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Effects of Efflorescence

Efflorescence is the chalky white look that develops on many pavers from naturally occurring salts in the raw materials pavers are made from. This is not harmful to the pavers, however if untreated, overtime it could start to wear away the surface. As long as it is kept under control, the effect of efflorescence should not cause any major problems. Efflorescence is easily removed with a cleaner specially used for concrete surfaces. Monitor the condition of the pavers and act promptly if there is a noticeable build up of white residue.

Conduct Regular Maintenance for Pavers

A regular maintenance schedule should be conducted to keep your surface looking beautiful and to prevent a build up of dirt and debris. Pavements should be regularly washed down with a high pressure hose to remove any particles that have come away from the pavers. It is common for the joint sand to receive dirt from the normal traffic, which settles into the joints. It is also common to lose some of the joint sand due to high winds. It is recommended that twice a year, the levels of joint sand are checked and refilled. Applying a sealant will also help hold the joint sand in place.

Once you have installed your pavers it is important to maintain that ‘new look’ and the easiest way to do this is to regularly clean your pavers. This will ensure that they are always looking their best. Pavers should be treated like the flooring on the inside of your home, keep them clean, for it all adds to the overall appeal of your home. Just as you wouldn’t have dirty floors inside your home, the outside of your home should be just as important. For it is often said that people will judge the inside of your home by the presentation of the exterior of the home!

There are many different types of paving materials that can be applied to the grounds of your home, with popular choices like concrete pavers, brick pavers and natural stone pavers. There are also other materials like grass pavers and rubber pavers, that are becoming increasingly popular today. Naturally, with different types of pavers come different types of cleaning procedures.

Let’s look at the cleaning procedures for the three common paver materials used today: Brick, Concrete and Natural Stone Pavers.

Brick & Concrete Pavers

What Brick and Concrete pavers have in common is that they are man made products. Brick pavers are made from clay that is fired in kilns at extremely high temperatures. This ensures that all of the ingredients are bound together. Concrete pavers are made from cement mixtures, sand and water. Special color pigments, powders or dyes are added to the mixture to achieve a large range of colors.

One of the common stains that occur on Concrete pavers is efflorescence. This is a white powdery substance that comes to the surface of the pavers. It occurs naturally due to the substances in the concrete. It can be removed with special cleaning solutions, but it will come and go over time.

Here is a simple guide to cleaning Brick and Concrete pavers:
  • The first step is to ensure that there are no damages or shifting of the pavers. Then you can start to remove any excess dirt and debris from the surface. You can do this with a broom by sweeping the excess waste into one spot and then you can dispose of it.
  • If you notice any harsh stains like petrol, oil, grease or tire marks, then you can purchase a water based cleaning solution specially formulated for such stains. Apply this solution to the affected area and leave it for approximately 15-20 minutes.
  • Then use a high pressured hose to rinse off the solution.
  • Mix a small amount of a household detergent with warm water and apply it to the pavement with the use of a broom.
  • Once the area has been covered evenly you can then rinse thoroughly with a hose and leave it to dry.
You can do this at least once a month to ensure your pavers are kept nice and clean. This will also help you stay on top of those stubborn stains which are best removed as soon as they appear, for best results.

Natural Stone Pavers

Natural stone pavers look so timeless and elegant so you want to make sure that they are always looking their absolute best. They can be costly to maintain, but if you carry out regular cleaning procedures you will be protecting their lifespan.
  • Natural stone pavers are very porous products; this means that they are quite prone to stains for substances can easily soak into the surface. For this reason they need to be cleaned on a weekly basis, so that any stains that do occur can be dealt with quick enough to remove them. There are special solutions formulated for the cleaning of natural stone pavers.
  • For harsh stains, such as oil or grease, you should use a light brush and some solution to remove this stain, by scrubbing the area.
  • Then rinse the solution off with a garden hose.
  • You should then apply a natural stone detergent to some warm water and spread it out evenly.
  • Leave this solution for 30 minutes then rinse it thoroughly. It is important that you remove all excess solution.
  • You can apply a sealer to further protect your natural stone pavers!

Read more about Cleaning Pavers »

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