The sealing of new paving, concrete, or feature stone is the final step in many landscaping projects. Often by this stage the budget has been stretched to include unforeseen expenses, like drainage or difficult site works; or additional inclusions, such as a stone feature wall or decorative paving borders. In such instances there is a temptation to delay application of sealers until the finances have recovered or to forget about sealing altogether.
Before making such a decision it is important to consider why you should seal your external hard surfaces in the first place.
Pavement is not cheap. As a rough guideline paved areas will account for 10% of the cost of the average suburban home. If you want to retain the value in your home, proper maintenance of your pavement cannot be overlooked.
The sun, rain, dirt, pool and cleaning chemicals, oils, moss, algae, mould and mildew, and wear and tear all combine to prematurely age your pavement and devalue your asset. Sealers provide a physical barrier around your pavement and stonework. This barrier not only provides a sacrificial wear layer but also effectively blocks the pores of your pavement to prevent these nasties from getting into the substrate where they can cause more harm.
A suitable quality sealer can be applied for typically less than 10% of the cost of your paving and will increase the serviceable life of the pavement by about 40%.
Paving generally does not have an easy life. Not only is it constantly exposed to the elements, it often has to deal with pets, children and frequent entertaining. Throughout its life it will have all sorts of things spilled, dropped or thrown at it. Since masonry, pavement, concrete and stone are all porous substances most of these spills won’t just sit on the surface but will get down into the porous structure of the material and leave nasty stains that can be difficult if not impossible to completely remove.
Since sealers create a physical barrier all such spills will remain on the surface and can be as easily cleaned up as if they were on your kitchen bench top.
Since a sealer resists stains and keeps out all those nasties that can cause premature aging, discolouration and erosion, pavement treated with a quality sealer will retain that just laid look for many years into the future.
More than that sealer can be used to enhance the appearance so it looks better than just laid. There are wet look sealers that deepen and accentuate colour. Satin and gloss finishes to help your pavement shine and even tinted sealers to change the colour and appearance of your pavement completely. Such sealers can also be used to reinvigorate old and tired looking pavement to give your yard a fresh new look.
Considering the benefits, perhaps the question you should be asking yourself is not
"can I afford to get the sealing done?" but rather "can I afford not to?!"
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