As homeowners extend the enjoyment of their outdoor spaces well into fall, it likewise extends the season of wear and tear for surfaces like patios, driveways and walkways. That includes more potential for stains to mar the look of those surfaces — especially for families with kids and pets, and those who enjoy outdoor dining.
Nature’s bold colors are beautiful, but they can also stain patios. Cherry and other tree fruits, dark bird droppings, pet accidents and wet leaves left too long in the hot sun are typical offenders. Common manmade spills include wine and other colored beverages, motor oil and acidic foods such as barbecue sauce. And pavers can lose their color and vibrancy over time due to acid rain erosion and UV ray fading.
For those with existing paved surfaces, experts recommend a regular regimen of sweeping or leaf blowing, hosing down, and washing with a mild soap like Simple Green. Power washing on the fan spray setting held waist-high is usually an acceptable option, but never on the stream setting. Pavers should be checked from time to time for mold or mildew stains.
But for homeowners looking to replace or build a new patio, the good news is that today’s technology makes it easier to prevent some stains from the start. EP Henry’s line of ColorTech™ pavers features a factory-applied integral sealer that enriches and locks in the paver’s natural beauty without needing to apply a separate sealant. That adds a layer of protection for resisting the most common stains along with acid rain erosion and fading from the sun’s UV rays.
“ColorTech pavers come right off the pallet with super-rich color and are a great solution for families looking for ways to prevent or minimize staining and fading,” says Brad Schwark, owner of All Green Lawn and Landscaping based in Freehold, NJ. “Usually you have to wait for a year before applying sealer to let the pavers go through the efflorescence stage — but of course, that leaves a year of risk for families with kids. I do recommend ColorTech pavers because we’ve had great results with them.”
With ColorTech, most accidental spills bead off like a waxed car for easy clean-up instead of bleeding into the paver material. And the integral sealer’s UV protection stabilizes the color to make it more fade-resistant. The technology is now incorporated as a standard feature in the company’s Premiere Collection of Bristol Stone, Chiseled Stone and Belmont pavers as well as in their new Cast Stone Paving and Wall Cap options.