Choosing the right wet look paving sealer is vital for completing your outdoor paver project. Not only does it go a long way toward protecting your investment from the elements, it can also make your design shine even more than it already does. After all, if you’re going to spend all that time and money creating the perfect outdoor walkway, driveway, or patio, you’re going to want to make sure that it stays beautiful and intact as long as possible.
Depending on your needs, there are many different wet look paving sealers available. Some are better at protecting against oil, others are better for keeping out weeds and moss, still others will work better for defending against ice salts or BBQ grease.
With that said, not all pavers can take every kind of paving sealer. Though normally, you can find one that will work if you look hard enough. Just be sure to check with the paving supplier or manufacturer to confirm that you can use the wet look paving sealer of your choice.
Some considerations for when you wonder how to choose a wet look paving sealer…
1. How much of a gloss do you want?
Different paving sealers offer different kinds of finishes. If you want your pavers to hold a strong gloss for as long as possible, you’re probably going to want to look into a water-based polyurethane sealer. These generally last longer than other kinds of glosses because polyurethane is a harder resin than acrylic. Although solvent-based polyurethane sealers are available, water-based ones tend to give you that ‘wetter’ finish for longer.
If you’d prefer your finish to be more subdued, there are a number of options available to you. Acrylic sealers – in both water-based and solvent-based forms – are generally cheaper. But that shine won’t last as long as if you use a solvent-based polyurethane sealer. You’ll also need to reapply it every 2-4 years in order to keep it maintained.
2. Do I want an environmentally friendly option?
If you’re environmentally conscious, it’s worth noting that water-based sealers are a much better option. Solvent-based sealers have a higher concentration of VOCs than water-based ones. They also have a much stronger smell so they aren’t appropriate for indoor applications.
3. Would I prefer to pay less upfront – but have to reapply sooner – or would I rather pay more now – and not have to worry about a reapplication for several more years?
If you choose an acrylic-based sealer, you’ll end up paying less upfront. Unfortunately, that lower cost means that it won’t last as long and you’ll have to reapply it in 2-3 years. On the other hand, if you go with a polyurethane-based sealer, you’ll end up paying more right now. But it will be 5-6 years before you have to worry about putting down another coat.
There are just a couple of questions that you ought to ask yourself as you decide how to choose a wet look paving sealer. We live in a time when you have innumerable options – it’s all a matter of balancing your desires, your concerns, and your budget.