FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

GENERAL INFORMATION

Pavers, and other hardscape surfaces, can be beautiful, but all will be subject to conditions that may mar that beauty. Protecting your hardscapes with quality sealers can inhibit fading, make maintenance much easier, stabilize the sand joints, protect the hardscape and grouted joints from stains – all generally making your hardscape a more beautiful and livable space.

Water-based sealers tend to be more environmentally friendly than solvent-based sealers.  Water-based sealers have low VOCs (volatile organic compounds that harm the ozone), tend to be more forgiving in application and how they wear, and tend to have a mild odor when being applied, which is less irritating to the applicator and homeowner.

Efflorescence is a naturally occurring condition with all concrete products, which will usually correct itself with time and exposure.  STAIN MAGIC is very effective at removing efflorescence from pavers.  Sealed pavers may require stripping sealer prior to removing efflorescence. More information is available on our website at http://blackdiamondcoatings.com/efflorescence-on-pavers/.

Check with your specific paver manufacturer on their recommended time before sealing.

Our sealers are not designed to be applied below the water line or to the glazed tile under the coping in a pool. If excessive amounts are spilled into the pool, turn off pool pump and contact your pool professional.

Regular maintenance and cleaning with a non-acid based cleaner such as THE BOSS works well. Do not pressure wash the surface for at least 45 days to allow the sealer to cure, although using a spray hose attachment is acceptable.  Do not use bleach or other harsh chemicals on the surface or you may damage the sealer.

The color-enhancing sealers will typically last 2-3 years, with the shine and color-enhancement not lasting as long as the protective quality of the sealer.  The natural-appearance sealers will typically last 5 or more years.  A variety of factors influence the longevity of the sealer; sealer application, residential vs. commercial, sun exposure, environmental conditions, volume of traffic, porosity of the surface, frequency of cleaning and chemicals used.  We add the most advanced UV additive on the market to ensure longevity in the harshest environments.

We recommend the following equipment:

  • We recommend applying sealers with a sprayer to ensure thorough coverage with a light hand, as it can be easy to apply too much product when rolling the entire job. There are a variety of sprayers on the market that work effectively.  The key is to have a consistent spray pattern that produces a 0.5 gallon per minute outflow of sealer (some contractors may prefer a 1.0 gallon per minute outflow).  Our color-enhancing sealers should have a lighter spray result than some other competitive sealers.
  • Have a 3/8” to 3/4” lint-free roller available, depending on the surface type to use for any back-rolling needs (e.g., puddling, smoothing sealer on a smoother surface) or for pool coping.
  • For pool coping or tight areas, use a paint roller or sponge brush work, taking care to cover the entire surface with an even coat; note that most pool coping only requires one coat of sealer.

Our sealers do not make the surface slippery per se. Some surfaces are prone to be more slippery before sealer is applied.  Therefore, we recommend adding a texture additive (DIAMOND GRIT) if there are areas of concern (e.g., pool decks, stairs) or hardscapes that have a smoother surface that might be more slippery in a stand-alone state.

Not typically. Tire marks typically only occur from softer tires when turning or fast starts.  Also, freshly resurfaced blacktop roads may leave a residue on the pavers from the tires on freshly sealed surfaces.  This will typically wash off with soap and water.  In certain cases, it may be necessary to pressure wash the surface to remove the residue.  Once the sealer has completely cured (normally in 30 days), this will not occur.  If tire marks do not wash off, a small quantity of denatured alcohol may be used to remove the marks; however, first perform a test spot to check for the desired result.

Yes, our sealers may be used indoors. You may have increased dry times depending on the indoor climate.  Refer to our data sheets for specific precautions.

The sealers will slow down the mold process and make it easier to clean from surface. The color-enhancing sealers stabilize the joints and make it harder for weeds to take hold.

Our sealers make maintenance easier.  However, you should always remove liquids and even leaves, as soon as possible to ensure that they don’t stain the sealer, which will eventually penetrate to the hardscape surface.

Please call our Customer Care team at 800.270.4050, and we’ll be happy to assist you. Or you may check out our current dealers at http://blackdiamondcoatings.com/where-to-buy/.

PRODUCT CHOICE

Becoming a Paver Whisperer is a term we coined regarding letting the hardscape surface tell the applicator what type of sealer and how much of it should be applied. Not all concrete pavers are designed the same and they have had different histories.  Some pavers may only need one coat of paver sealer, and others may need multiple coats.  Pavers that have been previously sealed typically don’t require two coats of sealer as quality sealers leave their chemical base in the pores of the paver, even if a film-forming topcoat has worn away.  Clay pavers and Artistic Pavers (Shellock®) should not be sealed with paver sealers designed for concrete; instead, they should be treated like natural stone for sealing purposes.

This tends to be a personal preference.  Some customers love the look of their hardscape when wet, which is where the term “wet look” was formed.  “Wet look” may or may not mean a glossy finish, depending on the manufacturer.  Black Diamond Coatings offers different degrees of sheen – from semi-gloss to no gloss, depending on the customer’s preference.

Note that many of the lighter hardscapes (e.g., white, ivory, light gray) may not benefit from a color-enhancing sealer, when the owner may prefer the natural appearance.  In this case, consider the AQUA-X natural-appearance sealers.  As with all products, we recommend applying a test area prior to application to ensure the desired results will be achieved.

Always test the chosen sealer on a small, inconspicuous area (at least 4 square feet) prior to sealing the entire project to ensure your satisfaction with the results.

Yes. Certain concrete pavers are very dense (e.g., concrete pavers with shells, wet cast pavers, some commercial grade pavers), therefore, they cannot absorb as much paver sealer as typical pavers. Depending on the paver product, we recommend using our STONE+, AQUA-X 22 or AQUA-X33 or one coat of a paver sealer.  Please contact our Customer Care Team prior to purchase and application with any questions on your specific scenario.

Yes. Our products are ideal for most masonry surfaces.  STONE+ or AQUA-X 33 are ideal for natural or faux stone and clay products, as these surfaces tend to be denser, acting like many natural stone surfaces.

APPLICATION

For the color-enhancing sealers, we recommend allowing 24 hours for heavy foot traffic and 48 hours for vehicular traffic. The sealer will be dry to the touch typically within 4-8 hours. Drying time can vary based on environmental conditions (e.g., rain, sun, humidity).  If the product remains tacky for an extended period of time, it is an indication of the product being over-applied.  In this case, longer drying times are necessary for product to completely dry.  For the natural-appearance sealers, we recommend allowing at least an hour and be visibly dry before reopening to traffic.

This is a result of over application of the product. The sealer will take longer to dry, but it will dry. If time is an issue, pressure wash the surface to remove excess product. We recommend reading the Application Guide or watching the application video prior to the initial application in order to make sure the product is applied properly. If you have any questions prior to application, please contact our Customer Care team for assistance.

The color-enhancing sealers can be applied to damp surfaces if there is no standing water. However, it is recommended to have the surface as dry as possible to ensure the product will absorb thoroughly.  The natural-appearance sealers should be applied to dry surfaces to get full penetration of the sealer into the surface.

No, when applied properly, our sealers will not turn white.  Generally, two conditions may cause a white haze to appear on the surface:

  1. If the sealer is applied too heavily, it will cause increased dry times; exposure to moisture during this period will cause the sealer to haze. Once the sealer dries, the haze will disappear; OR
  2. If the product is applied (at recommended coverage rates) and it comes in contact with moisture (e.g., rain, high humidity, morning dew before it is completely dry), cloudiness may occur. Once the product has had sufficient time to dry, this will not occur. If the surface is allowed to dry after the exposure to moisture, the sealer will continue to dry clear resolving the cloudy condition.

Streaking generally occurs when the product is applied in an uneven manner. To avoid this, apply sealers with a sprayer. Then, back roll the product (keeping a wet edge) after spraying will help prevent streaking.  On products and surfaces needing more than one coat, apply the second coat of product in the opposite direction of the first.  This will generally correct the issue.

We always recommend protecting surfaces not intended to be sealed as part of the preparation steps. However, accidents happen and removal is easy with a cloth or sponge while the sealer is wet.  Typically, denatured alcohol, mineral spirits, or xylene will remove dried sealer.  Depending on the surface that is at issue, you may need to contact the manufacturer to ensure that any of our recommended removal products won’t have an adverse effect (e.g., paint manufacturer).  As always, we recommend testing the removal method on an inconspicuous area first.

No, if you are resealing using the same Black Diamond Coatings product. However, if sealing over an older sealer or solvent based sealer, stripping may be necessary if sealer remains on the surface.  Remember that the chemical closest to the hardscape will fail first, so old sealer remaining on the surface prior to sealing with any of our sealers will potentially “push” the new sealer off.  If you decide to strip your hardscape surface, strippers designed to remove paint will work.  Follow the manufacturer’s application instructions, and ensure that all stripper is completely removed from the surface prior to sealing.

Refer to our DIAMOND GRIT application instructions on the product page here. http://blackdiamondcoatings.com/products/diamond-grit/. Clean your sprayer after application as you normally would.

It depends on the cleaning needs of the hardscape surface. We offer THE BOSS as a general cleaner and degreaser, and STAIN MAGIC is effective on removing efflorescence before sealing.  Both products are sold in a concentrated formula, with the recommended starting dilution ratios on the label and the technical data sheet.  Several iterations of the products may be required, including using the products in their more concentrated state.  Always test the products in an inconspicuous area before using on the entire project.  Long-term stains may not be able to be fully removed.

If a light rain occurs more than an hour after sealing, then there should not be any issues. The color-enhancing sealers may turn white, but they will dry clear once the moisture escapes. If a heavy rain occurs within a few hours of sealing, then some of the color-enhancing sealer may be washed off the surface since these sealers form a film on the surface.  In either scenario, the penetrating, AQUA-X sealers should not be affected.

SANDING

Yes, if the sand is not a polymeric sand. If you’ve installed polymeric sand, refer to the manufacturer’s direction on the cure time of the sand prior to sealing.

Polyhaze is dust left over on top of the paver from polymeric sand. Refer to the specific polymeric manufacturer on their removal methods.

Yes, our color-enhancing sealers are joint stabilizing. The advantage these sealers offer is hardening the joint sand with a crust on the surface, which will not come out of the paver joint under typical rain conditions.  When pressure washed, the sand can be removed and refreshed when re-sealing the pavers in a few years.

This is optional if the interlocking nature of the pavers is still intact. If pavers are loose, re-sanding may be necessary.  If pavers are tight, you may not need to re-sand, and it becomes personal preference.

ENVIRONMENTAL / HEALTH CONCERNS

Have questions? Contact our support for help.