Sealing a brick block drive?

The chap who laid my brick-paving drive a year ago replaced a couple of bricks today and in passing suggested that "You really should get it sealed." He went on to elaborate that he would - remove the few bits off grass that were growing in the sand - sweep in new sand - using a roller, cover the surface with a 'sealer', that would effectively retain the sand by covering it with a thin plastic layer, keeping out further weeds, and enhance the general appearance of the bricks ('Marshalls').
Of course, he's just looking for some fast extra income (he quoted £450) but I wonder whether the suggestion has merit anyway? If so, is it the sort of thing I might do myself?
--
Terry, East Grinstead, UK

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Everyone on here appears to recommend this site for information
http://www.pavingexpert.com /
Tony
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Terry Pinnell wrote:

It is the sort of thing you can do yourself....I do block paving for a living, but don't include it in any of my quotes because I hate putting it down, plus it puts the price up.
If you are going to do it, you need to remove the existing grass first otherwise it's a wasted exercise - use sodium chlorate, and do the entire drive, then leave to dry for a few days. go to a builders merchant and buy silica sand, or kiln dried sand, but make sure it's the stuff especially for drives - don't buy KDS from B&Q as it's not the right stuff - the grains are too big and they won't hold in the joints....proper silica sand is white, or to be more precise, magnolia, and it's the stuff used in egg-timers.
use a soft brush (when the drive is completely dry - no moisture showing in any of the joints) and brush the sand all over, making sure you fill all the joints level and not leaving any surplus sand on the surface.
Then go over it with patio and block paving sealant (about £90 for 25L) using a roller....it splashes up your hands and arms and sets like plastic, meaning you have to pull your arm hairs out to get it off, unless you have an industrial sized bottle of acetone.....coverage is about 4m2 per litre, that is to say, I used about 20L on an 80m2 drive a few weeks ago, so you can work out from this how much you need, again, don't use B&Q because: A) it's expensive, and B) it's crap
it binds the grains of sand together making an inpenetrable surface for seeds etc, which, contrary to popular belief, is how weeds appear in paving, and not from underneath as commonly thought.
You need to do it every 24 months for it to be most effective.
--
Phil L
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Phil L wrote:

Hi Phil
What do you think about this type of product? http://www.wickes.co.uk/Paving-Accessories/Patio-Grout/invt/154002
--
Dave - The Medway Handyman
www.medwayhandyman.co.uk
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The Medway Handyman wrote:

Quite possibly the most expensive thing to point paving with - 11L will cover about 4m2 of paving, and at £20, that makes it a fiver a metre just for pointing - not bad if it's just a stone circle feature type of thing, but a whole patio or drive would be out of the question....most people use a type of mastic gun filled with sand/cement, quite weak, about 6:1, which seems very effective and fast, although I've never used it and prefer to butt my flags close together, IE a few mm or less....then brush KDS into the 'joints'
--
Phil L
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Phil L wrote:

I was thinking about the old patio slabs that look a right state - any good for that? I was wondering about the claim that is stops weed growth - do you think it would stop weeds?
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Dave - The Medway Handyman
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Phil L wrote:

Sounds like it'd be worth shaving them off beforehand!
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... or wear some long gloves.
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Gauntlets, as we call them :-)
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Frank Erskine

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I call them long gloves. You can call them what you like. ;-)
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so i guess it sets like plastic on the drive, hence why it looks so shiney on the drive, makes a nice looking drive look crap to be honnest when they are shiney,
parents had a concrete drive in that coloured stuff with the patterns in it done, looked brilliant, natural and all that, then they applied the sealer, and it looks naff,
but i guess a shiney drive is better than one with weeds growing through it.
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gazz wrote:

shiney concrete drives are nice and slippery in the wet not sure this stuff is the same?
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Kevin R
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i expected my parents drive to be slippery in the wet, but amazingly it's quite grippy, just looks soooo artificial and naff shining away like a plastic model.
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I always wondered why those patterned concrete drives looked so shiney and horrid. I'd rather have weeds...
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and presumptuous desire for a second one."
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Kevin wrote:

If you don't want shiny or weeds I found treating with sodium chlorate every couple of years does the job. I have a yard lower than the road so instead of getting a ramp in I laid concrete blocks to raise a part of the yard to the level of the road for off street parking. The gaps get weeds and moss in them so I just fill a watering can with a strong solution of sodium chlorate and treat the whole lot in spring.
--


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Shouldn't it also have the benefit of stopping the ants from digging the sand out, which leads to subsidence when the paving is run over by motor vehicles.
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Many thanks Phil, appreciate the detailed and helpful reply. I'll give that some serious thought.
One cause for hesitation is the one raised later in the thread, about the 'shiny' effect on the bricks. Without a 'before and after' picture I'm not sure if it would improve or spoil the general effect. What do you think?
I'm going to post another question about my brick drive, which will include a photo, so I'll show the link here too as my 'before'.
http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s247/terrypin999/20080314-083341.jpg
--
Terry, East Grinstead, UK

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Terry Pinnell wrote:

NP
I forgot to to add that it comes in matt and gloss finishes...the matt one does have a slight sheen on it when it's new, but definitely not shiny.

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Phil L
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Phil L wrote:

Pretty much any surface coating looks shiny if it is allowed to form a film on the surface. Normally the answer is to thin it and mop the excess off before it dries. How this would work with paving I'm not so sure
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stuart noble wrote:

The matt one isn't shiny as such, once it's dry, it looks more like it's had a coat of white spirit, IE the rainwater forms into small pools on each block.
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Phil L
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