Wet Look Paving Seal – Water-Based vs. Solvent-Based: Which is Better?


If you’ve recently started looking for a wet-look paving seal to use for your new paver patio, walkway, or driveway, you may feel confused due to all the options and terms. What’s an acrylic sealer? Do these sealers offer different levels of protection? Is there a difference between water- and solvent-based wet look paving seal?

These are all important questions to ask as you look for the right product for your paver area. Today, we’re going to take a look at a question that comes up often when people are first deciding on a wet look paving sealant…

What do Water-Based and Solvent-Based Wet Look Paving Seals Have in Common?

When you first begin reading about these two kinds of sealer, you may get the impression that they’re utterly different. And while they do have some major differences, they also have a lot in common. So, let’s go over some ways that water-based and solvent-based are alike…

  • Both offer high-quality protection. Whether you’re hoping to keep your pavers stain-free or protect them from harmful UV rays, both water- and solvent-based sealants are a great option.
  • Both are simple to apply. Water-based and many solvent-based sealers can easily be applied with a simple garden sprayer. Thanks to such an easy application, anyone can get a consistent, even coat without expensive equipment or previous training.
  • Both have a similar lifetime. Like everything in life, wet look paving seal won’t last forever. And neither kind will give you considerably more time than any other. Generally, you’ll need to plan on resealing your pavers every 2-3 years.
  • Both can offer a wet look. In the past, solvent-based sealers were able to leave a higher-gloss finish but thanks to recent technological advances, today, a good water-based sealer can do just as well.

While there are numerous similarities between these two kinds of sealer, there are also a number of differences, including…

  • Water- and solvent-based sealants are made up of different material. In order to achieve the protection they offer, these two kinds of sealers work in slightly different ways. Solvent-based sealer is made up of a mixture of polymers dispersed throughout a solvent that evaporates after application and leaves a thick coat on the surface of the pavers or concrete. Water-based sealers include polymers dispersed in a water base. After the water evaporates, the polymers deform and fuse together on the surface of the pavers.
  • Water-based sealers are less dangerous. Since solvent-based sealants include chemical solvents, they tend to be more dangerous and require greater precaution. They release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can be hazardous when breathed in. As a result, it’s important to make sure there’s plenty of ventilation when applying a solvent-based sealer.

In the past, if you wanted a wet look paving seal, you would have been forced to go with a solvent-based sealant. Fortunately, that’s no longer the case. Today, you can get the finest wet look while taking advantage of the safety benefits of water-based sealant.

Click here for more information about Seal ‘n Lock super Wet Look water based concrete paver sealer.

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