Cleaning and Sealing Concrete Pavers Process

cleaning-and-sealing-concrete-pavers-process-before--afterThis blog will discuss cleaning and sealing concrete pavers process and why it is important.  Whether you have a charming hardscape, a beautiful driveway, or an intricate walkway, your hardscape’s longevity and visual appeal depend on proper maintenance. In this blog, we’ll explore the significance of regular cleaning and sealing pavers in your hardscapes, helping you understand when, how, and why to embark on these crucial steps for preserving the beauty of your outdoor spaces.

  1.  Do stone patios, driveways, and other hardscapes need to be pressure washed?

This is everyone’s first question, and the answer is NO.  The most popular interlocking concrete pavers manufacturers used in Long Island NY are Nicolock, Cambridge, Techo Bloc, Unilock, and Belgard to name a few. These pavers have been installed on patios and driveways for the past 30 years.  When you see a 10-year-old concrete paving stone floor you can notice with the naked eye that the surface is faded and lost its finer texture on the surface layer.

Patio and driveway pavers get dirty over time and grow black mold, moss, and weeds. Most paver owners think of hiring a pressure washing company to clean them or run out to the local hardware store rent a pressure washer and try to pressure wash the pavers themselves. Pressure washing concrete pavers, especially newer ones, can easily damage the surface finish and we strongly suggest not pressure washing unless you are highly experienced and have the right equipment to pressure wash pavers.

step-1-cleaning-and-sealing-concrete-pavers-processPressure-washing concrete pavers will appear to clean them at the time.  The process weathers the surface of the pavers therefore aging and expediting the aging process. As you pressure wash the concrete surface of the pavers, it becomes rougher, and in a short time dust and dirt will start to accumulate in the microscopic pores resulting in the surface being dirty again.  Often people get caught up in the cycle of pressure washing their pavers every springtime.   They do not realize every time it is done they worsen the problem instead of resolving it. 

  2.  Do concrete pavers need to be sealed? 

This is everyone’s next question, and the answer is YES.  Paver sealant is an important maintenance tool to keep paver patios, walkways, driveways, and pool decks looking as beautiful as the day they were installed.   To maintain the look for years to come a layer of protective sealer must be applied to the surface of the finished outdoor paver.

Concrete surfaces are corrosive to the elements and will weather over time, losing their shine and fine new texture. Just like many products need protection such as metal needs paint or a car needs wax to revive and restore its luster.  Any surface exposed to the elements after many years will lose its vibrancy and fine finished texture.

step-2-cleaning-and-sealing-concrete-pavers-processWe recommend sealing your pavers to ensure their longevity and the manufacturer’s finish to last.  Gappsi uses a synthetic finish product to preserve the paving stones.  Sealers will make the pavers surface water repellent thus making them weatherproof.  When you seal your pavers you accomplish many things besides weathering protection.  You bring out the colors that fade over time even though the color is through and through or even a layer of half an inch thick.  The eye sees the very top of the pavement.  In only a few short years they could become faded due to the weathering from the rain or sun rays.

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In addition, the color could fade simply by the curing process of the cement structure itself of which the concrete pavers are manufactured. Using a pressure washer over concrete pavers will further degrade the surface and age it faster.  Sealer products are clear and transparent.  They brighten and magnify the colors of the surface. That’s what the eye sees.  The colored light that the sealer reflects. The smoother the surface of the pavers the more light is reflected off it.  A weathered surface allows dust to collect more easily and does not reflect the light as well as a preserved smoother surface does. That is why a sealed newer surface appears to be much more colorful than a sealed more weathered surface that has been left to weather under the elements for too long without a synthetic coat protection like the proper sealer.

Perhaps the most important benefit of sealers is that they make pavers less porous, which helps limit stains, since the pavers are less able to soak up the oil or dirt, etc. Sealing your concrete pavers makes cleanup of spills easier if they do happen.

  3.  How long should you wait before cleaning and sealing your pavers? 

Gappsi has been installing pavers for over 40 years and sealing them for more than 20 years.  Our experience and best practice is to take care of any colored concrete surface and pavers installed on driveways and patios.  New installations should weather under the natural elements of rain, sun, and snow for at least 2 years. During this time the concrete structure of the paving stones will cure completely and any efflorescence that has reason to surface on the pavement will be washed away naturally.  The top surface of the concrete pavers has weathered enough to have developed a very fine uniform sandy texture.  This is not visible to the naked eye but enough for a sealant to grab on and allow it to penetrate the substrate. This will make the sealer applied do its job of protecting the surface. 

step-3-cleaning-and-sealing-concrete-pavers-process  4.  What is the right sealer and how do you select the one that fits your pavers?

This is where it can get more complicated, costly, or worsen the situation. If you don’t use the right product or the right company to seal your pavers you could degrade the surface of the paving stones.  It is important to start with what is your result you are looking to achieve.  What are your expectations for the project?  Besides planning to protect your outdoor floor investment long term, you need to ask yourself a few questions: 

  • Do you want to see your pavers color in a natural form as they look when they are dry? 
  • Do you like the wet look and want to enhance the color?
  • If you prefer the color enhancement option, what kind of shine? Shiny or Mat
  • Do you want a plastic shine look or do you like a mat color-enhanced look?

step-4-cleaning-and-sealing-concrete-pavers-processWhat is Your Preference? 

Based on your preferences we will choose the sealer products that will accomplish the look. There are many manufacturers of sealers on the market and knowing which one is better could be challenging.  In addition, the manufacturer of the sealer you select will have different ways to apply the product.  The application and knowledge of cleaning and sealing pavers are what will give you the correct result.

The quality of your sealed paving stone patio and driveway pavers comes down to the knowledge of the person you trust and hire to complete the project.

Applying sealer to your pavers does NOT automatically guarantee all the good things mentioned above, a poorly sealed job could create a worse eye sore.  It also is an expensive and challenging situation to rectify.  This is because there are not many quality sealer applicators on the market.  There are even fewer applicators willing to take the challenge or even know how to rectify a badly sealed patio and make it look right.

  5.  Best practices for sealing concrete paving stones.

We recommend lightly washing the pavers with a surface cleaner.  This will clean the floor uniformly and most importantly use a pressure washing system that makes hot water at least 150 Fahrenheit.  Once the surface is cleaned of any debris as well as old sand from the joints.  You can go at least one inch deep into the joint.  The floor has to be left until completely dry. The following step is to fill the joints of the pavers with Polymeric sand, let it harden, and then seal the pavers.)

step-5-cleaning-and-sealing-concrete-pavers-process  6. How many types of sealers are there and what are the differences?

Three primary types of sealers can be used to seal concrete pavers: polyurethane solvents, acrylics, urethane sealers, and lastly acrylic sealers.  Acrylic sealers are the top coating that primarily covers the surface of concrete pavers.  They offer color enhancement by magnifying the color pigments on the paver surfaces. A penetrating sealer offers both a natural look and color enhancement.  If a natural look is desired in the paving stone then a solvent sealer with non enhancers or water-based solution should be used.

  7.  Which sealer is better to use?

All sealers are good as long as you understand how to apply them. 

  • Understanding the surface you are sealing
  • The age of the concrete pavers
  • Is it concrete or a natural stone surface
  • Are you going to apply a slip resistance on the surface?
  • Is it a horizontal or a vertical surface,
  • Is the area damp, the porosity of the product you are planning to seal is important to note.
  • The application procedure of each product changes based on the time of the year you are applying it and the humidity and weather (temperature).

Gappsi Cleaning and Sealing Paving Stones Process

Our experience in cleaning and sealing concrete pavers is not only shown through our expert staff in handling the products but also in the timing between each step of the process.  Using the right right people, with the right equipment to ensure a job is done right for YOU! 

STEP #1

The Gappsi process starts with focusing on losing up and the removal of soil and debris from the paver’s joints using a state-of-the-art high water volume pressure washer that produces 200 Fahrenheit hot water.

STEP #2

The 2nd step is to wash the floor surface using extractor surface cleaners.  This will clean the floors uniformly.  In addition, the suction produced by the surface cleaner extracts any loose material.  This material is loosened and sitting in the pavers gaps.  We pump them out and away from the area being prepared for sealing.

STEP #3

Once the paving stone joints and surface have been completely cleaned.  Allow the patio stones to completely dry. The selection of joint filling material is based on the selection of the sealer we use.

STEP #4

It is important to mention a few things.  If we are sealing a concrete paving surface using a color enhancer sealer.  Then we use a urethane sealer.  In this case, we also use silica sand (color of choice) to fill the joints.  Next, we vibrate the pavement with a specific vibratory roller compactor made for this application process.  This helps the sand settle in between the paver joints and fills the joints tight. Lastly, urethane sealer is applied.

STEP #5

One person sprays the sealer onto the concrete pavers.  The second person moves the sealer around with a blower filling the joints.  This process ensures that the joins fully absorb the sealer when applied to its full depth.  The surface of the pavers becomes sealed in the process while we focus on flooding the joints.  

A second coat of sealer is applied right after while the first coat is still tacky strengthening the seal to the stone.  This binds to the first coat.

STEP #6

When solvent sealers are used the process changes with the use of sand.  We use Polymeric sand instead of Silica sand.  Polymeric sand is a combination of silica sand and polymer manufactured and delivered in dry bags.  After applying to the paver joints and vibrating down, water is applied.  The water activates the polymeric in the sand and causes the sand to harden when dry. The last step is applying the solvent sealer over the entire floor surface.

A great job is only delivered by the following criteria:

  1. the experience and knowledge of the applicator
  2. the right preparation of the surface
  3. the proper equipment used
  4. the appropriate type of sealer selected for the desired outcome.

SCHEDULE A MEETING TODAY WITH GAPPSI

View Gappsi’s YouTube Channel for Videos of the Cleaning and Sealing Concrete Pavers Process

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How to Clean and Seal Driveways and Patio Stones in 5 Steps

Do you know how to clean and seal driveways and patio stones? Let the professionals at Gappsi show you the process!  

complete-polymeric-sand-and-sealer-application
Complete Polymeric Sand and Sealer Application – Dix Hills NY

Gappsi cleaning and sealing season for driveways and patio stones has started!   Our first driveway is located in Dix Hills NY. Over 10 years ago Gappsi installed this granite paver driveway and now we are cleaning and sealing it.

STEP #1 Cleaning Driveways and Patio Stones

step-2-removing-sand-and-debris-from-driveway-and-patio-stones
Step 1 Removing All Polymeric Sand and Debris from Paver Joints

First, we clean the granite pavers and remove most of the sand in between the joints.  Our new surface cleaners are also extractors. We wash the surface of the pavers and also remove the old polymeric sand.  Also, the debris that has collected underneath the joints is washed out.

This year Gappsi added a new pressure washing system. The machine is a high volume low-pressure hot water system.  The pressure washing system can go to 250 degrees Fahrenheit in hot water. It also comes with a soft wash system for areas where we don’t need pressure.

Our team started the process of cleaning the pavers. The driveway floor was pretty dirty so we completed a few passes starting with a turbo nozzle.  The initial process is to clean the stones, and then remove the old polymeric sand in between the joints.  This allows the new sand to be put in between the joints.  We are using 200 degrees Fahrenheit of hot water. 

STEP # 2 Removing Sand and Debris From Driveways and Patio Stones

step-1-cleaning-driveway-and-patio-stones
Step-2 Cleaning Driveway and Patio Stones

In the second step, we will clean the entire area with the extractor surface cleaner that will remove any sitting material in between the stone joints.

STEP #3 Applying New Polymeric Sand

step-3-applying-polymeric-sand-to-driveway-and-patio-stones
Step-3 Applying Polymeric Sand to Driveway and Patio Stones

The third step in sealing the pavers is filling the joint space with new polymeric sand.  We are using white beige silica sand.  This sand will absorb the sealer and get extremely hard; harder than polymeric sand.   Using a vibratory compactor specifically made to vibrate sand into the joints.  The Poly sand must be vibrated into the joint, as we want the sand as tight as possible in the paver joint.  The rollers have white rubber rollers specifically made for these kinds of applications and will not scratch or mark the stones.

STEP #4 Sealing the Driveway Pavers and Patio Stones

Step-4-sealing-the-pavers
Step-4 Sealing the Driveway Pavers and Patio Stones

Step #4 is the process of applying the sealer.  We mix urethane sealer part A and part B in combination with water in a two-to-one solution. We apply the sealer through sprayers flooding the joints.  This allows the sealer to penetrate the sand and absorb it deep down to get hard. Using a blower to move the extra sealer around, we prevent it from settling on top of the stones and further draining into the sand.  Since these are granite pavers, they won’t absorb much of the sealer, but the sand will get very very hard. 

Which Sealer is Right For Your Stones?

Gappsi uses several types of sealers different for each stone type from granite to marble, travertine, or concrete pavers. In addition, there are color enhancers or natural look sealers.  We apply the proper sealer to the different types of stone surfaces or materials based on what is needed. Each stone absorbs differently and each application is different. Whether there is a top coating sealer or a penetrating sealer depends on the customer selection.  Also, we offer suggestions for the type of material we are protecting or enhancing.

STEP #5 Slip Resistant System Application

step-5-applying-slip-resistant-sealer-with-mop-driveway-and-patio-stones
Step-5 Applying Slip-Resistant Sealer with Mop Driveway and Patio Stone Sealing

Step #5 After the team has completed sealing the entire driveway we apply an anti-slip resistance that will be the final process adding one more coat.  This application is applied with a floor mop while the sealer is wet.  The two coats bond together and it adds texture to the surface preventing it from getting slippery. 

The sealing process takes 2 to 3 days to complete allowing time to dry.  We allow the sealer to harden and keep the cars off the paver for about a week. The driveway was designed with granite pavers that are an inch and a quarter thick.  The sealer needs to be hardened a little longer as a result of the paver size.  The sand in between the joints has absorbed all the sealer and it became very hard. The color of the driveway looks like the first day the pavers were installed. The sealer enhancer used brings back the natural original color of the stones. It does not have a shiny look, it is more of a color enhancer. We also used slip resistance mixed with the sealer, this gives better traction when walking on the stones.

This is the latest sealing project done by Gappsi. The original granite installation Gappsi completed was over 10 years ago and the stones were selected from the Gappsi Natural Stone and Porcelain Collection showroom

Gappsi provides restoration, cleaning, and sealing of all types of stones and surfaces installed on patios, driveways, and walkways installed outdoors as well as indoors. 

SCHEDULE A MEETING TODAY WITH GAPPSI

View Gappsi’s YouTube Channel for Videos of How to Clean and Seal Driveways and Patio Stones in 5 Steps

We serve all of Nassau and Suffolk County Long Island NY, in all the following towns:
NASSAU COUNTY LONG ISLAND

Town of Hempstead Atlantic Beach Baldwin Bellerose Terrace Bellmore Bethpage Cedarhurst East Meadow East Rockaway Elmont Floral Park Franklin Square Freeport Garden City Hempstead Hewlett Inwood Island Park Lawrence Levittown Lynbrook Malverne Merrick Mineola New Hyde Park North Lynbrook North Valley Stream North Woodmere Oceanside Point Lookout Rockville Centre Roosevelt Seaford South Hempstead Uniondale Valley Stream Wantagh West Hempstead Woodmere Town of North Hempstead Albertson Carle Place Floral Park Glenwood Landing Great Neck Greenvale Kings Point Manhasset Mineola New Hyde Park North New Hyde Park Old Westbury Port Washington Roslyn Roslyn Heights Sands Point Westbury Williston Park Town of Oyster Bay Bayville Bethpage Brookville East Norwich Farmingdale Glen Head Glenwood Landing Greenvale Hicksville Jericho Locust Valley Massapequa Massapequa Park Mill Neck Old Bethpage Old Westbury Oyster Bay Plainview Sea Cliff Syosset Woodbury City of Glen Cove City of Long Beach.

SUFFOLK COUNTY LONG ISLAND

Town of Babylon Amityville Babylon Copiague Deer Park Lindenhurst North Amityville North Babylon West Babylon Wyandanch Town of Brookhaven Bellport Blue Point Brookhaven Calverton Centereach Center Moriches Coram East Moriches East Patchogue Eastport East Setauket Farmingville Holbrook Holtsville Lake Grove Manorville Mastic Mastic Beach Medford Middle Island Miller Place Moriches Mount Sinai North Patchogue Patchogue Port Jefferson Port Jefferson Station Ridge Rocky Point Ronkonkoma Selden Shirley Shoreham Sound Beach Stony Brook Upton Wading River Yaphank Town of East Hampton Amagansett East Hampton Montauk Sag Harbor Wainscott Town of Huntington Centerport Cold Spring Harbor

Commack East Northport Greenlawn Huntington Huntington Station Lloyd Harbor Melville Northport Town of Islip Bayport Bay Shore Bohemia Brentwood Brightwaters Central Islip East Islip Great River Hauppauge Holbrook Holtsville Islandia Islip Islip Terrace Oakdale Ocean Beach Ronkonkoma Sayville West Islip West Sayville Town of Riverhead Aquebogue Calverton Jamesport Laurel Manorville Riverhead South Jamesport Wading River Town of Shelter Island Shelter Island Shelter Island Heights Town of Smithtown Commack Hauppauge Kings Park Nesconset Saint James Smithtown Town of Southampton Bridgehampton Eastport East Quogue Hampton Bays Quogue Remsenburg Sagaponack Sag Harbor Southampton Speonk Water Mill Westhampton Westhampton Beach Town of Southold Cutchogue East Marion Fishers Island Greenport Laurel Mattituck New Suffolk Orient Peconic Southold

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Gappsi Products and Services | Showroom Displays Center

Gappsi Products and Services, we would like to invite you to visit our showroom and view all our products and services.
We carry a very large selection of porcelain and natural stone  pavers, wall veneers  and retaining walls. Including Marble, Limestones, Travertine, Granite,  Sandstones and much more
Gappsi Products and Services, ours stones are  exclusive and unique. We search, select and import them from all over the world We also provide many home improvement services. Our well experienced and knowledgeable personnel can help you design and build your home projects  with the highest quality and stress free experience.
 We are a one stop solution for all home improvements services, from our supplying division of   pool coping and patio pavers, to our store indoor display, we carry several lines of  grills and outdoor pizza ovens, sports court tiles and synthetic turfs for backyard lawns, dog runs and bocce courts, smokers, outdoor rated cabinetry, refrigerators and ice makers.
We have a Passion spas demonstration display, smokeless fire pits, many exclusive products to build your outdoor entertaining living areas, gunite pool tiles and finishes, gas fireplaces 
Trex and Azek, Interior doors and  windows, marble and porcelain tiles.
Gappsi Products and Services include Passion hot tubs  and swim  spas sales and installation that we incorporate in many of our backyard designs.
Our swimming pool division offers design and installation of gunite vinyl and fiberglass pools,
Restoration and pool renovations, liner replacement, all major brands of equipment; Hayward, Pentair, Zodiac, Jandy, Autopilot Salt chlorine generator and heat pumps and more 
Gappsi Products and Services offers masonry design and construction including driveways, walkways, patios pool areas, stoops and retaining walls. We offer a full line of the most unique natural patio pavers and porcelain. Including pool copings, stair treads and copings, wall veneers and custom cut stones.
We provide full landscape design, construction and planting material, natural rocks waterfall, synthetic turf installation, sods and  annual flowers planting. 
All sports and recreational courts including, basketball, horseshoe, bocce, pickleball, volleyball, tennis, putting greens, installation of synthetic grass for pool areas, lawns and dog run play areas.    
Cleaning, sealing and restoration of old and new patios, we provide a professional state of the art machinery to steam clean your patios, application of polymeric sand and vibrate into the paver joints with a mechanical plate compactor, and the application of top quality Polyurethane sealer ( Seal N Lock  and Surebond SEK ) sealing and cleaning products.
We offer full service of  Interior and exterior home remodeling, including new home construction, renovations, extensions, finish basements, kitchens and baths, windows, roofing and siding, 
Gappsi Products and Services offers Brick ovens, our newest division is the manufacturing of brick ovens, we offer 5 different models  of the best built backyard ovens.  In beautiful designs and custom personalized hand painted tile finishes. You may  view these ovens on display at the Gappsi showroom.
Thank you for your interest in Gappsi and for your time
We hope to see you soon.

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Cleaning and Sealing Paving Stones on Long Island NY

Cleaning and Sealing Paving Stones on Long Island NYWe have started our 2020 cleaning and sealing season rejuvenating the Gappsi showroom parking lot in Smithtown NY located in Suffolk County on Long Island. We are using hot water on low pressure and surface cleaner to remove dirt and residue of oil and other debris collected in the crevices of the pavers surface. We are also using a rotary wand to loosen the dirt collected in between the joints of the pavers. This is a large parking lot built with Nicolock pavers, and the colors of the paving stones are still very nice even after 15 years of being exposed to the elements and vehicular traffic. Nicolock manufactures high-quality concrete products that withstand the test of time. But as any other concrete products, concrete is corrosive and it weathers when exposed to the elements like the Sun’s heat, the rain and snow, and also to the calcium chloride and ice melters used during freezing times. After completing the cleaning of the entire paver parking lot, we filled the pavers joints with haze-free polymeric sand and vibrated it with a mechanical plate compactors to allow the sand to settle in and completely fill the joints. We spray water on the pavers to allow the sand to get wet, letting the water saturate the sand all the way through the bottom of the joint, and also wash off the pavers surface.

The polymeric sand comes in a few different colors, but most commonly used is beige or gray. It really doesn’t matter what color you use because over time it weathers and it will eventually turn into a brownish-gray color. The polymeric sand is a combination of medium-crushed natural sand, that is combined with color and a polymer component. It is activated when in contact with water to make it glue and eventually harden. This makes better for the pavers’ stability, makes it harder for ants to dig and nest in between the paver joints, and also makes it harder for weeds to grow through.

The next process is the installation of the sealer. We use high-quality urethane-water based sealers, which are environmentally safe and won’t harm plants, pets, or humans. It penetrates the surface of the pavers and creates a coating to protect the pavers from the elements. It also brings out and deepens the colors. Our sealer won’t yellow, and it will create a consistent  tone on the pavers during wet and or dry circumstances. We allow the sealer to cure for at least 3 days before driving on it, and depending on the temperature, it could be long for the sealer to totally cure.

We provide Pressure washing and re-sanding & sealing services in the following areas of Eastern Long-Island, Western Long-Island, North-Shore Long-Island, South-Shore Long-Island, Suffolk County, and Nassau County: Glen Cove, Hempstead, North Hempstead, Oyster Bay, Babylon, Huntington, Islip, Smithtown, Brookhaven, Southampton, Riverhead, East Hampton, Southold, Old Brookville, Old Westbury, Mill Neck, Nissequogue, Lloyd Harbor, Muttontown, Cold Spring Harbor, and East Norwich.

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Outdoor Kitchen Designed and Built by Gappsi in Setauket, NY.

Outdoor Kitchen Designed and Built by Gappsi in Setauket, NY.Gappsi provides masonry construction in Setauket, NY and all of Long Island. This outdoor cooking island was constructed with cement block walls and veneered with natural stones. The counter top is tan brown granite, the twin eagle grill is in the center and the sitting areas are on both sides. The right side is in the shape of a circle as a table can sit several chairs around it; the left side has a two-level area with a higher back for taller stools, the bar area matching the sitting wall was built around the main table with light piers on each side, and it was capped with rock-faced bluestones. The patio pavers installed are tumbled Nicolock village pavers in Adobe Blend and the paver joints are filled with polymeric sand and sealed.
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Masonry Designer Contractor in Setauket, NY.

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