Tips For Sealing Success

Tips For Sealing Success

There’s more to know about sealing a surface than how to correctly apply the sealer. Because Trident cleaning and sealing products are designed for professional use, we offer education and support to our contractor customers to ensure success at sealing all types of surfaces. To give you an idea of what’s involved; here are some important steps to achieving sealing success.

Selecting the Right Sealer

Trident offers many types of sealers and each one has different benefits. Don't assume you know what your customer wants without asking questions to uncover their specific expectations and goals in sealing their surface.  Once you have a good understanding, this will help lead you to selecting the right sealer for their project. The intuitive menus on our website can help you with selecting a Trident sealer as well as our sealer selection guide.

Performing a Pre-Test Evaluation

To ensure final results will meet the expectations, the selected sealer should be applied to a small, inconspicuous area on the project or on a similar loose piece of surface material for evaluation and approval before full application. If it's not the look they want, go back to step one and select a different sealer.

Surface Preparation

Before sealing, the surface should be thoroughly clean and free from stains, oil, dust, loose material and previously applied sealer. Use Trident spot cleaners to tackle specific stains and then follow up with our multi-purpose surface cleaner so the surface will look its best. A properly cleaned surface will provide optimal conditions for sealer adhesion. Click here for tips on cleaning success.

Ensure the Surface is Dry

Most Trident sealers require that the surface dries 24 hours after cleaning and/or rain before application to avoid trapping moisture under the sealer. There are some exceptions to this rule such as the products in the Hurricane Series and Trident’s Break Wall and Sea Wall sealers. Be sure to read the  instructions on the label or technical data sheet to learn more.

Check the Weather Forecast

Trident sealers should be applied when day and night temperatures are between 40°F and 95°F. If the surface is too hot, the sealer may flash off or evaporate before it has time to penetrate or adhere to the surface. After applying most Trident sealers, you will need 24 hours of dry weather. Again, there are some exceptions to this rule such as Trident’s Tsunami sealer which is rain safe after 90 minutes. Check the forecast to make sure it doesn’t call for rain and be sure the irrigation system is turned off for the required period of time.

Install Joint Sand

If using a joint stabilizing sealer to harden joint sand, the paver joints should be filled with clean, dry, correctly graded joint sand that meets the ASTM C144 standard. The top level of the joint sand should not exceed the bottom of the chamfer or 1/8” below the surface of non-beveled or tumbled pavers. Compaction is recommended after sweeping sand into the joints to minimize voids. Remove dust, debris and find sand particles from the surface with a leaf blower before sealing. Click here for tips on sanding success.

Use the Right Tools

A sprayer is the best and quickest way to evenly apply a sealer. After spraying you will need to back roll the surface to remove excess sealer and that requires a slit-foam roller. When using a joint stabilizing sealer, a soft foam squeegee is necessary to direct excess sealer into the joints. Use tools made especially for solvent based sealers when needed.

Slippery When Wet?

If it is determined from the pre-test that the surface may be too slippery, an anti-slip can be added to the sealer to increase friction. An anti-slip can only be used in film forming sealers and not penetrating sealers which are mainly Trident's specialty sealers. Please consult the anti-slip's instructions for correct usage.

Finally, It’s Time to Apply the Sealer

But first, be sure to protect any surrounding landscape, vehicles, buildings and window glass from potential sealer overspray. There are two types of sealer application methods Trident recommends. When doing joint stabilization, spray the surface using a flood coat application, following the sealer’s coverage guidelines, to ensure proper joint sand penetration. Then, use a foam squeegee to direct excess sealer into the joints. Follow up with a foam roller to even out the sealer and remove excess sealer on the surface wherever it is pooling. For a spray and back-roll sealer application without joint stabilization, spray enough sealer to saturate the surface using the coverage guidelines. Then, back roll with the foam roller to remove the excess sealer. Trident penetrating sealers call for a wet-on-wet spray and back-roll application which means a second application is applied while the first is still wet and at a right angle to the first application.

Dry Time & Curing

With most Trident sealers, the surface should be dry to the touch in approximately one hour after application assuming 65-85°F at 50% relative humidity. Low surface or air temperature will extend dry time. Full cure will take 24-36 hours depending on weather and site conditions. Protect the surface from dust, rain and traffic while drying. If an unexpected pop up rain shower occurs, the surface can be covered with a tarp and removed after the rain has immediately commenced. Reference the chosen sealer’s instructions for more information.


To get the best long-term performance of a sealed surface, it should be properly maintained. Keep surface clear of buildup of dirt and grime by rinsing with cold, clean water. Attack stains shortly after they occur. It is important to set your customer's expecations on what they can anticipate regarding potential weed growth, insect infestation and staining. A properly applied Trident sealer will help to protect from these nuisances but sometimes mother nature wins.  As the sealer on the surface ages and is exposed to the elements, the ability to protect will diminish over time. Trident sealers are compatible with Trident cleaners which can be used to remove general dirtiness and stains. Reference Trident’s Tips for Cleaning Success to learn more.

Sealer Re-application

The timing of reapplication of the sealer is based on a combination of which sealer was used, type of surface, project owner’s expectations, environmental and site conditions.

For additional tips on successful sealing, visit the Resource Library to view our Technical Bulletins.