Paving stones, also called pavers, add a decorative element to any setting. Whether your pavers are used as a walkway through your garden, a patio, or driveway, your pavers are bound to lose their luster over time. Luckily, you can restore your pavers with a mild cleaning solution, stiff bristled broom, replacement sand, and sealer.
How to Clean Pavers
Cleaning The Pavers
Remove furniture and plants. Depending on where your pavers are located, remove any potted plants or furniture that can get in the way of cleaning. You want a clear surface free of obstacles while cleaning.
- At this point, cover any surrounding landscaping with tarp that may be damaged by water or chemicals in the cleaning products. Be sure to also cover metal objects.
Clear moss and weed growth. Use a stiff bristled handheld brush or brush broom to agitate and brush away any moss growth on or in between pavers. Gently pull weeds out in between paver joints. When all of the organic growth has been loosened, brush the debris off of your paved surface.
- If the growth is too heavy to remove by hand, spray a vegetation killer and wait at least two weeks before cleaning the pavers.
Brush the pavers with a stiff brush. Use a stiff bristled broom to scrub the cleaning solution into the paver surface. The harsh scrubbing from the broom bristles will loosen engrained dirt and stains. Scrub in different directions to avoid wearing out the same spot.
- You may use a wire brush or scouring pad instead. Don’t overdo it, as these tools can scratch the paver surface.
Rinse down the area. Once you are finished scrubbing and cleaning your paver surface, gently rinse off the cleaning solution with clean water and into a nearby drain. You can use a regular garden hose to rinse off the cleanser or use a power washer to blast off harsh stains.
- However, power washers can sometimes cause more harm than good (by excavating sand in between paver joints), so be careful if you decide to use a power washer.
Re-sand your pavers once dry. In most cases, the sand between the pavers is running low and needs a touch-up. Once the pavers are dry, pour a small mound of polymeric sand onto them. Sweep the sand all over on the paved surface with a dry, stiff bristled broom. Brush in multiple directions for more even coverage. Keep pouring on more sand and sweeping until the joints are filled.
- Polymeric sand locks the pavers together more effectively than regular sand.
Sealing The Pavers
Consult a specialist. Visit your local home improvement store to consult a specialist about what type of sealer you should use on your paved surface based on your paver material and your desired look. Sealer will protect your pavers and simplify upkeep.
- Besides getting the advice of a specialist, always follow the directions on the sealer project you plan to use. Wear safety gloves to protect yourself from harsh chemicals in the sealant.
Landscape & Design Consultant
Our Expert Agrees: Moss and weeds grow when water gets into the sand between your pavers. To keep that from happening, power wash the pavers to remove any dirt and oil, then treat them with a paver sealer to lock out moisture.
Complete the first coat of sealer. Pour your paver sealer into a paint roller tin. Use a long roller brush to apply the sealer onto your paver surface. Be sure to start in an area where you can move around and not trap yourself into a corner.
- The sealant instructions should indicate the drying time for the first coat of sealant, before the second coat can be applied.
Apply the second coat of sealer. When the first coat of sealant is completely dry, start the second coat in the same way, using a small brush to cover the edges of the surface. Finish the second coat with a roller brush as before, but apply it at a different angle than the first coat for a more even application. When the pavers start darkening in color, that will indicate that the pavers are properly absorbing the sealant.
- Try not to let the sealer puddle in any areas. If you see this happening, simply continue to spread out the sealer with your roller brush.