As we spend more time in our gardens during the warmer months, one area that may need some TLC is our paving. If you want your pavers to look like they were installed or to refresh badly worn slabs or paving blocks, here’s how to keep your paving looking like new this summer.
1. Keep them well cared for
“Investing in a good broom will allow you to easily brush dirt and debris from your pavers and accessories, such as pavers. This action should be done daily and will prevent the accumulation of dust, soil, leaves and other debris, and will further prevent seed germination,” says Nicole France of the UK-based paver retailer, Infinite Tessellation. “Preventing seed germination is key to keeping your pavers looking their best, as not only can weed growth be ugly, but plants can grow into all the little cracks, further breaking up the stones.
2. Weed frequently
Since weeds can sprout between the joints of your paving and some stones can even be affected by algae or moss when they have not been cleaned for a while, regularly weeding your pavers is an excellent way to avoid this.
You can remove most weeds by hand or with a weeding tool, which is a quick and inexpensive option. Or if they prove more problematic, you can introduce a chemical weedkiller. But, as always, be sure to only spray it on weeds so you don’t damage your garden or surrounding plants.
3. Make your own cleaning solution
Something as simple as soapy water or a soap-based cleaner designed for floors can instantly revitalize pavers. White vinegar, which you probably have in your kitchen cupboard, makes an ideal cleaning solution when mixed with water.
But, keep in mind that darker vinegar can stain pavers such as marble, limestone, or other natural stones. Be sure to use the most suitable solution for your paving before use.
“Whatever method you choose (soap or vinegar), then scrub gently with a bristle brush or broom,” says Nicole. “This will remove dirt and grime from crevices and hard-to-reach areas.”
Pressure washing is another quick and effective way to clean pavers, although it is slightly more expensive in terms of initial costs. You can buy a range of pressure washers on Amazon.
4. Do some damage control
“Over time, patio tiles can come loose, break or crack due to environmental impact or accidents,” says Nicole. “While you may not want to replace them, this is essential to restoring their former glory and safety, as individuals (especially children) can trip over rogue stones and injure themselves.
“A broken unit can also collect debris, dirt or standing water, which can pose a threat to your pet or attract mosquitoes, cockroaches, termites and other pests. Replacing a stone takes an average of two hours, so although it’s a chore, it’s a vital step in keeping your stones looking their best.
You can either replace the paving yourself or hire a professional. Using the right tools, like a chisel or hammer, should help you avoid damaging the surrounding area or injuring yourself. And be sure to invest in quality replacement stones to increase the longevity of your paving for the future.
5. Seal your stones
Sealing your pavers is a great way to maintain them. As a general rule, you should reseal your stones every one to two years, especially ones that are heavily trafficked, such as on a patio or driveway.
This should make them easier to clean, as they should only require a quick rinse from a garden hose, while still protecting them from the elements. A top coat of sealer can also give them a nice shine.
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