With warmer weather just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about making good use of your outdoor living space and doing a little spring cleaning on your landscape. For many NJ homeowners, this means taking some time to learn how to clean, re-sand and re-seal concrete and brick pavers.
When done correctly, pressure washing pavers can help your property look as pristine and sophisticated as it did when the stones were first installed – even after exposure to the sun, rain, wind and snow! Even though pressure washing pavers is a relatively simple process, we find that many of our customers have some reservations about doing so. They’re concerned that they’ll displace the pavers, make a mess or create bigger problems. In order to put your mind at ease and help you to care for your property with confidence, consider these tips on how to clean pavers properly.
The Importance of Knowing How to Clean Pavers
Concrete and brick pavers make a huge difference in the overall look of your landscape and home. Because they play such a significant role in the curb appeal and value of the property, it’s extremely important that you take steps to ensure that your pavers continue to look and function as you intended.
Despite the fact that pavers are extremely durable, reliable and long-lasting, they can still start to look a little scruffy after numerous barbecues, exposure to lots of foot traffic and the extreme weather conditions we’re so familiar with here in NJ. Left unattended, you’ll quickly notice that oil, scuff marks from shoes, scrapes and scratches from patio furniture, food and drink, charcoal, chemicals and other materials will tend to leave their mark on your paving stones.
Beyond maintaining the look of your beautiful pavers, there are multiple benefits to learning how to clean pavers properly. After your pavers have been pressure washed, you’ll see an improvement in the durability, as well as an increase in safety. These benefits are important to consider, especially if you plan on hosting your friends and family in your outdoor living space during the summer months. Understanding how to clean pavers through a weekly regimen and an annual pressure washing will help to protect your investment and keep the pavers looking as lovely as ever.
How to Clean Pavers: Suggested Materials
When cleaning your pavers, we suggest that you have the following materials on hand:
- Stiff deck broom
- Pressure Washer (or high-pressure nozzle setting on your hose)
- Dish Detergent
- Polymeric Sand
- Roller Brush
How to Clean Pavers: Overview
The process of cleaning pavers is actually quite simple. The more regularly that you put forth the effort to maintain the pavers, the less time-consuming and challenging you will find it to be. This process will also help you to save money as you won’t need to invest in chemicals and materials for an intensive restoration project. You’ll find that a weekly regimen will take only a short investment of your time and will go a long way in preserving the beauty of your hardscape. In addition to this, you should consider power washing your pavers on an annual basis, or as-needed, depending on the severity of dirt and grime build-up.
If you’re sticking to your weekly plan, though, you shouldn’t need to pressure wash more than once a year. In the event that pressure washing the patio was not sufficient for eliminating severe staining or discoloration, you may need to purchase and use a basic cleaning solution designed for use on concrete and/or brick pavers.
As a general rule of thumb, you should first test the solution on a small area of your pavers to ensure that it won’t become discolored or faded after exposure. Always stick to the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that you don’t make any mistakes that could cause permanent damage to the pavers. The following paragraphs will cover how to implement both an annual and weekly cleaning plan.
How to Clean Pavers: Pressure Washing
Washing your pavers with a high pressure stream of water can help to break down and remove any tough stains that have developed as the result of a buildup of dust, dirt, grass, leaves and debris, as well as spills that may have occurred.
Some homeowners prefer to buy or rent a pressure or power washer, but if the nozzle of your hose has a high pressure setting, this will suffice. Extremely difficult stains may be addressed by using a rotary surface cleaner in your pressure washer, but water will usually suffice. Spray over the surface thoroughly, putting focus on addressing the areas which are most discolored and problematic.
It’s best to make an effort to confine the stream of water or cleaner to the pavers themselves and avoid hitting the joints directly as this can cause your pavers to become dislodged. Some of the sand between the joints is likely to be displaced, so after the pressure washing is complete, you’ll need to brush the sand back into the joints.
This is also a great time to apply a fresh layer of polymeric sand. Be sure to mist over the new sand with water in order to activate the polymers and allow it to harden. Finally, be sure to apply a sealant as this will keep your pavers looking shiny and new all year long.
How to Clean Pavers: Weekly Cleaning
Your weekly paver cleaning routine should be fairly cut and dry. We recommend that you take the time to sweep the pavers once a week in order to prevent dust, dirt, leaves and grass from building up and leading to stains or discoloration.
This will also stop pests from making a home on your pavers. You might also consider using a leaf blower to remove any buildup. Spraying the area down with a hose will further help to protect your pavers against any staining or problems that would be tough to clean if left untreated for too long.
Should you ever encounter a stain that seems difficult to get rid of, you might consider spreading some kitty litter over it. Leave the stain overnight to be absorbed by the litter and then sweep it away. Voila – they’ll be good as new!
Paver Maintenance Tips
In the event that a spill occurs, it’s wise to address the problem right away. This will prevent the stain from having time to soak in and create permanent discoloration or blemishes. You’ll simply use the same diluted solution of detergent and water to address the problem area. Scrub the stain with a brush or broom until it is removed.
When wintertime rolls around, you’ll need to be smart about the care of your pavers. You should never use a metal shovel to scrape snow and ice away from the pavers as this can lead to cracking and chipping. You will also need to check the manufacturer’s specifications in order to determine whether or not its safe to use rock salt or other ice melting chemicals on the pavers.
Braen Supply is the leading supplier of concrete and brick pavers throughout NJ and its neighboring areas. As such, we’re familiar with all of the proper cleaning and maintenance processes for these stones. Our team of experts is happy to answer any questions you may have and provide you with useful tips and advice.
We’ll also point you in the right direction of the correct sealant for your pavers. Give us a call to learn more about our pavers and how to clean pavers today! We serve homeowners throughout NJ, NY, PA and CT.