How to Restore Faded Concrete Pavers
Concrete pavers become faded after long periods of use. The location of the pavers is actually the biggest factor as to why they tend to become dull looking. Prolonged exposure to the sun, the rain and other elements can really damage the appearance of the pavers. However, the appearance can be restored with some elbow grease. Follow the simple steps below to update your faded pavers.
Step 1 - Clean the Concrete
The first step of the process is to ensure the surface of the concrete is clean and free from any organic growth. If the pavers do not have any sign of algae or mold growth, simply use a power washer to clean the top surfaces of the concrete. Use a stiff broom to scrub away grime and dirt. Add mild detergent to the power washer to dissolve the grime easily. Rinse the surfaces with water.
If the concrete has obvious signs of mold or algae growth, purchase oxygen bleach powder or liquid. Mix the bleach with water in a bucket and pour the contents into the concrete. Be careful to spread the solution carefully to cover all affected surfaces. Keep in mind that the solution will easily seep to the joints so purchase more bleach to ensure every surface area is covered. Leave the bleach to work its magic for about ten minutes. Do not let the bleach dry. After ten minutes, scrub the surface of the concrete and rinse thoroughly with water. Repeat the process if necessary.
Step 2 - Replace Damaged Bricks
While you are at it, it is important to inspect the pavement for any signs of damage. Each damaged paver should be replaced with a new one. Remove the grouting material surrounding the paver using the proper grout removal tools. Use a wire brush to remove sand grout and use chisel and hammer to remove mortar grout. Insert a pry bar on the opposing side of the paver and pull it out with a scooping motion.
Purchase a replacement similar in color, size and texture from the one removed. Clean the cavity with a wire brush and level the base with a piece of wood or a smaller block of concrete. Install the paver and tap it with a wood mallet until it is level with the surface. Grout the edges with the proper grouting material similar to the one used in the other pavers.
Step 3 - Seal the Concrete Pavers
This step can be skipped, but it is best to have the concrete sealed for better appearance and protection. As soon as the damaged pavers are replaced and the entire surface cleaned, prepare for sealing. Wear proper safety gear including masks and gloves. Wait for the concrete to dry if it has become wet. Mix the sealer according to manufacturer’s instructions. Apply a thin layer of the sealer on the surface and wait for it to set for a few hours. Apply a final, thicker coat of sealer and allow it to dry for 72 hours.