Getting paving stones, or pavers, installed on your driveway, front yard, backyard, or patio is a surefire sign that you have made it. The terms refer to individual stones that can be arranged in elaborate patterns. Some people keep it simple, which still looks ornate. Others commission gorgeous mosaics to impress guests and liven up the grounds.
Pavers can be beautiful. However, if you wish for your pavers to stay beautiful, you must also make sure that you take proper care of them after their installation. Here is some professional advice for cleaning and sealing pavers.
Know Your Paving Materials
If you put in a request for a hardscaping contractor to embellish your property with pavers, their first question may be, “What kind?” You should know that paving stones can be made from several different types of material. Bricks may be the most popular and well-known because they are the easiest to line up for artistic, colorful layouts. They can also be made from concrete, clay, and, well, stone.
When you go shopping for cleaning products that claim to work on pavers, you will find a wide variety of options. However, it only appears this way. Some can eliminate grit and stains from all kinds of materials, while others are designed for a specific type. If you use the wrong one, it may be ineffective at best and damaging at worst. Before making any choices, you may want to read the fine print.
Apply the Right Amount of Pressure
The cleaning process begins and ends with water. In the beginning, you will use a hose to wash away anything not stuck to the surface and keep the pavement from absorbing the cleaner. In the end, a good rinse will scatter the solution, preparing the pavers for the next part of the process. When the stains are especially tough, however, you may find that a power washer, also called a pressure washer, is better for the job.
This power tool shoots jets of water at high velocities by churning up the pressure within the machine. They can slice up stains and eliminate marks more effectively than hands and hoses. However, using too much pressure can dislodge the sand that holds them together. It can even damage the stones themselves. Most cleaning materials give directions on the amount of psi that you should use with them, so pay attention and be careful.
Use Cleaner, Then Sealant
Cleaning and sealing pavers are two distinct tasks. The former involves getting rid of grout, grime, stains, and anything else that besmirches the stones. The latter entails coating the pavers in a layer of protective material designed to prevent them from getting dirty.
Doing both will prolong the process. However, the additional chore is worth your while. Cleaning without sealing will require you to clean the pavers more regularly. Sealing without cleaning may trap contaminants onto the pavers, enabling them to cause more damage and making them harder to remove.
Anyone confused about which product they should use first now have their answer. You will definitely want to apply the cleaner before the sealant. The preliminary washing and cleaning should clear the pavers until they appear as good as new. The sealant will preserve whatever state the pavers are in at the moment, so you must make it count.
Look for Something Eco-Friendly
Believe it or not, chemical mixtures used for purifying pavement can be green. When sorting through your options, you should choose an environmentally-friendly product every time. Even if it costs more, you should only go with the former if you really cannot afford the expense.
This decision goes beyond concerns about climate change, imminent global disaster, and other big-picture issues. Environmentally unfriendly products may not react well with the environment of your lawn. Your paver may be clean after application, but it could become a work of art amid a landscape of death. These items can even have toxic effects on humans, ranging from headaches to nausea to memory loss, among others.
Eco-friendly cleaning products, on the other hand, can take care of the job while taking care of nature. Your grass and flowers can still flourish while your pavers sparkle. Plus, there are so many high-quality products out there. At this point, using something toxic and dangerous leans close to a conscious decision. What will you do?
Test the Products
You may think that, after all your searching, you have found the perfect products for cleaning and sealing your pavers. You may think that everything you have done up to this point went off without a hitch. Maybe you are right. Yet, people make mistakes — which is what makes us all human. Before you proceed with covering the entire driveway or patio, you may first want to apply the products on just a few pavers.
Testing like this is valuable because you never know what might happen. Discovering that you made a mistake on a large scale can be exasperating to you and damaging to your pavers. If you conduct an experiment first, then encountering failure on that smaller scale would not be nearly so harsh. Even if you feel confident, it never hurts to check.
Maintain the Cleaning Routine
We wash dishes and utensils after lunch, knowing that we may get them dirty again at dinnertime. Clothes come out of the dryer, only to reenter the washer soon after. Similarly, cleaning your pavers will make them look pure once more, but being out in the elements will naturally attract more contaminants. Cleaning anything is always a temporary measure.
And yet, we must do it anyway. When you install your pavers, you make a significant financial investment. You will want them to last as long as possible, so you can get your money’s worth and enjoy their beauty. Every few months or so, set aside time for taking care of the pavers. Make some time as well for applying sealant, which will prolong their lifespan even further.
Find Cleaners and Sealants for Pavers Online
Here at Envirosafe Manufacturing Corp., we are dedicated to providing the world with high-quality, eco-friendly cleaners and sealants for all surfaces. If you want to make your pavers last, just add a coat of our exemplary products and see the results.