Be Clean and Seal Wise
There are so many pitfalls a homeowner can face when hiring a Contractor. In 26 years of business we get 10 phone calls a day from people needing help. Whether it be a bad install, shoddy workmanship or a contractor not knowing how to clean and seal properly. Our hope is that this flyer will help steer you through the process.
1. The first and most important step is hiring a reputable contractor. Do your due diligence! The first thing you should understand is the majority of landscapers and cleaning and sealing and companies are not Hardscape Contractor’s. Check for these items:
- How long have they been in business under this name? Have they changed names frequently? The internet is a great research tool.
- Do they have a physical business address not a PO box?
- Do they install brick and have a good understanding of the different types?
- Do they have a 1 million- 2million dollar insurance policy with workman’s comp?
- Check to make sure they have a legitimate website. With actual photos of their work.
This is a highly skilled job and if done by a nonprofessional, it can cost you thousands or even a complete brick replacement to fix. Sealing products can be highly flammable you will want a professional using them around your home.
2. Polymeric sand /hard sand. Is a difficult subject to understand so I will try to explain. The majority of company’s say they use polymeric sand, when they don’t. When they try to use it with sealer they create a big mess. Polymeric sand must be installed properly. Our crews are trained by the manufacture how to install it properly. You can use polymeric sand with water base sealers because it is the water that activates the polymeric fibers to set up. Oil or solvent base does not. But the downfall of that is when you back roll the sealer with a roller the sand gets stuck to the roller going all over the brick. Not to mention all the polymeric fibers or Portland cement are stuck to the top of the brick leaving a haze because they never blew it off correctly. Please keep in mind when you use a good sealer it stabilizes the joint sand which makes it hard making hard sand is unnecessary. When does it peal out after the contractor has left it is because it was top coated using polymeric sand or joint stabilizer. Which will not bond with the old sand still left in the joint. The only way to properly do it is blow all the old joint sand out and start from scratch.
- If You have to have polymeric sand, we will move from a 2 step process to a 3 step process. Which means an extra day for labor and means quite a bit more money. Normal procedure is to wash and clean one day and come back another day after the brick is dried fully to sand and seal. If you want polymeric sand, you need to come back sand and wet the polymeric sand then wait at least one day for that to dry and then seal the following day. This makes it 3 trips to your house instead of 2. Be prepared to pay for this extra step
3. What sealers are they using? Are they solvent based(oil) or water base? Both have pros and cons you should be aware of.
- Oil/solvent base being the strongest last 5-7 years.
- Oil base is much harder to install, but you get a better result. Oil/solvent base is very expensive and difficult to get off.
- Water base last 3 years.
- Water base can be removed much easier without harsh strippers. And if a mistake is made by a contractor or mother nature (rain) which happens quite often, the water base is a lot more forgiving to get off.
Our Technicians are trained by SEK insuring that you get top quality results. Our Sealers are Professional top of the line quality products manufactured by SEK. With our more than 26 years of experience these products have shown them to be the best in the field.
A cheaper price does not mean quality. Landscapers and sealing companies will always be cheaper due to unskilled labor and inferior products. But they will never be able to produce a quality job a professional company will. If you don’t want to pay twice or even three times what you paid the first time. Do your due diligence and hire a professional.