How to seal block paving…

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Block paving surfaces are all over the place. You’ll see them in driveways, car parks, forecourts, pedestrian walkways, etc. Here we explain briefly why you’d consider sealing your block paving and of course how we recommend you do it for easily achievable, long-lasting results. If you have any doubts after reading this, always feel free to get in touch with us.

Why should block paving surfaces be sealed?
Sealing block paving effectively eliminates the porosity of the surface, meaning it becomes less ‘sponge-like’. As a result, you’ll see no more staining and unattractive discoloration over time. Furthermore, by using the right sealer, you’ll improve the abrasion and impact resistance of the surface, meaning it will last far longer. Ultimately, your block paving will look 100 times better and will save you money in the long run with relatively little outlay. This goes for domestic and commercial block paving. If you manage to seal your block paving nice and early on new, dry block paving, you’ll also prevent that horrible white powdery staining AKA efflorescence. One other major advantage is that by sealing your block paving you will virtually eliminate grass and weed growth in any joints, significantly reducing routine maintenance.

So that should leave your mouth watering at the thought? Here’s how it’s done…

How do I seal my block paving?
Most block paving sealers are user friendly and simple to apply a uniform coating, so it’s a straightforward task. Just follow these steps:

1. Clean the surface:
Surfaces should be clean, dry & free from oil, grease, dust, laitance and any other deleterious materials. How? Do this by pressure washing (then leave to dry), sweeping, vacuuming, wire brushing, degreasing etc. It depends on the state of your block paving specifically, so any major concerns, just ask the expert.

2. Apply your block paving sealer:
Application should ideally be done by an airless sprayer designed for solvent based products but effective DIY application can be carried out  by brush or roller. Try to get your hands on a sealer application kit so you know you’re covered.
Important: apply in thin uniform coats, and do not allow to puddle. In the case of most block paving sealers, after an hour or so you should be okay to overcoat (do so at right angles for a uniform finish). You’ll generally have to leave the second coat for 24hrs before light traffic and 36hrs for heavy wheeled traffic. Just double check the data sheet as we always recommend. Finally, block paving sealer should be applied in the right temperatures, usually 5-25 degrees. Avoid extremes at all times for good results.

3. Maintain your sealed surface:
We said it was simple! That’s more or less it for the sealing. Just try to sweep regularly to remove any dirt and grit from the surface to avoid unnecessary abrasion. We recommend you rinse down weekly using a mild detergent if required. Spills and marks should be wiped up as soon as possible and not allowed to dry on. If anything does dry on and you see staining appear, unlike when the block paving isn’t sealed, this can be sorted with an effective floor degreaser. In lightly trafficked areas, a good block paving sealer should last in excess of 10 years, so there’s no reason to worry about re-coating any time soon. However, should signs of wear appear, a maintenance coat can be applied. Just clean and thoroughly dry the surface to be treated and apply a single ‘tight’ coat which will cross link into earlier coats so there is no need to strip (unless resin build up or blemishes are an issue).

What sort of block paving sealer do we recommend?
There are plenty out there, but not many that do a thorough and permanent job, so be careful. Certainly don’t just go for the cheapest by default as short term savings will not be worth it when you’re reapplying within no time. Having said that, there’s no reason to be blowing your life savings on the stuff. You just need a sealer with a high resin solids content, that does not incorporate fillers, thickeners or extenders. You should expect to see this type of block paving sealer also available in tinted or coloured as well as an anti-slip option, all usually in the form of DIY additives. The best block paving sealers spread easier and dry quicker for faster, high quality installation and a much harder wearing surface than other sealants. You also need to make sure that the block paving sealer you purchase is 100% UVA Fade resistant and will not yellow or fade in sunlight.

If you want to ask us anything, you can always call on 01482 778897 or e-mail supplies@vuba-group.co.uk

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