A beautiful patio often requires a consistent level of maintenance to keep it looking great. The application of a quality sealer benefits a patio in many ways. Not only does it protect the patio and pointing, it can also enhance the patio’s appearance as well.
Stonecare4u Essential patio sealer will not only protect the colour, but reduce routine maintenance, making it easier and less frequent. Within the Stonecare4u Essential range of patio sealers, you will find the right product for every type of surface. Our comprehensive range of sealers for patios are versatile, safe and easy to use, whilst providing excellent value for money.
The term patio sealer is very generic, but it is important to choose the right type of sealer for your paving. Just as there are a countless number of materials that are used to construct patios, there are countless products described as patio sealer. Unfortunately, there is not one quality sealer that will work effectively on all forms of paving so it is always advisable to do your research.
The raw materials used to lay patios vary massively with everything from precast concrete slabs, to various forms of brick paving through to a multitude of natural stone products including sandstone, slate, limestone, granite, and terracotta.
All of these materials have their own unique characteristics that need to be considered when selecting a patio sealer. Firstly they would all be porous to varying degrees, this will not only significantly influence the type of patio sealer that should selected but also coverage rates and aesthetic appearance.
We strongly recommend always apply the sealer to a test area first and leave for a few days before deciding that the product is the correct one for you. Once applied most sealers for patio slabs are fully cured after about 24 hours so you can then start to measure how effective the product is. Aesthetically it could take a few days to ‘settle’ down and reflect it’s true long term appearance.
If the patio has been recently laid, almost certainly you would have invested several thousands of pounds on materials and installation. With this in mind, it is always advisable to spend some time making sure the correct sealer for patios is applied.
Another factor that needs to be considered when applying sealer to a newly laid patio is the method and material used during the pointing part of the installation process. When patios are pointed using a ‘sweep in compound’ the residual resin polymers within the compound have to be thoroughly removed before any form of solvent-free sealer can be applied. This can be done by either using a specialist cleaning material such as Stonecare4u Essential Patio Cleaner or Essential Black Spot Remover or by simply leaving the patio for roughly 6 months to allow the polymers to naturally dissipate. Failure to do properly clean these polymers away could lead to the sealer either not penetrating into the stone correctly, or leaving a whitish hue on the surface.
When it comes to working out how many litres of material might be required, as previously mentioned, the porosity of the substrate is of vital importance. For example, coverage when applied to a very porous sandstone for example, could be as low as 3-4 m2 per litre, with 2 or 3 coats required for a nice consistent finish. This coverage rate contrasts greatly to sealer that is applied to a very dense substrate such as slate or granite. When applied to this kind of natural material, the coverage could be as high as 10-12 m2 per litre with only 1 coat required, so be careful!. If Stonecare4u or any other sealers are not applied correctly, several issues could occur. Apply to little product and the results will be disappointing, apply too much and the sealer will be unable to penetrate into the patio slabs and will just dry on top. This could well leave an unsightly milky, white film on the surface that could prove very hard to remove.
Stonecare4u products for sealing patios are formulated to give on average around 3 years of protection after this time, another coat of sealer should be applied. Application of patio sealer with reduce the amount, but not eliminate the maintenance required to keep the surface in optimum condition. The amount and degree of on-going maintenance required will again be influenced by a number of factors. The more porous the stone, the harder it will be to keep it free more algae, dirt and lichens. Another consideration is the amount of sunlight the patio receives. North facing surfaces and shady aspects are far more likely to suffer from algae and lichens than patios that receive plenty of natural sunlight.
There are a number appreciable benefits that correctly sealing a patio brings. Not only from a visual perspective, but Also from a durability and maintenance viewpoint. Certainly paving stones that are occasionally re-sealed will not suffer from loss of colour, will remain looking cleaner and be easier to maintain. Application of sealer will also protect the pointing against the elements and reduce the risk of it cracking up or breaking down.
When considering time of year and weather conditions to apply sealer for patio slabs this should only realistically be considered between March and October. At the start and end of this period the weather in the UK can vary considerably, so our advice would be only to apply the products in temperatures of around 13 degrees and above after a few days of dry weather.
The formulations of all Stonecare4u products are designed to be very straight forward. The best method of application with our patio sealer is by sponge. For larger areas a sprayer or roller kit can be used. It is important to remember that for a consistent level of protection and continuity of finish two coats should be applied. Once the initial coat has fully dried or cured, it is too late to apply the second coat. That is the reason why the second application should be carried out pretty much as soon as the original coat is touch dry. This would generally be between 30-45 minutes later.
Stonecare4u sealers for patio slabs are available in 3 finishes. Our MATT finish will not noticeably change the appearance of the stone (but always apply to a test area 1st) Where our COLOUR BOOST or SATIN sealers with leave the surface looking richer and enhance the appearance of the paving slabs.
All of Stonecare4u sealers are Eco-friendly and solvent free, they are also based on the advanced breathable and impregnating technology. The benefits of the formulas over conventional sealer are that they avoid moisture becoming trapped in the surface, and because the sealer soaks into the paving and seals from within, a greater lifespan over sealers that simply sit on the surface of the stone can be expected.