Brick paver driveways and patios are popular because they offer classic curb appeal and easy maintenance compared to concrete driveways and patios, which are prone to crack over time. However, brick pavers still need regular maintenance to keep them looking sharp, particularly in hot, humid climates like Florida, where the summer months can increase the possibility of mold and algae growth on top of the standard dirt and grime. That build-up can do more than hurt your curb appeal; it can also break down the pavers and require paver replacement.
How can you keep your pavers looking great and increase their longevity? By cleaning block paver joints and sealing your pavers.
The most important part of preparing pavers for cleaning is to remove all weeds and grass growing between the joints. If the weeds do not come up easily, apply weed killer a week before you plan to clean to make sure that they are dead and easy to remove. The last thing you want to do is damage the underlying sand while removing a large weed with active roots still growing under the surface. A weed removal tool will help pull up all weeds, particularly the larger ones.
While you should regularly sweep your brick pavers for ongoing maintenance, this is especially important before deep cleaning your driveway or patio. A stiff broom will help remove loose dirt and debris that could hurt the surface or become an unexpected projectile during cleaning.
Soap and water or white vinegar and water will help spot clean, particularly dirty pavers, especially if they appear to be stained. Pre-treating spots increases the likelihood of an evenly clean surface.
There are a few things that you’ll need to consider when cleaning the entire surface of your deck or driveway. This is why it’s usually best to have a professional cleaning.
It is best to start in the corner of the highest point of the surface you are cleaning. This will allow the dirty water to run away from the clean surface instead of making already clean surfaces dirty again. Pay attention to run off and try to avoid working towards buildings, cars, and neighbors’ property and rinse surfaces, such as windows and siding, that have been splashed as you go.
Work in gentle sweeps to avoid the appearance of “tiger stripes” as the pavers dry. Tiger stripes are caused by either fluctuating water pressure levels from defective equipment or an inexperienced user holding the wand at an inconsistent distance away from a given surface. Essentially, tiger stripes are a sign that your pavers aren’t evenly clean.
Allow the surface to dry before you start checking the joints. If it’s discovered that some joints need repacking, a professional will re-sand areas that lost jointing sand to maintain the structural integrity of the pavers. It’s also possible to use cement to re-point any areas that may have come loose and replace any brick pavers that may be too damaged to repair.
Before you can consider the job done, seal the surface. Depending on the product, this can help protect your surface for 3-5 years.
Do you need to schedule cleaning for your block paver joints? Contact Pressure Washing by Mike Schwab in Melbourne, FL. We provide free estimates of our work. Learn more today.