Pavers are a sought-after hardscaping material, and for good reason. They are affordable and look amazing. To keep them looking as good as the day you installed them, they need a little TLC. Here’s how to clean your pavers and keep them in good nick!
Protect surrounding greenery and remove items from the paved area
Before you start cleaning, you’ll need to remove any items on the paved area and protect the greenery surrounding it. Some paver cleaners can damage furniture or other materials if they come into contact with them. Place plastic sheeting on any grass or neighbouring plants. You can reduce the amount of overspill that gets on your grass by getting another person to help. As one person is cleaning the area, the other can mop up any residual cleaning product as they go. An old mop is perfect for this kind of job.
Hose down the pavers
If you make a habit of giving your pavers a quick clean regularly, a wash over with a hose or pressure cleaner may be sufficient to complete the job. Often pressure cleaners alone are enough to remove stuck-on dirt and some types of stains from the surface although, they should be used with caution as they can damage the surface of the paver if the setting is too high. Not only that, if it’s too high, it can wash the sand out between the paver joints. If your pavers come up good after washing them with water alone, you won’t have to use a paver cleaner.
Applying a cleaner
If your pavers are not looking like they did when you first installed them or some stains didn’t shift after giving them a pressure clean, you’ll have to follow up with a suitable paver cleaner. Ensure it’s designed for use on your particular paver type to avoid wearing or damaging them prematurely. There are tonnes of paving cleaners, but to save yourself a few dollars, you can make up your own concoction using water and dishwashing liquid. Apply a generous amount to the pavers and scrub with a stiff broom. Leave it to sit on the surface for a good 10 to 15 minutes and scrub once more before washing off with a hose. To prevent the excess soap mixture from spilling onto your grass, you can use an old mop to soak it up before washing it off with a hose.
Refill paver joints
Once you have cleaned your pavers, and they have had time to dry, you can then refill any of the paver joints that are lacking sand with some fresh sand. Scatter the bag of sand across the pavers and brush into the paver joints until they are flush. The importance of sand between the pavers is significant, it prevents them from shifting and chipping due to movement.
Finish with a sealer
Sealing your pavers is a great way to protect them from the elements and wear and tear over time. How often you’ll have to reseal your pavers depends on the type you use and the brand, but on average, it’s around every 2 years. Check the sealer is designed for your paver type and apply as per the manufacturer’s directions for best results.
Troubleshooting stubborn stains
Tyre scuff marks
If you have tyre scuff marks on your pavers, a degreaser can help to shift them. Only use a small amount and scrub using a stiff broom. Ensure you rinse the area thoroughly with water afterwards.
Organic growth on pavers is very common. Algae, moss and fungi are some of the most frequent paver invaders. You may notice these after an extended period of rain or if the paved area is susceptible to moisture and shade. You can eradicate these by using chlorine and water. Mix 1 part chlorine to 10 parts water in a bucket and apply to the surface. Scrub the troublesome areas with a broom. Allow this to soak in for around 20 minutes before removing with water. If you have grass surrounding your paved area, you can protect it by soaking it with water before cleaning the pavers with the chlorine mix and again before rinsing the chlorine off. You can avoid further damage to your grass and plants by doing this on a sunny day. The suns UV rays will break down the chlorine faster and stop the chlorine from killing your landscaping.
Grease or oil stains
It’s always better to remove oil or grease stains as soon as you can. This will prevent them from soaking and setting into the paver. Soak up excess with a paper towel using a blotting motion rather than wiping. After you’ve removed as much as you can with the paper towel, squirt a generous amount of dishwashing liquid onto the stain and let it sit for approximately half an hour. Scrub with a stiff-bristled brush and wash away using hot water. Repeat if necessary.
Keep in mind
To ensure you are getting the highest quality finish and you are not causing damage to your pavers, you should always follow the cleaning instructions on the packaging. Protect yourself by wearing proper protective gear and avoid using a pressure cleaner to wash off chemicals as this can spray them onto everything nearby.
If you have any questions about cleaning your swimming pool pavers, contact our friendly team of paving experts at Bonita Stone! We’d love to help if we can.
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