Pressure Wash & Sealing Pavers and Concrete
Prepping the pavers before you seal is important. You want to make sure that there is no dirt, stains or foreign matter laying on the surface. If you are doing a pool area you will want to make sure that there are no chlorine residual/stains around the pavers located near the water edge.
When cleaning, you will want to apply low pressure due to the fact that you do not want to ‘blow out’ the sand in between the pavers when washing. If it is a small area that you are sealing I would recommend just going with a hose rinse and a broom to agitate the dirty areas and rinse again.
Once you are finish prepping you will want to get a leaf blower and dry the pavers as much as possible. If you leave any “puddling” of water and apply the sealant to it will “gum up” and leave a milky residue.. So ensure that you dry ALL areas. Don’t worry if a little bit of the sand in between the pavers “lift out” from the leaf blower. Keep in mind you want to keep the tip of the leaf blower far enough from the pavers so that you don’t “Push” too much of sand out but close enough to dry the pavers as quick as possible. Keep the leaf blower moving side to side and never keep it focused on just one area. You may have to make a couple of runs up and down the area you want to seal to ensure that it is dry but it is worth the time and it is important that you do this.
I use Seal ‘n Lock Systems out here in California. Water sealants are easier to work with vs. lacquer sealants. The only draw back to water base vs. lacquer is that water base sealants tend to fail sooner than lacquer. You can get a good year out of water base sealants (depending on the climate). Lacquers will give you about 18 months to 2 years ~ depending on the climate.
The application process is the same for both water and lacquer. You can either roll it on or spray it on. Either way you will want to avoid any puddling on the surface. Keep a sponge handy to “blot” up the puddling.
I recommend sealing during midday or early afternoon. You get the “shiny” look from water base sealants when the sun hits it directly. If you apply water base sealants when it is cloudy you will not get a “shiny” look. The appearance will be dull looking. Whatever product you use please make sure you read the recommended temperature for applying. If you apply water base sealants and the temperature is too cool, you will get a milky white result on the pavers.
Lacquer sealants are more expensive but do provide a unique characteristic in which you do not necessarily need the sun to get that “shiny” look. Working around water (pools) you will need to be careful when spraying around the pools edge. Lacquer in the water is not a good combination and it will ultimately affect the pool filter system if you have too much over spray that goes into the pool. With lacquer you will also have to be mindful of the vegetation near the paver area. Cover the plants. As mentioned you can either roll it on or spray it. Spraying it can cause a little bit of a problem as the lacquer can and will ‘gum” up at the tip of the sprayer. Keep the tip clean at all times.
For both Water base and lacquer, your spray pattern should be at a ‘heavy to moderate mist”. No straight streams. Side to side when you spray and make your sweeps even and overlap. Have a second person with you. His job is to roll the sealant as you spray. Go to a local hardware store and purchase a roller for smooth surfaces. You don’t want a heavy nap when rolling sealant. Screw the roller on a painter pole and have another person roll and you spray.
Never walk on the wet sealant. You will leave a boot mark. So if you see a leaf or twig fall on the area that you still have wet sealant on:
1. carefully walk over to it if it is only a step or two away and pick it up. Try to retrace your steps back. Immediately mist the area that you walked on with sealant and then roll it.
2. Wait until the sealant dries and then go over and pick it up.
With water base you will want to add a second coat. On the second application go “light” on your mist. You do not need to go heavy with the second application. Same rule applies with the roller like the first pass. Have your helper roll behind you. The key here is to make sure no puddling occurs.
You helper that is rolling should set the pace on how you two proceed across the pavers. If you are the one spraying let the individual that is performing the rolling to set the pace. Both of you should know when you are going too quick or too slow. It takes a few jobs but once you have a few under your belt the process of sealing should be natural.
If you have weeds growing in between the pavers then there is an additional step to consider prior to sealing your pavers or stamped concrete..
Depending on the growth and how much is there, you will need to determine whether or not you can pull the weeds by hand. If you can do this you will also pull out the sand along with when the roots come out. Try to keep the sand intact as much as possible.
If the there is a considerable growth of weeds between the joints of the pavers then you may have to go use a weed eater to remove the weeds. Simply tilt the weed eater sideways and edge out the plants. This may kick up all mores sand in between the pavers. If you just weed eat you run a very high risk of leaving the plants roots intact. To kill the weeds totally please consider applying a weed killer such as Round Up. Spray it in between the pavers and make sure you add a liberal amount. Make your Round-Up and water ration 2:1.
Remember you will be cleaning the pavers during the cleaning step and this requires water. You don’t want to dilute the round-up anymore than you have to. The sand that you “kick up”, try to save a handful of it because you will need to go the local landscaping supply store or wherever and get the exact same kind that is in the pavers.
Once you are done with this. Sweep up any excessive sand on the pavers and proceed to the cleaning phase as described above.
Pressure Wash service areas include San Francisco, Oakland, Emeryville, Richmond, San Pablo, Hercules, Vallejo, Fairfield, Vacaville, Dixon, Winters, Davis, Sacramento, West Sacramento, Suisun City, Stockton, Pittsburgh, Walnut Creek, Benicia, Danville, San Ramon, American Canyon, Orinda, Berkeley, Albany, Point Richmond, Rio Vista, San Jose, Bakersfield, Los Angeles, Burbank, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Hayward, Rancho Cordova, Los Banos, San Diego, Long Beach, Orange County, Contra Costa County, Solano County and Napa County.