Brick patio pavers make a durable patio that can hold up to the elements, but they do require maintenance. Seasons of rain, sun, and snow can cause the color to fade, the sand between the stones to be washed away, and weeds to grow between the pavers. A successful application of a high-quality sealer will help protect the look of your patio for years to come.
Step 1 - Select Your Cleaning Materials
You really need a power washer to start this job, which you may be able to rent locally if you do not own one. It is important to get a power washer that can do the job right as well, so consider using a power washer that, at a minimum, is greater than or equal to 2400 psi. You will need a tip that can fan out the water slightly, too.
You will also need to select the right cleanser. An acid cleaner is inexpensive, but it can burn your skin. Instead, I suggest a masonry cleaner.
Step 2 - Give Your Brick Patio Pavers a Good Cleaning
Sweep your patio well first to remove dirt and debris. All weeds, foreign objects, and stains must be removed or you will seal them permanently into the brick pavers.
Apply your cleaner to the surface and let it sit on the pavers at full strength for at least five minutes before rinsing with your power washer. For severe stains, pour full strength cleaner on the stain and let it sit for ten minutes before rinsing.
Finally, mix one part cleaner to four parts water and spray the mixture onto your patio using a garden-type pump sprayer. Wait ten minutes and rinse with your power washer.
Step 3 - Level Your Bricks
Inspect the condition of the pavers next. Look for bricks that are out of place and pry them out using a screwdriver and putty knife. Add a little sand, smooth it with your putty knife, and re-install the brick. Tap your pavers a few times with a wooden mallet to make them level again.
Step 4 - Fill the Joints
The final step in preparing the patio for sealing is to re-grout the joints between the stones with fresh sand. Pour a small amount of fine grade sandbox sand onto the patio and sweep it into the joints. Continue pouring small amounts of sand onto the patio and sweeping until your joints are filled.
Step 5 - Let Your Patio Dry
The ground under your pavers will be soaking wet from all the cleaning, so it will need to dry in the sun for a few days before the seal can be applied.
Step 6 - Spray on Your Seal
Cut-in the patio edges using a four-inch nylon brush and before you spray the rest of the patio. Then, use your garden-type pump up sprayer with a metal fan-style spray tip to apply your sealer. Most water-based sealers will require two coats, so wait for the sealer to dry enough that you can walk on it and spray again. Use your brush to remove any of the sealer that may begin to puddle. Be careful not to apply too much sealer, as this can ruin the entire job.