Pavers come in a wide array of materials that can add some serious curb appeal to residential and commercial properties. They are both functional and decorative – for paving walkways, exterior steps, driveways and parking lots. They can also be used for retaining walls, lining sidewalks, landscaping, patios, outdoor living areas, driveways, and pool decks. Stone, concrete, granite and brick pavers are an attractive way to complete many hardscaping projects.
The advantages of using interlocking pavement blocks are that they are low maintenance and can be maintained in place and replaced as needed, even one by one. In comparison, asphalt or poured concrete can deteriorate over time and patching sections is an ugly solution. Without the need for heavy equipment or redoing the entire surface, pavers can be easily remediated. Of course, this also means repairs can be done quickly and are less expensive.
Yet, once they have made the investment, every home and business owner wants to know how to best maintain paving stones. Extreme temperatures, snow shoveling, dirt buildup, and regular wear and tear can be tough even on these strong materials. With the right preventative measures, segmental pavement can last for decades. Here is our advice on how to keep pavers looking great for years to come.
5 Tips for Maintaining Pavers
These are the key measures that home and business owners can take to their investment and keep their paver surfaces looking good.
It may seem unrelated, but keeping the surrounding landscaping in shape helps maintain your pavers. For example, raking leaves and sweeping off the paved surface before heavy rains helps prevent stains in the brick, concrete, or stone. Weeding the lawn, garden, or mulched area around the paving stones can also help keep the surface smooth by not allowing root growth to shift them over time.
Spring is a good time to clean the paver surface more thoroughly. After sweeping away dirt and grime that typically builds up during the winter and under snow accumulation, simple spray the pavers down with a high-pressure garden hose attachment. It’s also important to be vigilant with the weed killer during the spring season.
For tougher spots, you can use a push broom or plastic brush to scrub the surface. Never use a wire brush as it is overly abrasive and could damage the paver material. For best results and to remove oil stains, try making a soapy mixture with water and degreasing detergent, such as dish soap. Simply scrub the surface clean with the soap solution and rinse it thoroughly.
Paver cleaning detergent is recommended for stubborn areas of discoloration and stains. Be sure to follow the product instructions for the application paver cleaning solution.
Once the pavers have been cleaned, you are ready to apply joint sand. Polymeric sand is used to fill in any cracks and fissures in the joints between the pavers. This special sand hardens when water is applied to prevent shifting. In the long run, it helps maintain the surface by holding the paving stones in place, prevents weeds from sprouting up in the cracks, water infiltration, and insect infestation.
Power washing is a fast and effective way to clean pavers and restore them to their original splendor. But, it may not be necessary to pressure wash your pavers annually. Frequency really depends on the conditions affecting the paved surface. For example, it’s a good regular treatment for areas that are subject to standing water, mold or moss growth, heavy amounts of leaf debris, dirt, and tree residue. For residential and commercial paving stones, power washing may only be necessary once every 3 to 4 years. Refilling the joints with sand is recommended after cleaning with power washers.
3 Things to Avoid with Paver Care
Pavers are strong, it’s true, but they’re not indestructible. Here are the main things that we advise businesses and homeowners to avoid when it comes to maintenance.
Avoid Deicing Chemicals
Winter snow and ice are a pain to deal with and can be a real hazard on sidewalks, parking lots and driveways. When used according to their directions and in small amounts, deicing chemicals should present a problem. But as the surface of the paver wears over time and becomes more vulnerable, these harsh substances can cause unnecessary damage.
Avoid Paver Sealer
Lots of people recommend using coating sealers on pavers. Though it may look nice, we disagree. The biggest reason why we don’t recommend sealing pavers is that it makes surfaces more slippery when wet. This can create an extra hazard around pool decks, on walkways, or on driving surfaces.
Pavers are naturally a low-maintenance solution, but sealant them actually requires more upkeep over time. Water-based sealers need to be reapplied every 3 to 5 years, while acrylic sealers should be redone every 2 to 3 years. DIYers need to be careful with this maintenance work too, because not all are compatible and reapplication should use the same type of sealant.
Leaving empty holes allows the other pavers to shift and move out of place. Pavers should be replaced as needed if they are damaged or go missing. Inserting a new paver stone is important to restoring the integrity of the whole area.
Exterior Maintenance Work Made Easy
Keep your home and business looking great without all the back-breaking work. Call Trotta’s for help with your projects (330) 940-3705 or get a free estimate. Read here for more information on our full range of paver restoration services.