How to Clean and Maintain a Stone Paver Patio
A stone paver patio is among the more durable choices for a home’s exterior space. Stone pavers are also used in driveways and pathways. Stone pavers also present an aesthetic value, as they can be designed across a large range of colors, textures and shapes. However, stone paver surfaces need some degree of maintenance, too. Thus, homeowners having stone pavers or those planning to install them should be aware about the basics of cleaning and maintaining stone paver patios.
Step 1—Basic Cleaning
Regular cleaning of stone paver patios is recommended. This can be done in various ways, depending upon how often the paver surface is used. You can use a wet mop for regular cleaning. Using lukewarm water is recommended since this helps to remove fresh stains. If you need a stronger cleaning solution, mix together plain water and some dishwasher soap.
Stone pavers are highly durable and can be scrubbed. You can use scrubber retailed specifically for natural stone surfaces. Occasionally, you can use pressure washing with a garden hose. When you do this, try to keep the direction of the hose’s spray away from the seams. Afterward, ensure that you dry the paver surface properly. Moisture retention can weaken the grout/seams and tarnish the brightness of patio surface.
Step 2—Removing Weeds
Weeds often grow through the seams of stone paver surfaces. Apart from spoiling appearance of patio, weeds tend to weaken the seams. Weeds retain moisture and over a period, induce surface cracking even among sturdy surfaces like stone pavers. Using a herbicidal (anti-weed agent) is recommended for this problem. Powdered herbicides are easily available at garden stores. You simply need to sprinkle this powder along the seams. Ensure that you start by pulling-out the weeds manually. Follow this with the herbicidal treatment.
Step 3—Sealing Pavers
Sealing your pavers is recommended as the most effective way of guarding against chipping or dulling due to external weather conditions. The sealant maintains the brightness of the paver surface. You need to re-seal the patio paver every few years.
Sealers for natural stone surfaces are specifically retailed for this purpose. Sealing also decreases the patio’s surface to retain stains by forming a thin coating. The sealers are rather easy-to-use wherein you can apply it with paintbrush. Ensure that you properly clean the patio surface before sealing it as debris impairs the bonding of the sealing agent.
Step 4—Repairing Grout Lines
Landscape or patio pavers often need repeated grouting, particular in patio surfaces that are heavily used. Re-grouting the seams is quite easy. Use a putty knife or a chisel to apply the grout within the thin seams. Ensure that you remove all traces of any remaining grout as it can stain the paver surface. Use the putty knife to scrape-away traces of dried grout. Use a wire brush to remove all traces of dried grout. Grout-specific sealers are also available. These are a bit different than surface sealers discussed above. You can use these sealers if heavy footfall is expected and if the grout lines seem to be weathering repeatedly.