Cleaning your patio-DIY or Call in a Pro?
With so many of us spending more time at home these days, getting the patio in tip-top shape has become a priority.
While pavers are known for being easy to care for, occasional maintenance is needed to keep them looking their best. Some patios may just need a quick once-over with detergent and soft-bristle brush, while others require a visit from a pro to restore them to their original beauty.
Prepare the space and Evaluate your needs
You should begin by clearing the space. Furniture, plants and decorative items will need to be removed to properly clean the space.
- Look for leaf stains, grease from food and mildew. Determining what kind of stains you have will determine what you’ll need to do to fully restore them.
- Check the joints. The sand used between the joints can wear away over time.
- Weeds. Missing sand or overgrown plant beds can allow weeds to creep onto your patio.
- Sweep or blow off any loose debris.
- Hose down pavers with clear water.
- Most food grease or oil stains can be removed using a de-greasing dish soap (like Dawn) directly onto the stain.
- Use a paper towel to soak up any surface grease.
- Drizzle scaling hot water from a tea kettle and thoroughly rinse it off the surface.
- Apply Dawn dish detergent full strength onto the stain and allow it to sit on the for 20-30 minutes.
- Scrub with a standard household nylon bristle scrub brush.
- Rinse with hot water.
- Repeat as needed to remove as much of the stain as possible.
- Mildew can be removed by using a bleach solution. 10 parts water to 1 part bleach.Mix the solution in a watering can with a sprinkle spout.
- Apply the bleach solution over the entire surface saturating the area and leaving a liquid film on the Hardscape™ surface.
- Allow the bleach solution to remain on the surface for 20 – 30 minutes. The moss, mildew, or algae should turn brown, which indicates it has been killed.
- After letting the bleach solution sit on the surface, scrub the surface with a stiff nylon bristle brush and rinse thoroughly with fresh water. Repeat if needed.
- Do not make your bleach solution stronger, as it may affect the color of your Hardscaping.
- Be careful not to get the bleach solution directly on grass or plant material. If there are plants or grass where you expect to rinse the residue on to, saturate that area with water first.
Keep in mind that if the area is in a damp or shady location it will keep growing back. For a more permanent solution, you will need to correct the moisture and shade problems that are encouraging the moss, mildew, or algae to growth.
For tougher stains, such as motor oil or grease, visit Techni-Seal. Here, you’ll find information and instructions for their paver cleaning products that are sold at your local EP Henry Authorized Hardscaping Distributor
And remember, one of the major advantages of paving stones is, if they are damaged or stained beyond repair, they can always be removed and replaced at a minimal expense.
- Sweep or blow odd any loose debris
- Get a weed killer, such as Weed-B-Gone
- Use as directed.
- After the weeds have been killed, carefully remove them from the sand joint. Take as much of root out as possible without disrupting or removing the sand joint.
Most installations have polymeric sand. This sand is formulated to harden over time, so it holds together and does not blow or wash out of the sand joints. This allows it to remain in place and resist weed growth.
- Before replacing sand, any existing sand must be removed.
- Enough of the preexisting polymeric sand must be removed from the sand joints (1.5” or more) to allow enough new polymeric sand into the sand joint so it can achieve structural stability when it is moistened.
- If possible, use the same polymeric sand that was originally used so that it bonds properly.
Note: You may want to leave this for the pros, because if done incorrectly, it could leave your pavers with an unsightly haze.
This is another project best left for a professional. Sealing requires an experienced hand in order to avoid pooling and missed spots. Done incorrectly, sealing can be expensive to correct.
In conclusion, while easier cleaning projects can be a do-it-yourself (or family) project, projects that require experience or trade skills are better left to hardscaping specialists. Done right, you’ll be enjoying your patio or pool in no time.