The maintenance you need to do for your pavers is pretty minimal, but it’s important to be sure to do it. It may mean the difference in having to do more elaborate (and expensive) measures in the future or not. These are some general notes but the main idea is this: Keep your pavers clean, ask for help in choosing the right product and instructions, and seal your pavers to enhance their beauty and help prevent stains.
Pavers are made of concrete and are porous. When organic material gets on the pavers, such as leaves, needles and dirt, be sure to sweep or blow it off of your pavers to avoid organic stains. Clean the area only when you can see that it is needed. Sometimes you may need to clean the area with a pressure washer set on a low setting (such as for a spring cleaning after the snow melts). Use a mild dish soap or shampoo. These are the basic cleaning needs for your pavers. It’s important to note that leaves and debris that sit on the pavers for an extended period and are allowed to start to decompose can leave stains. Especially try to make sure that you clean the pavers before winter snow settles on the pavers and holds the debris there all winter. Just make cleaning your pavers a part of your regular outdoor maintenance routine.
But, of course, there are different cases and cleaning needs that may arise. There are different cleaners that can be used for different circumstances. Be sure to get the proper cleaner for your job and consult with the paver manufacturer or representative to get their suggestions.
Avoid the following:
1. Do not use wire brushes.
2. Do not use strong acids such as sulfuric or muriatic acid.
3. Do not use the pressure washer at the highest setting. It is best to use the low setting. Stay at least a foot away from the surface and make sure the nozzle is a 40-degree tip. Spray at a shallow angle.
Consider sealing your pavers. Sealing can make your pavers be more stain resistant. It’s recommended that you wait for a period of time after your pavers are installed to do the first sealing. This is so that the pavers have a chance to release their natural salts and ‘effloresce’. This is a natural process and is not a defect with the pavers.
The recommended thing to do for cleaning your pavers may vary from one type of paver to another. For example, ‘wet cast’ products and ‘dry cast’ products may have different recommendations. So, again, check with the manufacturer or representative.
Examples of various stains that have products recommended for them could be car oil stains, rust spots, fertilizer stains, wine spill, grease, etc. No worries, they’ve got you covered!
The joints need to be mentioned here. There are differing types of joint fill that may have been used on your pavers. Some are better at keeping out weeds than others and some types of joint fill are like ‘rice-stone’ and can jump out of the joints if power washed too harshly, so assess your joints first. Sometimes, joints can be where moss grows the most. There are home-remedies for this and commercially available ones too.
Again, keep your pavers clean, ask for help in choosing the right product and instructions, and seal your pavers to enhance their beauty and help prevent stains. Your pavers will reward you with many years of utility and beauty.