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Paver Sealer: To Seal or Not To Seal??

Category: Pavers  |  Permalink

Published: Sunday, July 11, 2010

During my in-home consultations I am often askedů. "How do you prevent weeds from growing through the pavers?" Since this seems to be a frequently asked question I thought I would share my response. First let me dispel the common misconception that many people have about what causes weed growth between pavers. It is often assumed by homeowners that weed growth through paver stones comes from the soil underneath as plant material grow up through the paving stones. This is not the case. The growth that one sometimes observes in a paver installation comes from seeds that fall on the paver driveway or patio, get in between the stones and germinate. So the myth that somehow a weed fabric or barrier can be used to prevent weeds is false.

 

The first and most important element of preventing weeds in a paver installation is to have them installed correctly in the first place. That is to say, if the stones become loose or are allowed to migrate from their originally installed location, the sand in between the pavestones will be allowed to fall too deeply between the stones. When this happens, a seed from a weed can settle deep between the pavingstones, germinate, and thrive.

 

 

The most common example of a poorly installed pave stone project that I see is a concrete bond beam that was not trenched deeply enough. When this is the case, the border stones tend to migrate away from the field stones. This causes a "loose job".

 

 

 The next element involved in a correctly installed project is to have the pavers sealed with a joint sand stabilizer. Many homeowners have been told, incorrectly, that having the project sealed is a personal choice the homeowner has to make. Or they are told that the sealer is only for the purpose of making the paving stones look better. Both of these statements are 100% false. The sealer's primary purpose is to prevent seed germination between the stones.

Joint sand stabilizing sealer is an acrylic. It is designed to be liberally applied in one coat so that the joint sand between the pavers becomes totally saturated. The acrylic binds the sand together and makes it very hard. This prevents sand loss from occurring during a heavy rain. When properly applied the sealer saturated sand becomes a physical barrier, preventing seeds from falling between the paving stones.

One more misconception regarding sealer bears mentioning. No sealer will prevent pavers from becoming stained. Preventing stains is not the function of sealer. It will however give the homeowner a window of time to clean the surface of the paving stones once a staining substance has been spilled.

 If there are other questions or concerns you have regarding pavers or synthetic turf, please feel free to contact me via our website.

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