How Do You Tell If Your Pavers Are Sealed?

If you’re not sure whether your pavers are sealed, there are a few ways to tell. The first thing to do is check for signs of deterioration. 

If the surface of your pavers has cracked or chipped away, it’s possible that water has gotten underneath and caused the deterioration (or at least accelerated it). 

Paver sealing can help protect your pavers from wear and tear, as well as prevent stains and color fading.
Not all pavers require sealing, so consider the climate and level of foot traffic in the area before deciding whether to seal your pavers.
The frequency of sealing your pavers will depend on the type of sealer used, the material of your pavers, and the level of foot traffic.
It’s possible to seal your pavers yourself, but it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and use the right equipment.
Hiring a professional to seal your pavers can ensure a proper application and save you time and effort.

This is one example of a tell-tale sign that you should look for if you want to know whether your pavers need sealing.

Check for signs of deterioration

The first thing to check for when determining if pavers need sealing is whether or not the surface has any signs of deterioration. 

To do this, you’ll want to look for cracks, chipping, crumbling and flaking. You’ll also want to check for peeling seams in between the pavers—if this happens it can indicate that they need sealing.

How to seal outdoor pavers | Earth Works Jax

Wash the pavers and check for sealant

First, wash the pavers to remove any dirt and debris. You can use a pressure washer or a garden hose with a scrub brush to clean the pavers. If you have time, let the pavers dry completely before attempting to seal them.

If you’re not able to wash your pavers thoroughly because of time constraints or other factors, you may want to try using some sort of cleaning agent on them instead. 

Mix one part white vinegar with two parts water in a bucket; then use that mixture on your driveway. Vinegar is an acid-based cleaner that will loosen dirt from the surface of your driveway without damaging it in any way.

After washing and/or cleaning your driveway, inspect its surface for cracks, holes or imperfections (elderly driveways tend not to be smooth). 

Fill these areas with mortar mix or cement filler; let dry completely before sealing.

“When it comes to maintaining the quality and appearance of your pavers, stripping and sealing is an essential step. Our article on how to strip and seal pavers provides a comprehensive guide to help you keep your pavers looking their best.”

Try the water test

If you’re at a loss for how to tell if your pavers are sealed, try the water test. Put a drop of water on the pavers and see what happens. If it beads up, then they’re sealed. If it soaks in immediately, your pavers probably aren’t sealed.


If you find that your pavers are beginning to show signs of stains, it is important to remember that not all stains are caused by sealant. If the stain is brown or black, then it is likely due to dirt or other elements in your yard. 

However, if the stain appears white or yellow in color, then there may be a problem with the sealant on your pavers. 

This is because some pavers use white or yellow sealants that can be easily mistaken for dirt stains by homeowners who do not know how to tell them apart.

You should avoid using chemicals like bleach on these types of stains because they can damage both the surface of your paver and any remaining sealant underneath it (if there was any). 

You should also avoid using an acid-based cleaner as this will cause even more damage than bleach would have done alone!

“Pressure cleaners can be a great tool for cleaning pavers, but they’re not always necessary. Our article on how to clean pavers without a pressure cleaner offers alternative methods that are just as effective.”


Spills are one of the easiest ways to tell if your pavers are sealed. If you notice any spills, it’s best to check them out right away. 

If they’re fresh, it’s probably not a problem. However, if they’ve been there for some time or are dry and cracked and flaking off, then it may indicate a sealant failure.

Sealer residue on gloves or hands

If you have any sealer residue on your hands or gloves, it means the pavers are not sealed. You can also see the difference in color between a sealed and unsealed paver by comparing them side-by-side. 

Sealed pavers have a more even texture and look like they’re made of concrete rather than stone. The unsealed ones will have a rougher appearance that sticks out as different from its neighbors.

“Sealing your pavers is an important step in protecting them from wear and tear, but it’s important to apply the sealer correctly to get the best results. Learn more about the best way to apply sealer to pavers in our article on what is the best way to apply sealer to pavers.”

Scratch the surface

If you have pavers, it is important to know whether or not they are sealed. You can tell if your pavers are sealed by simply scratching them with your fingernail.

If a white powder appears on the surface of the paver, it has been sealed—if no powder appears at all or if you see a black powder instead of the expected white one, then your pavers are probably not sealed.

Look for chalky powder

To determine if your pavers are sealed, look for chalky powder. This white powder is a sign that the sealant has deteriorated and needs to be reapplied. 

It can mean that the paver installation was not completed properly and has become unsealed, or it could mean that the sealant itself has deteriorated over time.

If you are looking at a new installation of pavers and see no chalky powder, this tells you that there was never any sealant applied in the first place!

“It can be difficult to tell if your pavers are sealed or not, but it’s an important thing to know in order to maintain their quality. Our article on how do I know if my pavers are sealed provides helpful tips and advice to help you determine if your pavers are sealed or not.”

Check for a change in color

If your pavers are still a consistent color, then the sealant has not worn off yet. However, if you notice a change in the color of your pavers (such as from dark brown to gray), it is likely that the sealant has begun to wear off and needs reapplied.

Test the joints

To test whether or not the pavers have been sealed, use a screwdriver to pry up one of the joints. If it is loose, then your pavers have been sealed. If not, you’re probably safe!

“Building a paver patio can be a great addition to your outdoor living space, but it’s important to consider the cost before beginning the project. Our article on how much does a 20×10 paver patio cost offers a breakdown of the expenses you can expect when building a paver patio.”

Try the polish test

To test whether your pavers have been properly sealed, rub a small section with a dry towel. If the surface is shiny and smooth, it means that your sealer is still intact. 

But if there’s no change in appearance or feel after you rub the surface (or if it feels rough), then that particular area of your patio isn’t sealed anymore.


A good sealer will protect your pavers for years to come, meaning you can enjoy them for many more years without worrying about the weather. 

Don’t let this be a problem for you! If you think that your paver needs to be resealed but aren’t sure if it has been done yet, try one of these tests and see how much longer they can last.

Further Reading

Paver Sealing Frequently Asked Questions: This article provides answers to frequently asked questions about paver sealing, including how often to seal pavers and the benefits of sealing.

Do Pavers Need to Be Sealed?: This article discusses the pros and cons of sealing pavers and provides tips for maintaining unsealed pavers.

Paver Sealant: Seal or Not to Seal: This article discusses the benefits of sealing pavers, the types of sealers available, and provides tips for applying sealer.


Should I seal my pavers?

Sealing your pavers can help protect them from wear and tear, as well as prevent stains and color fading. However, it’s not always necessary to seal your pavers, especially if they’re made from a durable material like concrete. Consider the climate and level of foot traffic in the area before deciding whether to seal your pavers or not.

How often should I seal my pavers?

The frequency of sealing your pavers will depend on the type of sealer used, the material of your pavers, and the level of foot traffic. As a general rule, it’s recommended to seal your pavers every 2-3 years. However, some sealers may require more frequent application.

Can I seal my pavers myself?

Yes, it is possible to seal your pavers yourself. However, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and use the right equipment to ensure a proper application. Alternatively, you can hire a professional to seal your pavers for you.

How long does it take for paver sealer to dry?

The drying time of paver sealer will depend on the type of sealer used and the weather conditions. In general, most sealers will dry within 24 hours. However, it’s important to avoid walking or driving on the pavers until the sealer is completely dry.

Can I apply sealer to wet pavers?

No, it’s important to wait until the pavers are completely dry before applying sealer. Applying sealer to wet pavers can result in an uneven application and may cause the sealer to peel or flake off over time.