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Should I Seal My Patio Slabs: Pros and Cons [+ What To Expect]

In the majority of cases, the answer to should I seal my patio is – Yes.

You don’t need to seal, but there are many benefits to sealing patios and only a few downsides to sealing patio stones. Below we will dive into the general pros and cons of sealing a patio. 

Later in the article, we will break down our UK patios by the most common materials as the advice we’d give can vary considerably based on the type of patio stone you have.

Let’s dive in.

Just in case you’re wondering who we are, my name is John, and I am the owner of North East Paving And Gardens; I’ve been laying driveways and patios for over 30 years. 

We have completed over 1000 stone paving cleaning and patio sealing projects across the North East in the last decade. 

We’ve learned a thing or two about clean and seal and even more about the patio sealers themselves. Working with these services teaches you a bit or two about how stone reacts to different weather conditions and UV light!

4 Reasons Why You Should Seal Garden Patio Stones

1) Protecting Means Less Maintenance

Pretty simple to understand, the hours of work accumulated over the years maintaining a patio is huge. You may not notice, but a brush here and powerwash their sharp build-up to year-round, time-consuming effort or a few quid to get someone to do it.

Once a patio is sealed, if you don’t use some cheap acrylic sealer or water-based sealer, the maintenance will be significantly reduced.

  • It won’t become self-cleaning, but there will be an aspect of this as dust and dirt will land and be washed away naturally by rainwater.
  • A quick hose pipe clean will replace washing and scrubbing.
  • A professionally sealed patio should have no need for power washing dirt away.
  • It should now be stain resistant which is a big help.

So, unless you love hard graft and elbow grease, that’s just one of the maintenance aspects you can relax on when sealing pavers.

2) Strengthen Against Sinking

Again, pretty self-explanatory, but if the patio stones are sealed, they are bonded to one another; this already happens with the jointing compound used. Still, the sealer will add another level of strength – which, as the years roll by, will protect against rocking flags.

3) Restoration Is Cheaper Than Replacement

The cost of a new patio can easily be multiple thousands nowadays. The cost of sealing a patio and restoring it to somewhere near shouldn’t be anything near that. Now please remember none of these patio sealants is a magic wand.

It won’t ever look like it was just laid again, but it’s 100% possible to remove stains and turn a grubby, well worn looking patio area into something very respectable and something you are happy with. So if you are asking, should I seal my patio? The answer is yes; it will save money and improve the appearance of your outdoor space.

pcs-a pcs-b

4) Colour Enhancement

If you’ve had a garden patio or stone paving for more than a few years, you probably don’t talk about the colour much anymore! 

But depending on the quality of the flagstones, the colour is almost always there, ready to return. I say depending on quality because the better the patio material, usually the better the result. 

Many wet look sealers now include a colour enhancer inside the product, so you not only get the protection discussed above but applying sealant can really bring out the colours in a way you may not have seen before. They also resist UV rays which helps the stone retain its natural look longer.

Quick note, matt finish sealers generally don’t have colour enhancers; you need to buy a specifically wet or glossy finish to achieve the results on stone patios you can see below.

Should I Seal a Block Paved Patio?

In our experience, all concrete block paving comes up well when you clean and seal. These are porous stone blocks, which means they suck in the sealant a little too well at times, leaving you with a second coat to do. Keep that porosity in mind from application to application!

Providing you jet wash the block paving thoroughly, the expected results from sealing block paving can be exceptional. If the block paving is recently laid, then wait at least 8-12 weeks for efflorescence to go or remove it properly. Sealing in efflorescence is the main tripwire to watch for when sealing a recent install. Below you can access what we believe are the to block paving sealers out there right now.

For the best block paving sealer, it’s here.

Should You Seal Indian Sandstone Paving?

There is arguably no better patio stone to seal than Indian sandstone because the natural stone is awash with colour – anyhow, it responds dramatically to the correct sealant and the results can be unbelievable.

Again, you will have to go through the sealing process methodically and run the pressure washer over to remove dirt, avoiding the joints. It’s usually a one-coat application that will give protection and colour enhancement.

For the best Indian sandstone sealant, it’s here.

Can You Seal Slate Paving – Yes or No?

You don’t necessarily need to seal slate, though you really can’t do more than improve the natural stone look! Much as you would with different types of garden paving and patio slabs in general, you should ideally take a look at applying sealer to these types of products as carefully as possible.

However, if you want the best out of the appearance of your stone, choose to go with products that are specially designed for sealing slate patio stones.

Should I Seal Natural Stone?

Yes. It makes sense to use patio sealer or paver sealer on natural stone simply because the weather will damage its appearance. To avoid spoiling to look, to protect against stains and spillages, you should invest in the best product on the market to seal natural patio stone.

You can get away with not sealing natural stone, but then you risk your patio starting to look tired and worn long before its time. It may vary from product to product, but now you’ve learned how to seal patio paving slabs, it should be a cinch.

Can Porcelain Paving be Sealed?

Porcelain paving probably needs the help of sealers less than natural stone. However, in our opinion, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Porcelain is already an immensely resistant and durable product, meaning using a sealer might not be cost-effective.

However, the best sealers or sealer brands out there will help to lock in that just-cleaned look, as well as protect it for years to come.

The bottom line, however, is you’re going to need specialist products for Porcelain sealing. Cheap and basic patio sealers aren’t going to cut it.

Best Patio Sealers to Buy

The best stone sealer for you might well be different from that which other people pick. Essentially, whether you choose EverBuild, SmartSeal or Resiblock sealers or some other branded sealant, it doesn’t matter.

The best products for sealing paving stones depend on the type of stone you’ve got; concrete paver sealing is different from limestone pavers sealing and so on. It also depends on how well you execute the application process. A common method is to jet wash the patio, then wait until completely dry before applying evenly.

Last Word

If you are looking at sealing your patio in the near future, it’s time to grab that stone sealer and make sure your patio looks its best. With careful maintenance over the years to come, you can make sure your garden surface looks absolutely stunning – and all it might take is a simple finish or surface coat.

Sealing paving slabs, be they granite, natural stone paving, or a sedimentary stone, like Indian Sandstone, is incredibly easy; be aware of using safety equipment if you choose a solvent-based product and remove dirt before sealing patio pavers.

Best of luck on your sealing journey – you’ll have the perfect surface look and protection for years to come.