When it comes to protecting your patio from the elements, sealing is a great option. Sealing will not only protect your patio from rain but also from dirt, ensuring that the outside looks clean for longer. Your patio will keep water and dirt at a surface level, allowing dirt to be easily removed with a cloth, rather than penetrating the stone. However, sealing pavers may not be for everyone.
While sealing pavers has many benefits, it adds the necessary maintenance to an otherwise low-maintenance system. Sealed pavers should be re-sealed every 3 to 5 years if a water-based sealer is used and 2 to 3 years if an acrylic sealer is used. When you re-seal pavers, be sure to use the same paving stone sealer that was originally applied. Different sealants use different formulas and a chemical reaction can occur if two types of sealants come into contact with each other.
This generally creates a white, cloudy appearance. If you don't remember which sealer was originally used, test the new sealer in a small area or remove it from the pavers before applying the new coat. If a customer seals their pavers and decides that it's not necessary for some reason, the sealant can be peeled off and the pavers left in their natural state unsealed. Many concrete patio sealants can be applied with simple tools, such as a paint roller or a pump sprayer.
As a general guide, solvent-based sealants are best applied by spray, while water-based sealants are best applied with a roller. If the patio is textured or printed, be sure to use a roller with a layer thick enough to be able to insert it into the depressions. One of the best application techniques when sealing printed or textured patios is to combine spraying followed by rolling backwards to prevent the sealant from settling on the low points. After all, pavers are exposed to the same elements as an entryway, deck, porch, and patio, so while sealing is an optional maintenance step, it certainly makes it easier to clean. But now that you know the pros and cons of sealing your pavers, you can decide whether or not you want to enjoy the benefit of that extra protection for your pavers.
In some images, you can even see that the landscaper did not clean the stones well before sealing them, since the polymeric sand is sealed on the stone in some areas.