How to prepare and seal patio surfaces
Over time the elements and regular wear and tear on your patio’s surface can make it look old and worn out. Refresh its look by cleaning and resealing it.
You can hire a professional or make it a DIY project, which is what we will instruct you on how to do.
What you will need
• 2 people — Sealing is a two-person job.
• Time — It will take you about an hour for every 200 square feet of patio space.
• Sealer — Select one formulated for Arizona’s climate.
Let’s get started.
Step 1 – Choose a high-quality sealer
Many homeowners tackle this job and are very happy with the result if they use a product that is proven to work well in Arizona. Just because a sealer works well in other environments doesn’t mean it will hold up to the Arizona sun and heat.
Disappointment comes if the sealer begins to flake, peel, or becomes discolored. For good results, it is important to choose the right product and to read the directions carefully.
Rosie’s Recommends Techniseal, in the water-based natural look matte finish. It provides the longest protection — up to three years and is available at Marvel Building & Masonry Supply. Avoid the gloss version as it can be maintenance intensive. Color Boost in the matte finish would be an option as well.
Step 2 – Find someone to help you
Patio sealing takes two people – one to spray the sealer and the other to work it into the patio’s crevices and pores before it starts to dry.
Step 3 — Cover yourself and surrounding areas
Wear long pants, closed-toe shoes, long sleeves, and gloves to prevent the sealant from getting on your skin. Cover your mouth and nose with a face mask and wear glasses or goggles to protect yourself from harsh fumes and potential splashback. Cover plants, grills, and appliances.
NOTE: We don’t recommend that anyone who is pregnant or has health issues, such as asthma, do this job themselves.
Step 4 – Secure the area
Keep people and pets from walking across the surface before it dries. The sealer can take several hours to dry completely. Foot or paw prints, especially if they are dirty, are not easily remedied and will leave a lasting impression. Plus, they could track the sealer onto other surfaces.
Step 5 — Prepare the surface
If you apply the sealer on a dirty patio, you will seal in the dirt and dull the finish.
Begin with a good washing. If there is grease under the BBQ, use a degreaser first. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Be cautious when using a power washer on pavers and other surfaces. If used too aggressively, they can leave etch marks on the surface. Instead, use a tool called the Whisper Wash.
The spray of the washer is delivered in a circular motion and won’t leave pattern marks. If you have a power washer, buy the Whisper Wand attachment. You can also rent a washer at your local equipment rental yard.
Step 6 – Apply the sealer with a bug sprayer
Don’t apply sealer when it is windy.
If you want to apply stain to concrete surfaces before sealing, follow the steps above.
To apply stain, Sherwin-Williams suggests:
Apply two coats of Sher-Crete Flexible Waterproofer, H&C Concrete Sealer Solid Color, or H&C Concrete Stain Solid Color according to label directions.
For slip resistance, add H&C® SharkGrip® Slip Resistant Additive to the stain before the application of the second coat. SharkGrip will not change the color of the stain. (This product should not be used in place of a nonskid finish.)
You must wait until the stain is completely dry before applying the sealant. Depending on the humidity ad temperature, you may need to wait up to 24 hours.
Rosie suggests spraying no more than 50 feet at a time with as even a coat as possible. Your partner should be right behind you with a soft-bristled broom or paintbrush, working it into the surface’s pores and wiping up any liquid that pools or doesn’t broom in. Apply one coat of a solvent-based sealer or two coats of a water-based product. It will dry in around 30 minutes.
Step 7 – Maintaining the surface
Regularly sweep the patio and clean spills right away. Reseal the surface every one to two years.
Join Rosie on the House every Saturday morning from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on KTAR News 92.3 FM. If you’d like to send us questions or comments, email mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter and “Like” us on Facebook. For more do-it-yourself tips, go to rosieonthehouse.com. An Arizona home building and remodeling industry expert since 1988, Rosie Romero is the host of the syndicated Saturday morning Rosie on the House radio program. Call 888-767-4348 with questions and comments.