CLEANING AND SEALING
Clients often ask how to keep the paver patio or driveway looking as beautiful and structurally sound as the it was installed. One important strategy way to protect and maintain the appearance and durability of the pavers is by cleaning, sanding, and then sealing.
Over time, elements like plant materials, acid rain, food stains, and the sun can fade the patio paver colors and begin to deteriorate the pavers. Unsealed paver joints can wash out and weeds can start disrupting the structural integrity of the patio, walkway or driveway. Sealing pavers is a great way to prevent or reduce these unwanted environmental effects.
Properly cleaning then sealing your new or existing patio installation, will help protect it from stains, salt, and acid rain damage. Sealed paver surfaces make it easy to wash away dirt and algae build up from the surface of the pavers, without having to use high pressure washing or harsh chemicals. The sealer will also harden the sand in the joints, making the whole patio or driveway structure stronger as well as deterring weed and moss growth. In addition, sealing paver joints, prevents water, insects, and wind from carrying away the sand between the joints, which decreases the necessity of continuously replacing the sand.
Sealers can be applied every year or every two years. In general, a good seal will last you around 3-5 years, although you can reseal whenever you think the appearance or durability of the surface requires it.
DIY - Annual Paver Maintenance That You Can Perform
Clients often ask what annual paver maintenance they can perform to prolong the integrity of the patio sealer.
To keep the paver surfaces looking like new, it is recommended that once a year the paver structure (patio, walkway, driveway) is cleaned with an outdoor bleach solution (obtainable at an area home improvement store) to remove dirt, debris, and build-up. It’s important to not use a pressure washer because it could damage the sand that is between the pavers. You can follow the label on the bleach container or if there are no directions, then
Prepare the solution diluting ½ cup bleach in 1 qt. warm water.
Add 1 tsp liquid dish soap. This will help enhance the bleach’s ability to remove tough stains from the pavers and will help rinse away dirt.
Pour the solution into a spray bottle and spray the pavers with the solution until you thoroughly soak them.
Let the pavers sit in the solution for at least 20 minutes; this will give the solution time to sink into the pores of the pavers so that you won’t need to scrub as vigorously.
Scrub each paver with a stiff nylon-bristled brush. Do not use metal bristled as these will scratch the surface of most types of pavers.
Rinse the bleach solution and the dirt off with water from your hose and allow pavers to dry completely.
Ensure that you regularly remove weeds from the paver structure because some weeds, if left unaddressed, can shift pavers apart over time.
Why More Frequent Paver Structure Maintenance Is Sometimes Required?
Some reasons that more frequent paver structure maintenance is needed include:
Constantly wet or dark areas tend to always have wet sand. If the sand is always wet, it can’t harden, and therefore, won’t last as long.
Areas with heavy water flow during storms. Water causes erosion so areas of the paver structure with heavy water flow running across during storms will have more sand erosion than other areas.
Areas with heavy traffic require increased maintenance because heavy traffic wears down sealers by physically causing consistent abrasion. Although sealers are created for durability, heavy traffic areas will need sealer more often than lower traffic areas.