Of all the natural stones, travertine is the one who better fits a pool setting. For that reason, it is one of the most acquired stones in the paver market, as it can safely fit a wide array of purposes. But how does the sealing in travertine outdoor pavers work? Do you even have to seal them?
Aside from sealing, what other maintenance aspects are important when working with travertine? Let’s go through a guide on how to properly take care of travertine pavers and discuss whether you should to seal them or not.
Outdoors travertine does, indeed, needs to be sealed.
Just like any other natural stone, travertine is a porous material. It can absorb moisture and easily get stained. That holds especially true for a pool setting, where the pool water is usually kept clean with the addition of a few chemical substances.
So, to protect your travertine, the best course of action is to seal them. But be careful! Not every sealer will be the right one, things are a little more complicated when dealing with travertine sealing.
Far starters, if you’re not careful, you might end up losing the aesthetic characteristics that attracted you to the stone in the first place.
So let’s talk about the recommended types of sealer for travertine.
Types of Sealer for Travertine
Sealers are divided in three big categories: Enhancing Sealers, Impregnating Sealers, and Topical Sealer. Of those three, only the enhancing and impregnating ones are recommended for travertine. Topic sealers are usually left out of the pool of choices because they change the appearance of the stone too much.
People who choose to go for travertine outdoors are attracted by its rugged, natural stone looks. Topic sealers give a glossy finish to the pavers, which destroys that look completely.
The sealing you’re going to choose will depend on exactly what is the purpose of your installation.
As we mentioned in the beginning, travertine pavers are a popular choice for poolside settings. If that’s your case, the important thing to consider when sealing travertine is to protect it against the chemical substances that might be present in the water, as well as staining from the sun.
Both enhancing sealers and impregnating sealers can perform on that front. The difference is that enhancing sealers will, as the name suggests, enhance the natural looks of the pavers. Impregnating sealers, on the other hand, will mainly focus on filling up the pores of the stones, which might cause some slight changes, but not too much.
Whatever you choose, there’s a very important aspect to consider when sealing travertine in poolside settings: a non-slipery finish.
This is arguably the most important characteristic of any paver that is used in a poolside installation, and something that travertine does wonderfully. So you should choose a sealer that will maintain this characteristic.
Moving on from poolsides now, you still have to seal your travertine, but this time a simple enhancing sealer can already do the trick.
As important as the sealing itself are the other maintenance practices you partake when caring for your outdoor travertine.
Let’s start by saying that the best cleaning products you can use for natural stone are the ones that are specially designed for it. There are many options in the market, including stone soaps and poultices.
Other than that, a simple combination of water and pH-neutral soap will already do the trick. Never use vinegar, lemon juice, bleach, or any other acidic or abrasive substances in travertine, or any other natural stone, for that matter.
Always keep travertine free from debris, especially the biological ones. Sweep it regularly and perform a deep cleaning once every two months to keep it free from stains and maintain its aesthetic appeal. Also, never scrub travertine or use metallic tools on its surface.
As for pressure washing, one of the favorite maintenance practices of many homeowners, it should be done with extreme care and as rarely as possible. Every time you pressure wash your sealed pavers, you’re accelerating the degradation process of the sealer. Avoid it as much as possible and opt for regular maintenance.
If you still decide to go for it, use the lowest possible psi and keep it at a safe distance from the pavers. Ideally, you should use just enough pressure to remove the dirt away and not damage the pavers or remove the joint sand between them.
Moving on to weeds, mold, and mildew. Ideally, proper drainage during installation and the right application of a proper sealer will prevent that problem. But in case you’re having problems with that, your best alternative is simply to pour boiling water on the affected area.
Professional Travertine Cleaning and Sealing
As you could see, cleaning travertine is not a big problem. As long as you keep regular care of it, removing debris and cleaning spills right away, you won’t have many problems.
Sealing, however, can be a more delicate situation. Is it highly dependable on exactly what kind of paver you chose and the setting of your installation. So the best course of action is always to hire professional hardscape professionals in your area to guide through the process, both in cleaning and sealing your travertine pavers outdoors.
We here at S&S Pavers have worked with countless homeowners around the Sarasota and Manatee counties during our 12 years of experience, so we know very well the importance of working closely with professionals to make sure everything goes smoothly.
We highly recommend you get in contact with a hardscape professional in your area to see what options you have available. And if you happen to be around our area of activity, why not give us a call to help you?