How to Prepare Pavers for Sealing: Paver Cleaning and Sanding

Choosing pavers for your driveway, deck, or patio is a worthy investment for your property. However, to ensure longevity and sustained beauty, they need maintenance. We have already discussed why you should seal your pavers, but today, we want to discuss how to prepare pavers for sealing.

Yes! There is a lot of preparation required before the sealant can be applied, and it isn’t optional. Before your pavers can be sealed, the surface needs to be:

  1. treated with a premium solution designed for every specific stain present
  2. deep-cleaned with a high-quality surface cleaner using water pressure and heat
  3. rinsed thoroughly to remove soap and debris
  4. re-sanded using the wet-sand method to fill and compact the joints with precision

Would you like to learn more about why this is necessary and how to prepare pavers for sealing? Let’s take a look at each of these steps in more detail.

 

1. Pre-treatment of stains

 

Premier Pro Wash & Seal will identify stains and use the appropriate professional-grade solution to get the job done fast and effectively. Organic stains like dirt, leaves, or wine need different detergents than paint, rubber, or tar.

The marks on your pavers could even be efflorescence or rust, which requires a two-step process:

  1. Spray a special acid solution to break down the stains.
  2. Apply the neutralizer to prevent the chemical reaction from continuing or new chemical reactions from occurring with the sealant.

Why buy a dozen different cleaning products at the home improvement store that might work, when you can hire a professional that will get those stains off with ease?

 

2. Deep-cleaning

 

Over the years, dirt and grime can build up in the pores, crevices, and joints of block paving. Algae, lichen, and weeds may pop up all over. It’s important to remove all plants, debris, oils, and chemicals to create a clean slate for the sealant application, ensuring a strong layer of protection that will last many years.

Traditional wand pressure washer equipment takes a long time to cover large surfaces and doesn’t clean as evenly. Even with the most steady hand and hours of labor, some areas will receive more pressure than others, resulting in “zebra striping.”

To get a deep cleaning with consistent pressure, we use a high-quality rotating surface washer. This equipment offers a revolutionary cleaning method that combines water pressure and over 200 degrees of heat to loosen and blast away impurities.

It removes only a small amount of sand during this process as opposed to other cleaning methods. The steady pressure and heat from the water shoot out of rotating arms to effectively clean every inch of the pavers and their sand joints safely and effectively.

 

3. Rinse

 

All that gunk sitting on the surface has been loosened, but it needs to be fully removed. Using fresh water, we rinse away the debris, detergent, and any leftover residue to complete the cleaning process.

This leaves us with immaculate pavers. The spaces between each block have been stripped of any filth that may have dwelled there.

It’s time for the sanding.

 

4. Re-sanding of the joints

 

When your pavers were installed, sand was applied under the blocks and in the joints to add friction, keeping the blocks in place. Then, the sand was compacted with vibration to prevent it from shifting over time.

But over time, that sand will loosen and get washed away by rain. Loose sand also offers space where mold and moisture can hide. Washing your pavers will also cause you to lose sand and without re-sanding them properly, it will lead to serious problems down the road. What kind of sand also matters! We use sterilized, angular sand made of silica that discourages the growth of unwanted organisms like fungi and plants.

At Premier Pro Wash & Seal, after thoroughly cleaning your pavers, we use a wet sanding process to fill the joints. This technique pushes the sand down and allows more sand to fill the spaces between blocks. By attaching a wet sanding nozzle to a pressure washer, sand is propelled by the machine which leaves the surface of the pavers free of sand and fills the joints to the optimal level (at ⅛ inch under the paver).

When the sealant is applied, it will harden and seal the sand too, offering a completely protected surface that will deter the growth of weeds, mold, algae, lichens, and lock out moisture.

That’s it! The pavers are sparkling clean and ready to be sealed.

Now you know how to prepare pavers for sealing – and why it’s best to let the pros take care of it!

If you are located in the Tampa Bay area, you have found the right partners for your paver cleaning and sealing. We at Premier Pro Wash & Seal of Apollo Beach, FL, specialize in paver sealing for both residential and commercial properties. Contact us today for a free estimate!

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