment of frequently asked questions. Thanks and have a great day!
Hi I’m Mark with the Perfect Paver Company back again to answer today’s question of the week. How many coats of sealer do you apply?
So when it comes to sealing pavers more is not always better. I know that’s the case when you’re painting your house or painting walls inside of your house, you really want to get good coverage, not always the case with paver sealer. We utilize a penetrating sealer, which means that the sealer is going to soak down into the paver, and its goal is to coat the individual particles that make up the paver and not put a roof over top of the paver.
The more sealer that you apply to the paver, the more of a roof effect you’re going to get and the less breathable that paver is. So there’s a lot of ground moisture, water is underneath the paver, it needs to be able to evaporate up through the paver and move freely. If you have a roof over top of the pavers, you’re going to prevent that from being able to happen.
The other thing that can happen when you over apply sealer is, again back to the roof. You’re trapping in moisture, and it’s going to build up what’s called Hydrostatic Pressure, and it’s going to start pushing on that roof until eventually it pops loose and detaches from the surface of the paver.
So we’re really good at putting just enough sealer on our pavers not too much, not too little. A lot of times, there are companies who utilize a two part sealer and so the sealer actually comes to them and Part A, Part B when it arrives on the job site, the applicator will mix the Part A and Part B together and add water.
We actually have our sealer pre-mixed for consistency. So when we when we show up to the job, it’s the same product being applied every time. What happens with the Part A, Part B being mixed with water on the site, your first batch maybe has too much water, your second batch has not enough water. The other thing that’s going on is the first coat that they typically will put down is a heavily watered down version. So the purpose of that is to get that sealer is so deep down in the paver and then they come back over it with a second coat where they’re using a little bit less water.
At the end of the day, it’s the same amount of solids that’s being put on the paper. And that’s what’s important that you’re getting good protection of the paver, you’re coating the individual particles of the paver, it’s breathable, allowing the moisture to go up and down through the paver. You’re not trapping that in and it’s going to wear nice and consistently because you haven’t over applied sealer.
I hope that answers your question. We apply just enough sealer and rarely do we apply two coats, but in the event that we feel it is needed to get that great coverage on the particles, that’s what we do!
Hey, it’s Mark with the Perfect Paver Company. Today, I wanted to kick off our first question of the week talking about weeds.
That’s right, weeds, mold, any type of vegetation in your pavers, it’s never a good thing. So I wanted to just take a minute to explain why do you have weeds, what’s causing them, and what can be done to prevent them or minimize them.
It’s important to understand that weeds and vegetation happens because of site conditions. And there are a few different site conditions that can be taken into consideration that can prevent or cause weeds and mold and those types of things to grow and germinate.
The first one is going to be sun exposure. If you have an outdoor space that has a tremendous amount of shade, doesn’t get a lot of sun exposure, you’re going to be more prone to have things like mold and algae and those types of things grow. Also as a result of not having much sun exposure, you’re going to have a lot of shade, and things are gonna stay damp longer. Vegetation, weeds, all of those things require moisture to thrive, germinate, and grow. So the first condition is too much shade or not enough sun exposure.
The second component is adequate drainage. When an installer installs pavers, we suggest that you have a minimum of one quarter inch slope per foot of paver per foot of area of patio. So if you have a 10 foot wide patio it should slope two and a half inches. So when you don’t have that much slope, it decreases the ability for the water to channel off the surface, it should be channeling off the surface into a into a drain or off the edge of the patio into the landscape. When that’s not happening, the pavers retain the moisture of the sand, and the joints retains the moisture in the setting bed underneath of the pavers. Again, you’re creating the perfect conditions for weeds to germinate and grow.
The third condition is lack of maintenance. When pavers are installed, the installer will fill up the joints with a sand material. Over time that sand can settle, wash out, and that joint starts to fill up with organic material. Airborne dust, debris, mulch, leaf clippings, grass clippings, all of those things find their way into the joint, deposit into the joint and turn into compost. That creates the perfect conditions for weeds to germinate and algae and mold and those types of things to germinate and thrive.
So, there’s this three way scale, so to speak, between the adequate sun exposure between the adequate drainage and the adequate maintenance. What I mean by a three way scale is if you have less sun exposure, you’re going to require that your pavers have more drainage capabilities built in and more maintenance. If you have bad drainage, the drainage component comes down, and it’s going to require that you have more sun exposure and more maintenance.
So a lot of people think when they contact us and they have their pavers sealed and the joints are hardened, that that solves all of their problems, and they’re not going to have weeds anymore. Now, the only component that sealing your pavers and the only sight condition that sealing your pavers will solve, is the maintenance component. It can make your pavers easier to maintain, but it’s not going to take the place of proper sun exposure and proper drainage. So when we come in, we’re going to thoroughly steam clean all of the pavers, we’re going to clean out all of that organic material between the joints. Then we’re going to install back a polymeric sand into the joint that gets hard to stabilize in place. So when you’re doing regular maintenance on the pavers, and you’re not washing out that sand, you’re preventing that the organic material from building building up. Once that’s done, if you have poor drainage and not enough sun exposure, you’re just going to need to do your maintenance more frequently. It’s the maintenance that you do on your pavers that prevents the weeds and the mold and the algae from growing, and not the hardening of the sand or the ceiling component by itself that’s capable of doing that.
So I hope that answers all of your questions as to why you have weeds and vegetation and mold and algae growing in and on your pavers, and what can be done to prevent those things. So again, I’m Mark with Perfect Paver Company. Thanks for tuning in, and we’ll see you next week!
We’re asked this question frequently and it’s likely because we have multiple locations throughout Ohio and Florida. The answer is, no, we are not a franchise.
All of our locations are owned and managed by the same owners, Mark and Katie Rhodus. We’re obsessed with finding great people to join our team, and when we do, we build positions around them and their strengths, no matter where their geographical location is. This is what has led us to open new territories.
We’re also focused on processes that work. We’ve developed techniques and processes that are consistent across all of our locations. We have very successful training programs in place that allow us to grow.
Our current locations serve Ohio and Florida, but we have our eye on other locations like Indianapolis, Texas, Atlanta, Chicago, and many others. If you have paver sealing or paver installation experience and you are interested in learning more about joining the Perfect Paver Co team, please contact us today. We would love to hear from you.
After about 1 year worth of planning, we are very pleased to announce we are open for business in Southwest Florida. Our service area will include Naples, Bonita Springs, Ft Myers, Cape Coral, and north to Venice, Sarasota and Bradenton.
We’ve developed a comprehensive system for paver restoration and maintenance. We have highly skilled and experienced individuals on our team. We have an awesome support staff in our office to answer all of your questions and concerns. We’re friendly, courteous and very professional. At the end of the day, we want you, our customer, to be happy.
We’re not a franchise. All locations are owned by one owner who carries a lifetime of paver experience.
Our services include:
Many homeowners who hire other contractors may be happy at first only to find that soon after the job is finished they become less and less happy. We aim to build a relationship with every client, and this is why we prescribe every customer upon the completion of their project a step-by-step guide that they need to follow to keep their pavers looking great. We also offer maintenance routines to compliment the customers efforts or full service plans to completely maintain the pavers and natural stone. What happens after a paver restoration job or seal job is equally as important as the job itself.
If you’re located in Ft Myers, Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, Cape Coral, Venice, Sarasota or Bradenton, FL and would like to speak with us regarding your paver or natural stone pool deck, driveway, patio or HOA area, please share your contact information with us by completing this contact form on our website. We will contact you promptly to discuss your project with you and get you set up to provide an estimate.
If you would like more information about why you should seal your pavers, Chicago brick, travertine or other natural stone, please click here.
Hey, it’s Mark with Perfect Paver Co here in the Boca Raton area. I wanted to discuss the question, should I seal my newly installed pavers or should I seal my pavers that were just installed? So this is a customer who just recently had these pavers installed maybe six months ago. They probably could have had us here a little bit sooner, but they’re doing the right thing and that’s getting them sealed early. Now a lot of people think that sealing pavers is more of an aesthetic improvement. You know, it’s kind of like cars. For example. The main purpose of a car is for transportation. The beauty of the car, how you look in the car, that’s secondary. When it comes to sealing pavers, most people think that sealing them is just for aesthetics. The aesthetics is the secondary reason why you seal. The most important reason you want to seal your pavers when they’re newly installed is to protect them, protect the color, protect the surface from deteriorating.
As soon as you install pavers, the dyes and pigments that give the paver color start deteriorating from the sun’s UV rays that’s hitting them. Especially here in south Florida, you’re really gonna lose your color quick. So the sealer that we apply on pavers when they’re new acts like sunblock to the paver. It’s going to protect the paver from the sun soaking out the color. It’s also going to put a nice coat of protection on the paver that prevents the acid in the rain, and the deteriorating effect from the rain constantly pelting the surface.
So, it’s very important to seal your pavers right away. Now we suggest maybe waiting 30 to 60 days, to let the rain really hit it, and wash off the construction debris, let that stone sit and breathe a little bit. But at that 60 day point, its ready to be sealed. So today, we’re going to be doing a light clean on this project, install polymeric sand and seal it.
You can see these pavers are starting to get some mold growth already occurring in the joints. So we’re going to steam clean it. We’re going to be getting all of that organic build-up out of the joints. We use steam because steam is actually one of the only effective ways at killing mold. Bleach does not kill mold. Chlorine does not kill mold. Bleach and chlorine simply remove the leaf from the microscopic mold spore and leaves the spore still intact to grow back. So the only effective way to kill the mold spore is with very hot water, which is why we steam clean, or with acid. And actually, when we finish your project, we’re going to be giving you some aftercare instructions on how to maintain your pavers with the usage of a special high acidity level white vinegar.
So that’s that. But, it’s extremely important. Seal your pavers right away. Seal for the right reasons. It’s going to look, you know, enhanced when we’re done, assuming you go with our wet look sealer. And in fact, a lot of people are choosing not to seal their pavers because they don’t want them to look wet, they don’t want them to look glossy. And that’s okay too. You still need to protect them. We can use a natural look sealer, and it’s not going to change the way the paver looks, but the pavers are going to be protected. Your investment is going to be protected and they’re going to stay looking great for a long time. So again, Mark with Perfect Paver Co.
This is a great question, and one we feel isn’t asked enough. Each type of exterior surface needs maintained and protected in its own unique way and for its own unique reasons. Too often, we see companies apply a one-size-fits all technique to all surfaces.
Concrete Pavers – Most paver driveways and paver pool decks that you’ll see in Florida are made from concrete. When these pavers are made, the manufacturer mixes concrete with color pigments to achieve the color of the paver. Once these pavers are installed, they are exposed to the sun’s UV rays, acid in rain, impact from rain, salt in the air and in salt water pools, traffic, etc. The sun’s rays will deteriorate the color pigment in the paver causing them to slowly loose their color. The other elements cause a breakdown of the finer cement material on the surface of the paver exposing the rocks in the concrete mix. These rocks don’t accept the color pigment during the manufacturing process, so they will be their natural color and not the color of the paver.
These are concrete pavers. Notice the line down the middle. The pavers on the right appear more worn than the pavers on the left. That’s because the pavers on the left are under a roof overhang that blocks out the sun and rain. The pavers on the right get exposure to the sun and rain. Had these pavers been sealed, the pavers on the right would look like the pavers on the left.
Travertine, Limestone and Natural Stone Pavers – Unlike concrete pavers, travertine and limestone pavers are natural. No color pigment has been used to achieve their color, so you will never have to worry about color loss from natural stone. However, rain and salt in the air and in salt water pools will deteriorate travertine and limestone pavers over time. By sealing the travertine, this will help prevent this from happening. Properly protected, these types of materials will outlive the home. Unprotected when exposed to these elements, expect them to last as long as man made products.
Equally as important as sealing travertine, limestone and other natural stones is keeping the sand material locked in the joints or gaps between each stone. This is assuming these stones were sand set and not mortar set. On sand set natural stone installations, the sand must be installed in the joints for several reasons. A few are: 1. to create a cushion from one stone to the next to help minimize chipping, 2. Achieve friction between each stone so that the stones move up and down as one and not independent of each other causing unevenness, 3. The sand in the joints prevents heavy rains and cleaning from washing out and eroding the sand bed beneath the pavers. This is the leading cause to unevenness between one stone to the next. We see it often where a client has a travertine pool deck full of uneven stones. The thing they all have in common is, the joints are empty from frequent pressure washing or neglect. 4. When the joints are empty, they are prone to fill up with airborne organic material that blows across the stones and begins to collect. This organic material turns the gaps between your stones in to a mold and vegetation breading ground.
To combat all of this, our process on natural stone includes washing out the organic build up and sand from the joints and replacing it with our Polymeric Sand Grout which will lock itself in the joints preventing erosion of both the sand joint and the sand bed beneath the pavers.
The picture below will show you unevenness/settling in travertine pavers as well as deterioration caused by salt water in the pool.
Chicago Brick – Although Chicago Brick and Clay Pavers are man made, their color is achieved in a completely different manor. No pigments are used. Instead, when these brick are made the color is determined by the clay used to make the paver and by how hot and how long the pavers are cooked in the kiln. These types of pavers will not loose their colors. However, similar to natural stone, they can deteriorate from salt in the air and in salt water pools. Therefore, they need to be protected when installed when these elements exist. Brick are very porous, so they can often store a lot of moisture. This constant damp environment can lead to major black mold growth. Sealing pavers with a water repellant type sealer will stop the penetration of water in to the paver which will dramatically reduce these issues.
In addition to sealing, we strongly suggest keeping the joints of Chicago Brick filled with sand. Due to the inconsistency in size of the Chicago Brick, there are almost always lager gaps/joints between each stone than other types of pavers. These joints, if not filled with sand, allow the pavers to shift and move. Overtime, this can lead to major issues. To combat this, our process on Chicago Brick includes washing out the organic build up and sand from the joints and replacing it with our Polymeric Sand Grout which will lock itself in the joints preventing erosion of both the sand joint, the sand bed beneath the pavers and keep help prevent the pavers from shifting.
The picture below shows how bad mold will get on Chicago Brick. Notice in the after picture our Polymeric Sand Grout looks like the pavers had been grouted or mortared together.
We specialize in paver restoration throughout Ohio and Florida.
If you would like to discuss your project with us, please visit our contact form to share your information with us and we will contact you. Feel free to also call us at any of the phone numbers listed at the top of this page.
South Florida Service Area: Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, Martin, St Lucie Counties
Southwest Florida Service Area: Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Sarasota Counties
Ohio Service Area: Dayton, Cincinnati, Columbus