Brick patios create a wonderful area of the home for relaxation and entertainment. Unlike wooden decks, they are considered to be maintenance-free. But are they really? The simple answer is no. Although brick patios don’t require the annual cleaning and staining that a wood deck often does, patios that are left uncared for can easily turn into an eyesore. They can become uneven, fade out, and be consumed by weeds. The remedy for this problem is simple and quite easy.
First, the reason for the problem. Like every other exterior area of your home, the weather constantly attacks your patio. The sun’s ultraviolet rays fade the colors of the bricks and the rain washes the sand out of the brick joints. Left unchecked, this erosion will eventually cause the bricks to become uneven. Over time, weeds will begin to grow in the joints between the bricks and ants will colonize in them, making your patio their new home.
To fix this problem, you need to seal the patio with a water-based sealer. Unlike solvent-based sealers, water-based sealers will solidify, or harden the sand in the joints. This will prevent the sand from washing out with future rains. It also makes it difficult for weeds to take hold or ants to colonize through the sand. Certain sealers will also add an attractive “wet look” to the pavers. This wet look will accent the colors of the stones and give them a rich, vibrant appearance. The better sealers on the market, such as MasonrySaver® Paver Sealer, will also protect the brick pavers and prevent the color of the paver stones from fading by providing strong and durable UV protection from the sun’s rays.
The process of applying a sealer consists of four easy steps:
- Power wash the patio first. Any minor staining, such as rust stains from patio furniture can be removed by using a little muriatic acid during the cleaning process. MasonrySaver Cleaner® & Degreaser works well for this.
- Level out any uneven bricks by removing them and adding enough sand to even things out. Then replace the bricks to their original location.
- Re-fill the joints between the bricks with new sand by pouring some sand on the patio. Sweep enough into the joints between the bricks to fill them back up.
- Using a pump-up garden type sprayer, apply two coats of water-based sealer to the patio. Avoid over application; apply only as much sealer as the bricks can easily absorb.
A good water-based sealer, when properly applied, will protect your patio from nature’s elements and keep it looking great for years to come!