Cleaning and Maintaining Your Stone Pavers
As with anything in your home, natural stone pavers will age over time and deteriorate.
So whether you’ve invested in the highest quality, strong and durable stone pavers money can buy, or just the run-of-the-mill-budget product, they are still subject to daily wear and tear. This is especially true for the pavers installed in high traffic areas like driveways, walkways, gardens and pool surrounds where they are likely to accumulate dirt, grime, oil and water and endure plenty of stomping and stamping.
This is why maintaining and cleaning them properly will help them stand the test of time.
In today’s article we will detail three tips to help your stone pavers stay in prime condition.
Before we begin, check out the cleaning products we recommend for your stone pavers here.
Three top tips to take care of your pavers
1. Weed the rubbish out
This might not be news to you as a home-owner, but unfortunately there is no such thing as a weed-free surface (unless you’ve laid your pavers on concrete or dry screed). As such, weeds will sprout no matter where or how you lay your natural pavers or treat them. So the best way to take care of the weeds around and in the cracks of your pavers is by weeding them, frequently.
When it comes to weeding around your pavers, be mindful when pulling at the plants because (though most weeds) can be easily removed from the surface, some may have put their roots into the stone’s joints. If this is the case, removing the weeds will also bring sand up to the surface from the foundation and it’s imperative that you replace this sand as soon as possible.
Once you have weeded the area, keep it weed free for as long as possible. This is easier to do in high-traffic areas because regular traffic generally limits the ability for weeds to grow. On the other hand, for lower-traffic areas, we recommend brushing the area regularly with a decent outdoor brush. This preventative measure helps get rid of weeds before they have a chance to fully sprout.
As a final point, sometimes keeping the area weed-free may require chemical intervention. Nowadays, you can find many weedkiller options that are gentle on the environment. Rather than buying any generic anti-weed product, here we suggest choosing the products that work specifically on the weeds the grow between stone pavers. Generic products have a higher chance of discolouring your pavers, whereas stone specific anti-weed products are designed to keep the structural integrity of your stones intact without causing further damage to them.
2. Clean clean clean
Once you’ve cleared the pavers from any weeds, the most effective cleaning method is a simple combination of soap and warm water. What makes this even better, is that you don’t need to go far to find the best soap for this process as it’s already in your kitchen! You guessed it: dishwashing detergent! In saying this, we still recommend that you always read the label before using the product because not all dishwashing detergents should be used on natural stone pavers. For instance, if the label warns you about using the product on limestone or marble, it is best to invest in a specific stone washing product instead.
To get started, you need a bucket and a stiff outdoor brush. So long as the bristles are strong, rough and thick, you can use the same brush that you used to sweep the weeds away. Mix the soap with water and then pour the soapy mixture onto the paving surface and scrub to your heart’s content. Once you’ve thoroughly cleaned the area, wash off the loosened dirt with clean water and repeat this process until you’re satisfied that all the loose grime is washed off.
A word of warning with washing away the loosened dirt: a hose may seem like a preferred (and even logical) method to do this. Just remember you’ll have to repeat this process several times and that a hose’s pressure could be too strong for the paver’s joints. As such, be super careful that the joints are not removed or loosened while hosing down the dirt.
One final note on washing the pavers with soap and water, make sure there is absolutely no residue left behind otherwise next time it rains you’re going to have a very soapy and slippery surface on your hands (or under your feet) that will pose a danger for everyone.
An alternative to washing the pavers with soap and water is investing in a pressure-cleaner. Brands like Gerni and Karcher have become more affordable and may be a wise investment if you intend to clean your pavers frequently. While pressure-cleaners are great for removing mould and dirt, remember they use high-pressure. As such, be careful not to get too close to the ground as they can have the opposite effect and damage your pavers in the longterm.
3. Sealing the surface
Weeds are gone, surface is clean, now it’s time to seal it down! While sealing your pavers doesn’t guarantee that you’ll never need to clean the area again, it gives the pavers a nice shine and makes them look new again. Another benefit of sealing your natural stone pavers is that the sealant protects the stone from accidental spills and stains, thus extending the pavement’s life and ensuring the joints stay in place.
Invest in your pavers with Armstone
There you have it!
Using these 3 simple steps, your pavers will retain their appearance and quality and stand the test of time.
If you have any questions about the best cleaning products or methods for your natural stone pavers, or you would like to invest in high-quality stones for you home renovation or construction project, reach out to our paving experts at Armstone today.
We love this stuff and would love to help you make the right choice for your home project.