Techo-Bloc interlocking concrete pavers, slabs and other hardscaping materials are meant to be used and enjoyed. This means that your beautiful hardscape is going to be regularly exposed to people, animals, food, drinks, cooking grease, automobiles and other elements.
All of these things have the potential to lead to stains and blemishes on the surface of your patio, driveway, pool deck, or other outdoor living space. Before you start covering the entire thing in plastic wrap and banning anyone from having any fun around your pavers, you should know that there’s a much better way to keep your hardscaping looking fabulous.
Knowing the most common sources of trouble and how to remove related stains will save you a lot of stress and heartache in the long run. This post will walk you through how to go about identifying stains and handling the Techo-Bloc stain removal process.
Common Techo-Bloc Stains
Although Techo-Bloc products are known for being relatively stain resistant, there are things that can permeate the surface and leave a mark. Understanding these problems is the first step in the Techo-Bloc stain removal process. Here’s a look at some of the most common culprits:
- Brightly Colored Foods & Beverages – Food and drink with bright, bold colors like tomato sauce or red wine can leave their mark. Simply trying to wipe away the residue with a napkin will not do the trick, and in fact, may make the problem appear even worse.
- Blood – Bare feet around a swimming pool and chopping up vegetables around the outdoor grill island can both lead to nicks and scrapes that cause blood to flow. A blood stain can definitely be an eyesore when contrasted against the natural, soothing tones of the Techo-Bloc pavers.
- Caulking and Tar – Caulking or tar that is accidentally exposed to concrete pavers and similar hardscaping products can be a tough, sticky mess.
- Gum – Like caulk, chewing gum is a really sticky disaster – especially after exposure to the hot sun!
- Oil or Grease – Oil from vehicles and cooking grease from outdoor kitchens can leave an unsightly film on top of your concrete pavers.
- Tire Skid Marks – If you’ve got a Techo-Bloc driveway, you might experience problems with visually obtrusive skid marks from rubber tires.
- Rust – Although not that common on Techo-Bloc pavers, rust that has build up on patio furniture or other outdoor features can flake onto the pavers and create an ugly stain.
- Efflorescence – Concrete efflorescence is a natural phenomenon that will cause a white residue to form on the top of your Techo-Bloc pavers.
- Paint – Spilled paint on concrete pavers and slabs can cause you to panic as you fear that it will be permanently set in stone.
- Mortar – In some cases, mortar becomes stuck on the surface of pavers rather than in the joints in between. This can detract from the beauty of the completed project.
- Plant Residue – If plants, dirt and dust have been allowed to accumulate over time, you may find that they leave behind a lasting residue.
- Mold/Mildew – Areas that are prone to moisture can experience staining from the buildup of mold and mildew.
3 Key Techo-Bloc Stain Removal Tips
Even though there are numerous different things that could cause staining on your Techo-Bloc pavers, the Techo-Bloc stain removal process can really be boiled down to 3 basic processes that will work wonders when applied to the correct problem.
1. Mild Detergent/Cleaner
Stains related to food and drink, blood, plant debris and even mold or mildew are pretty simple fixes. Here, you’ll just need to prepare a mixture of a very mild dish soap or cleaner like Oxyclean with hot water.
Allow the mixture to penetrate the stain for 15-20 minutes before scrubbing the area with a soft brush or cloth and then using hot water to wash the solution away.
2. Denatured Alcohol
If you’ve got something sticky on the surface of your pavers, like caulking or gum, for example, you’ll need to break the substance down before it can be removed.
Because these are milder issues, you don’t need extra-strength chemicals to do the work. Here, an application of denatured alcohol will do the trick. Scrape away the excess material that you are able, then apply a small amount of alcohol penetrate the affected area.
Finish by scrubbing the problem spot with a soft bristled brush and rinsing away the alcohol and debris with hot water.
3. Alliance Gator
This is where we really bring out the big guns. The most major problem areas require the most heavy-duty Techo-Bloc stain removal action, and that usually means Alliance Gator products.
These excellent products are designed to handle a number of different issues that occur on concrete pavers, including the removal of efflorescence, tar, paint, oil, grease, etc. It’s smart to talk to a trusted professional about which i the right fit for your specific stain.
Typically, Alliance stain removal products will need to be allowed to set for about 20 minutes before being gently wiped or blotted away with a soft cloth.
Stopping Problems Before They Start
Of course, you’d never have to go through the whole Techo-Bloc stain removal ordeal if problems weren’t allowed to occur in the first place. While there’s no way to prevent your little ones from accidentally spilling ketchup or eliminating accidents entirely, there are preventive measures that can be taken to minimize the effects of staining.
Some homeowners, for example, choose to apply a sealant to the top of their concrete pavers. Sealcoating isn’t a necessary part of ensuring that your pavers live a long, healthy life, but it can help to improve the ability of Techo-Bloc products to resist stains, and can make the stain removal process even easier.
If you go this route, keep in mind that you’ll need to re-seal the pavers every 3-5 years. In the case of Techo-Bloc driveways, we recommend that you avoid leaving vehicles parked on top of the pavers or slabs for prolonged periods of time.
This will cut down on the amount of oil or other vehicle fluids that could accumulate and stain. Keep an eye on patio furniture, drain pipes, faucets, sprinklers and other metal features near your pavers that could become rusted and cause staining.
Taking steps to care for these features will reduce the likelihood of problems. Look out for problem areas throughout your hardscape that might allow for excessive moisture buildup which could be contributing to mold and mildew problems.
Lastly, consider sweeping and hosing down your pavers on a regular basis to prevent plants and dirt from building up and leaving stains.
Techo-Bloc Stain Removal in NJ
Looking for more tips on how to properly care for your concrete pavers or how to handle Techo-Bloc stain removal in NJ? Braen Supply is the leading expert on Techo-Bloc products throughout the Tri-State area.
We’re happy to offer up more valuable advice on how best to keep your hardscape in the best shape so that you can get the highest return on your investment. Give us a call or drop by to learn more today.