Expansion of More Durable Pavements
A trend has grown rapidly across the U.S., with an increasing number of landscape architects, engineers and city planners specifying interlocking pavers. This has come about not only due to the superior durability and lower maintenance of pavers, but also for the broad selections of paver colors and patterns available today.
Pavement projects have expanded from patios and residential walkways to public parks, hotels, shopping malls, amusement parks, pools and even large stadiums, streets and roads. To further ensure the best possible paver installations in these heavy-traffic areas, the use of epoxy-modified joint stabilizing protective sealers has become standard. Not only do these single-application sealers enhance and bring the paver colors and patterns to life, but they also offer functional improvements.
Stabilizing sealers have come a long way over the years. Improvements in the chemical makeup of today's epoxy-modified protective stabilizing sealers have made the application into a quick and simple one-step process. Not only can you seal the pavers as soon as they are installed, but a single flood coat application also bonds the joint sand together, forming a complete monolithic installation. Older sealers required a three- to six-month waiting period before they could be safely applied and, by that time, pavements with heavy traffic would be dirty. Also, today's stabilizing sealers are safe, non-hazardous and non-flammable, unlike the older versions.
Today's sealers offer quite a few benefits for mason contractors and their clients.
These clear sealers penetrate the surface when applied and at the same time seal and bond the joint sand, forming a corrosion protective barrier. This is very important as many high-traffic pavements are pressure-washed and cleaned once or twice a month. Oftentimes for large stadiums and amusement parks, pressure cleaning is completed nightly to remove spilled drinks and food as well as the normal dirt and grime. For coastal and northern winter states, stabilizing sealers also provide protection from salt corrosion.
The protective barrier also protects the joints from the growth of unsightly weeds and dirt pickup. These added benefits save on maintenance while keeping the pavements looking new.
A further and even more critical benefit of sealing is that the bonding of the joint sand prevents it from being washed away and eroded by rain and weather. This bonding capability has increased paver installation opportunities ? the use of pavers for swimming pool markets has been increasing steadily. For years, the pool industry was reluctant to specify pavers due to worries about joint sand washing into the pools and causing pump abrasion or harmful bacteria developing in the sand. But with the use of a stabilizing sealer, these problems have been eliminated for large public pools, residential pools, fountain areas and new fountain parks.
Stabilizing sealers also protect against acid rain, keeping pavements bright and clean. Being acid-resistant is a real benefit because rust and mineral deposits, results of lawn sprinklers and other sources, can be quickly and easily removed with mild acid-based commercial cleaners.
Finally, epoxy-modified stabilizing sealers are also breathable, allowing trapped water vapor to escape, helping to eliminate freeze-thaw spalling problems and winter damage.
The marriage of pavers and protective epoxy-modified stabilizing sealers has given the mason contractor and paver industry a more durable pavement.
About the Author
Garry Perkins, President of Surebond Incorporated, is the inventor and manufacturer of the SB-1300-1370 sealers. Perkins has several years experience developing sealants and holds dozens of patents.