There’s long been a debate about which are better: water-based paver sealers or solvent-based paver sealers. And though each of them have their defenders – and pros and cons – we tend to fall on the side of water-based paver sealers. When some people hear this, they wonder why this is the case. That’s why we’ve put together this simple article that looks at some of the pros and cons of water-based paver sealers.
Pros of Paver Sealers, Water Based:
Safer to Apply. Unlike solvent-based paver sealers, water-based ones don’t release harmful vapors into the atmosphere during installation. This means that you don’t have to worry about ensuring your workspace is highly ventilated. Water-based paver sealers don’t contain nearly as many volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as solvent-based sealers. And these compounds can cause negative health and environmental effects. So, the safety of water-based paver sealers is a major pro in our book.
Easier to Apply. In addition to being safer to apply, water-based sealers are easier to apply effectively. Since they tend to be thinner, you can use a sprayer to evenly coat your paver area, ensuring maximum effectiveness. Solvent-based sealers are normally applied with a roller, which requires more effort and can leave your pavers with uneven spots. And though this factor may not be hugely important if you’re hiring a professional company to install and seal your pavers, you’ll be thankful you chose a water-based sealer if you’re doing it yourself.
It’s also worth noting that water-based sealers can be applied much sooner after cleaning your pavers than solvent-based ones. Before sealing your pavers, you’ll want to power wash your patio or walkway to ensure it’s completely clean before you seal it (and accidentally seal dirt and grime into your stones). With a water-based sealer, you can begin the application process shortly after cleaning it. With a solvent-based sealer, you’ll have to wait 24 hours to ensure no moisture gets trapped underneath the sealer.
Cheaper to Apply. It’s no shock that water-based sealers are cheaper to apply than solvent-based ones. And not only is the actual product less expensive, you can lay it on your pavers with a simple garden sprayer if you want to.
Won’t Darken Your Stone. If you want to retain the natural beauty of your stones, you can’t go wrong with a water-based paver sealer. They won’t leave your stones looking drastically different or darker – and they’re still available in glossy and matte finishes.
Cons of Paver Sealers, Water Based:
Aren’t as Cold-Weather Friendly. If you live in a colder climate, you may have a greater challenge on your hands applying a water-based paver sealer when the temperature is below 50°. The temperature has no effect on the paver sealer after the sealer has cured.
Won’t Darken Your Stone. Yes, you read that right. This is both a pro and a con of water-based paver sealers. But depending on how many coats and enhancement you are looking for depends on the deepening of the color of the stone. Seal ‘n Lock’s Super-Wet-Look water based paver sealer can provide that “wet look” most people are looking for.
So, these are some of the reasons that we recommend water-based paver sealers over solvent-based paver sealers. But don’t just take our word for it. Do your own research, look at the pros and cons of solvent-based sealers, and make an educated decision about which paver sealer is the right one for you.