Pools are often the centerpiece of many hardscape projects. Therefore, pool decks can be thought of as the crown jewel of the project. Pool deck pavers are perhaps the most elegant and optimal choice you can go for. But what are the ins and outs of its maintenance? Beginning with sealing. Do you even have to seal pool deck pavers?
The answer is yes. You absolutely have to. Pavers are porous and will absorb water and spills if not properly sealed. In the case of pool decks, where the water usually has some chemicals to help with its cleaning process, that can really damage the surrounding pavers.
So we will present you with a guide on how to choose the best sealer according to your project and how to apply it to your pool deck.
Sealing Pool Deck Pavers: Choosing the Right Sealer
Before anything else, we need to talk about the options when it comes to sealers.
Very often, when working on pool decks, people choose pavers with a non-slippery finish. The last thing you want is a sealer who compromises that. Also, there are sealers specifically designed to repel water, they are commonly known as silane or siliconate sealers.
For a pool deck paver installation, they are by far the best ones to use. They will repel the water, preventing it from seeping into your pavers. They can also have a non-slippery finish, that can keep the area free of accidents even if you chose regular pavers.
So, now that you know the correct sealer to use let’s go for the guide.
A Guide to Seal Pool Deck Pavers
Step 01 – Cleaning and Preparing the Area
The first order of business is to remove any furniture and decoration from the area. Then you will perform a thorough cleaning of your deck. Starting by sweeping the area to remove any debris from it.
From here on, you have two scenarios. You’re working on a new or very recent installation or an older one.
In case of a recent installation, without any stains, weeds and mildew, things are simple, and a good sweep will suffice. However, if you’re working on an old installation, you might have to perform a deep cleaning of your installation before moving on to sealing it. If that’s your case, this article will give you some tips on how to perform a deep cleaning.
Step 02 – Mix the Sealer
When preparing the sealer, a good idea is to always follow the instruction on the label of your products of choice. Those instructions can greatly vary from product to product. Some might tell you to dilute the sealer, some might tell you you don’t have to.
A good trick used by professionals in some cases, when they identify it won’t compromise the quality of the sealer in question, is to mix xylene paint thinner with the sealer. This is done usually by mixing 1 qt. of xylene with 2 1/2 gallons of sealant. This helps the sealer to penetrate better on the pavers and dry faster.
But be careful! This is a professional technique that doesn’t work to all sealer. To know if you can do that, get in touch with a professional.
Step 03 – Apply the Sealer
Now for the important part. The best tool to seal pavers is a paint roller. With one in hands, apply a thin layer of your product to the pavers.
Work in small sections, without rush. Not every area will work the same, especially on an old installation. So take your time and don’t rush the process. Always work on straight lines and spread the sealer evenly across the pavers, making sure there’s no excess on the paint roller.
Applying sealer works better when the installation is not under direct sunlight and the weather is dry. Sealing is a lot like painting, so never let a section dry before you finish it.
Once you’re finished, wait for about 24 hours before applying a second coat of sealer, following the same instructions. After the second coat, wait for another 24 hours before you can walk on your installation. After 4 days, you can put your furniture and decoration back in and allow heavy traffic on it. At that point, you can consider the process finished.
The Importance of Sealing Pool Deck Pavers
We touch that subject a little at the beginning, but let’s expand a bit here.
If all this sealing business sounds like an unnecessary hassle, you couldn’t be more wrong.
Pavers are costly, so you want to do all that you can to protect them and ensure they endure as long as possible. The right set of pavers on a well-designed patio can add a tremendous amount of value to your property. In some cases, pavers are even considered a home improve investment.
So protecting that investment is the smart decision. Never follow the cheap route when acquiring pavers. Pavers should be thought as a long term investment. We can say the same about sealers. Investing on a better quality one now prevents future maintenance headaches.
Sealer is so important because they turn the pavers impervious to the absorption of fluids. So they are protected against stains, formation of mold and mildew, and appearance of weeds.
This is particularly important on a pool deck installation, where is water is going to constantly be testing the integrity of the pavers.
Professional Help to Seal Pool Deck Pavers
As always, the best way to ensure you’ll end up with a job well done on a specific subject, is to hire professionals to help you. This is no difference when it comes to paver installation and maintenance.
As simple as it is to make it as a DIY project, you can never foresee the difficulties involved on a specific project, so if you’re not completely secure about what to do, maybe you should follow the professional hiring route.
We here at S&S PAvers have been providing that sealing service, amongst many others related to the installation and maintenance of pavers, for the last 11 years around the Sarasota and Manatee counties, in FL.