There are some obvious reasons why paver sealing and cleaning is beneficial. Maintaining the appearance of your property and removing unwanted dirt and debris, for example.
You could be forgiven for assuming a proper clean involves a similar process to cleaning and protecting other areas of your home or property, a case of a good sweep or wipe down and some elbow grease, however this is not the case.
A professional tile sealing and cleaning expert can offer some surprising perspectives on how a standard clean may not be as safe and effective as you think.
Read on to learn some facts about paver sealing and cleaning, some hazards DIY sealing may present, and some of the reasons you should consider hiring an expert paver sealing and cleaning professional.
Protection and longevity of your valuable investment
The odds are if your pavers were laid by an experienced tradesperson, a protective sealer was suggested or applied at the time of installation. Depending on the type of sealant used, you could expect as much as five years of protection for a well-applied sealer.
However, time goes fast, and it is easy to underestimate the toll dirt, grime, environmental pollutants, direct sunlight and other factors can take on your external surfaces. Some people think that hiring a high-pressure cleaner will do the job as far as getting a deeper clean is concerned.
This method, however, can often cause more harm than good. If you are DIY resealing, you could also run the risk of exposure to acids and chemicals that you are not an expert in using. This is just one of the risks that a professional tile sealer and cleaner can help you avoid.
Damage to sealant, grout and foundations
Depending on the paver type, a typical high-pressure water cleaner is often too harsh for your pavers and grout. Damage to your deteriorating sealant and grout can create porous cavities that leave space for:
Contaminated water runoff
Mould, fungus and grout haze
Pests and insects
Stains and Efflorescence
Some of these factors can not only compromise the aesthetic, lifespan and the structural integrity of the pavers themselves, but issues like excess water runoff can also lead to the damage or destruction of the foundations under which the pavers are laid.
Enviro Clean & Capture uses state of the art pressure cleaning technology designed specifically for the job. We also utilise environmentally friendly cleaning products to assure the safety of you, your family and the surrounding landscape. Not to mention averting sizeable financial losses down the track from avoidable damage.
The Benefits of a professional clean
We have just covered some of the potential risks that traditional cleaning methods can present to your pavers. Now let us look at some of the benefits of using a professional cleaning company.
As previously mentioned, a professional paver sealing and cleaning company uses industry-leading technology. These machines have been designed to provide the best, safest cleaning results for your pavers. This also guarantees the best possible surface for effective resealing, assuring the best protection of your surfaces. Other benefits include:
Safe removal of pollutants and contaminants
A professional opinion on the condition of your pavers
Expert advice on caring for your asset
The best possible results for mark and stain removal
Convenient and cost-effective
You may also gain peace of mind knowing that a professional company’s work is accompanied by a quality guarantee. This means you can also be assured you have given your pavers the best possible chance of a long life.
What is paver sealing?
Paver sealing and coating is achieved by applying a chemical to permeate and seal your pavers in a protective coating. There are different types of sealant you can use depending on the type of pavers you have had installed.
Enviro Clean & Capture, for example, are accredited and approved applicators of Dry-Treat and Aqua Mix® sealing products.
Why should you seal your pavers?
Tiles are made of porous materials like concrete, meaning they have minute interstices through which liquid or air may pass. This presents a risk of the pavers absorbing things like, dirt, oils, fluids, contaminants, pollutants as well as other substances and materials that can significantly affect the appearance and life span of your expensive outdoor surfacing.
On top of protecting the appearance and life span of your pavers, there are many other benefits to sealing your tiles, including:
Ease of cleaning
Stops or greatly reduces mould and grout haze
Reduced wear and tear
Protection from the harsh sun and elements
Protection from spills, stains, marks and efflorescence
Sealing can also stop or present a significant deterrent from the infestation of ants and other pests coming up through your ground and paving.
What is efflorescence?
Efflorescence is the migration of salt rising through porous materials where it forms a coat on the surface. It comes up through the paver with rising water, and as the water evaporates, the salt gets left behind. This can occur over a small or large area of the surface, and can permanently affect the appearance of your pavers.
Do you have to seal your pavers?
This is a question that comes up often when it comes to laying pavers. The short of it is, it is not completely necessary to seal your pavers as far as their structure and performance are concerned.
However, it does come highly recommended by professionals as far as protecting the quality and aesthetic of your expensive investment. This not only significantly extends the vibrance and longevity of your pavers, but it also protects the value the pavers have added to your property if you wish to sell in the future.
What different kinds of sealants are there?
Like many products, there are different brands of sealant on the market that also vary in quality. Still, it is widely agreed upon that the deeper a sealant penetrates the paver, the better the protection. For example, Enviro Clean & Capture are accredited and approved applicators of Dry-Treat and Aqua Mix® sealing products.
To keep it simple, however, sealants can be broken down into two main categories:
Film-forming (gloss or semi-gloss finish)
Non-film-forming (matte finish)
Film-forming sealants have a wet or clear finish and offer greater protection as they create a physical barrier on the paver surface.
Can you seal pavers after installation?
You can pre-seal pavers, but this can prolong the installation process as you must allow the pavers to dry and set before having them laid. This period can also vary depending on the type of paver and sealant used.
The pavers generally need time for the moisture to evaporate after laying them to avoid it being trapped under the sealant. This can also trap efflorescence, as previously discussed.
You can also increase the chance of “picture framing” which is discolouration around the edge of the pavers made by rising moisture which is often permanent. It is advised to contact a professional company for advice on the best solution for your situation.
What is the cost of paver sealing?
Paver sealing can vary in price significantly depending on the type of pavers that have been laid, and the type of sealant that has been agreed upon for each unique situation. However, it may not be as expensive as you think, especially in comparison to the costly maintenance that could be needed down the track if sealing and maintenance is neglected.
There are a lot of factors that can affect the lifespan of paver sealant. This being said, a professionally applied sealant should last a minimum of three years and may last longer with the proper care and maintenance.
Even if you have your external surfaces professionally cleaned, it is essential to perform regular cleaning to keep your pavers looking their best.
Does paver sealing make the surface slippery?
A common misconception around paver sealing is that it leaves the surface of the pavers slippery when watered down or after a decent rain. This shouldn’t be the case if the correct sealant for your type of pavers is being used.
The porous nature of the pavers means the sealant permeates through the pores of the pavers; therefore, the natural texture of the pavers should not be compromised.
Post paver sealing maintenance
One of the previously mentioned benefits of sealing your pavers was the ease of cleaning. After your sealant has set your pavers will be much more resilient to spills and stains. Though a regular professional service can provide a more extensive clean, your day to day maintenance should be much less laborious and time-consuming.
A simple water and soap mixture and a broom should suffice to keep your pavers looking as vibrant as the day they were sealed for regular on-going spot cleans. If you are unsure of the best way to clean your particular pavers, speak to the team here at Enviro Clean & Capture. We are always on-hand and happy to provide advice to ensure you get the best out of your pavers.
Other hazards and maintenance tips
There are other things that can present hazards to the aesthetic of your pavers if not regularly addressed. Some of these things can be unique, like where you live and the wildlife that frequents your yard. Leaves and falling branches can deposit tree sap and other oils on your pavers that can leave hard to clean stains on your pavers, especially when left wet and damp.
If your pavers are well-sealed, these marks should come off with a bit of scrubbing. Still, if your pavers are unsealed, or your sealant is due for reapplication, these oils and saps could leave permanent stains on your expensive asset.
The same applies to animal droppings. Bat, possum, bird or household pet waste can leave deep staining if left unattended too. If this occurs on your pavers, and the marks remain after you attend to them, a professional clean could help restore your pavers to their former glory.
How do I know when to reseal my pavers?
If you have acquired existing pavers with your property, it may be evident that the sealant has gone milky or is flaking off. This may not be so obvious if the pavers have been well maintained.
A simple test you can perform is to place 15-20mls or roughly a tablespoon of water on the sealed surface and leave it for approximately 20 minutes. After this time has passed use a piece of paper towel and push hard on the surface to absorb as much water as you can for the test area. If the water has absorbed into the pavers and left a dark mark, it is a strong indication your pavers are due for a professional clean and reapplication of sealant.
If you are still unsure after performing this test, we suggest giving us a call so one of our experienced team members can come to assess your surface.
It is safe to say that even though some people don’t believe they need a professional tile sealer and cleaner the benefits of protecting your expensive asset are numerous. Although DIY cleaning and sealing is a viable option, attempting it yourself can yield inconsistent results. This adds to the risk of exposing yourself and loved ones to harsh and dangerous chemicals and products.
Like many home and property development projects, it is sometimes best left to trained and qualified professionals. This can not only save you time better spent elsewhere but can save you money down the track by making sure the job is done right the first time.