Introduction to Masonary Products:
Masonry products are by their nature both porous and have a reactive surface. The porosity varies from manufacture to manufacture and even between products made by the same company. This means any liquid placed on the surface will travel into the paver with less porous (more dense) pavers taking a little more time than the more porous paver. Because pavers are very porous this creates a large surface area within the paver that reacts with and holds onto liquids that enter the paver eg. Red Wine, cooking oil, sunscreen lotion etc. Once in the paver these stains are very difficult to remove.
Similarly if pavers are being grouted then grout smears is difficult to remove for all the above reasons and additionally the grout material is similiar to the body of the paver.
Sealing is important to protect your pavers by putting a layer of "resin" on the surface of the masonry material to insulate it from permanent staining. Sealing will not stop your pavers from getting dirty but will make them easier to clean and help prevent permanent marking of the paver. Sealing is an investment to protect your substantial capital outlay in your new and attractive paved area.
Selecting an Appropriate Cleaner:
Pavers should be dry and clean before sealing. The typical stains and marks you may need to remove before sealing includes efflorescence, organic stains, mineral stains and rubber tyre marks. Envirnonex had developed an appropiate cleaner for each of these stain types.
EFFLORESCENCE is the appearance of white salts on the surface of the paver which are left behind after moisture carrying dissolved salts from the bedding material or from inside the body of the paver evaporates from the heat of the sun. This is why it is important to use road base, washed alluvial sand or a concrete base upon which to lay pavers and not crusher dust which is a major and continuing source of dissolved salts contributing to efflorenscence. Efflorescence is removed with Environex Anti Eff, a special mix of acids that will not harm the pavers. Simply wet the paver, apply Anti Eff that has been diluted with water at 1 to 25 for 30 seconds, brush gently with nylon brush for 30 seconds and wash off with copious amounts of fresh water and neutralize the area for any residual acid with a weak alkaline solution. A weak solution of kitchen sink washing detergent would be suitable.
ORGANIC STAINS include mould, algae, tannin stains from leaves and twigs, bird and bat droppings and timber stains from furniture. We recommend Environmex Maestro, a strong bleaching compound. Dilute 1 part Maestro to 4 parts water and apply directly to the stain after removing any bulk material from the bird or bat droppings. Leave for approximately 20 minutes and the stain will disappear. Wash off the area with fresh water and repeat if the stain persists.
MINERAL STAINS are typically dirt from surrounding areas such as red or black soil, grout smear from grouting the pavers and rust stains from metal objects left on the pacer surface. To remove these marks we recommend Environex Anti Eff.Use the same process as decscribed for treating efflorenscence.
RUBBER TYRE MARKS are removed by applications of S21 Multi Purpose Cleaner direct to the mark, leave for two minutes, scrub with a nylon brush and wash off with water.
BAN RUST is a remarkable blend of mildly acidic cleaning agents designed to easily and rapidly remove bore water and rust stains from most surfaces.
CLEANING AFTER SEALING to maintain the pavers we recommend Environex Refresh. Refresh is designed for use in cold, warm or hot water and will remove and clean food deposits, general dirt, soil and grime build up and will prevent transfer of these soiling agents to other areas such as carpets etc. by foot traffic. Sweep before cleaning, dilute Refresh in warm or hot water at the rate of 20mls Refresh per litre of water and mop or brush onto the surface and mop or hose off after cleaning and allow to dry.
Selecting an Appropriate Sealer:
There are two types of Sealers:-
Penetrating Sealers protect the paver from the inside out. On application they move through the surface and coat the paver immediately below the surface with a protective resin coating. They generally have the characteristic of not changing the surface colour of the paver or the surface texture. The paver will look the same after sealing as it does before sealing. Penetrating sealers also allow the paver to breathe so water vapour can escape from within the paver.
Topical Sealers protect the paver at the surface by having a resin coat across the top of the paver. They generally have the characteristics of darkening the pavers appearance often referred to as giving the paver a "wet look". This is more pronounced on darker coloured pavers. As topical sealers cover the paver surface they generally do not allow the paver to breathe and care should be used if the area has a frequent source of moisture coming to the surface below the paver.
Topical sealers, depending on the sealer that is chosen, the porosity of the paver and the surface texture of the paver, can result in a slippery surface when wet. Check with your Environex supplier for advice on this matter.
Environex has a wide range of both penetrating and topical sealers developed and manufactured in Australia for Australian conditions. These are described in the coloured brochure Environex Sealing and Cleaning Guide. Discuss your requirements with the staff at Wholesale Sleeper Co so we can guide you in making the correct decision. Generally 1 Litre of sealer will cover 5m2 with 2 coats.
Sealer for Retaining Wall (Segmented masonry block) Environex Clear Seal is a water based penetrating sealer that is easily applied and will keep the wall free from mould growth for up to 4 years and make the rough face easy to clean. 1 litre is sufficient for about 7m2 and only one coat is required.
As Environex does not know all the circumstance in your situation - they recommend you test a small area first to confirm the suggested procedure and to refine your technique. All Technical Bulletins are available on the Environex website - just click on sealers. Please observe safety instructions on the label.
www.environex.net.au for more information.
Tuscan Seal TSL is a penetrating sealer formulated to seal and protect all natural, man-made stone and masonry products. Tuscan TSL is a natural sealer that may alter the appearance on some very dense stone but will not alter the texture of the surface and will not create a slippery finish. Tuscan TSL is therefore recommended as a sealer around pools, on paths, sloping driveways and on any surface requiring a non-slippery finish. Always test first. Available in 2 litre bottles.
Endure is a solvent based acrylic resin designed to give a wet look to surfaces where it is applied. It is typically associated with the gloss look of slate floors. Endure can be applied to Slate, Sandstone and most types of pavers. It is not suitable for Terracotta or very dense surfaces such as Porcelain. To apply be sure that the surface is clean and dry. Always do a test patch especially on floors where an unknown sealer has been used. If any strange reaction happens call Enironex for advice.
Hi Lite is a sealer that provides a darkening of the surface without the normal slippery surface that can result (in most cases). It is suitable for indoor and outdoor use and is best suited for pavers where a darker look is desired.
Synergy is a new generation penetrating liquid that consolidates, hardens and binds the surface of the porous and friable masonry materials. Synergy also possesses premium penetrating sealer properties to ensure maximum protection of the stone from permanent staining. Synergy has been scientifically developed and laboratory tested against Australian Standards. Synergy has been developed especially for use around all swimming pools to assist in prevention of salt attack and is warranted for a period of 2 years.
Penetrating Plus is a solvent low cost sealer providing protection for 1-2 years.
Concrete Transformations - Charcoal Tint is designed to give tired old paving or concrete a new lease of life. Do not seal under 10 degrees or over 30 degrees. Simply add 1700g of Charcoal Tint to a 20 Litre drum of Endure, Stir well and apply with an Environex Lambswool Applicator and see the difference (First coat add 4 litre of Cyclone to 20 Litres of Endure).
Visit www.environex.net.au for more information.