Sealing a driveway or patio

A question that we commonly get asked is “should I seal my driveway or patio”, so we have put together some information on block paving sealants, the benefits, and when to use them.

The main types of sealant are:

◾Moisture cured urethanes.

◾Water based emulsions.

◾Solvent based acrylics.

◾Hydrated Polymer glues.

Sealants originally emerged in the printed concrete market as a crucial element of the finished project, but more recently have been used in the concrete block paving market as stain preventers, weed preventers, to aid structural integrity and as colour enhancers.

The most commonly used sealants are acrylics and urethanes(polyurethane), and although both can be used for residential block paving the acrylic sealants are the most frequently used in this situation.

Acrylic sealants are most effective in enhancing the colour and to give it an all year round “wet look”, they’re cheaper to buy but are not as durable or flexible as the more expensive urethane products. Acrylic sealants could be affected by oil or petrol and commonly need re-application. Acrylic sealants are suitable for your block paved drive or patio but have limited effectiveness in comparison with more expensive products.

Polyurethane based sealants are better at protecting your paving against petrol and other hydrocarbons. This type of sealant is mostly used on commercial projects and offers structural integrity in the sand joints. It prevents staining, efflorescence and offers better protection against weed growth.

So the choice of which to use will come down to a matter of cost and the individual project in hand, as some sealants may be more suitable than others in different circumstances.