Follow The Yellow Brick Road: Steps To Cleaning Your Brick Pavers
Brick pavers are a beautiful and relatively inexpensive way to add character and value to your outdoor space. Many people use them to create a durable and unique walkway, garden, pool deck, driveway, or patio. As with most things, they tend to lose their luster as they age. The good news is that restoring them is easy with these few simple steps. Here are the nine steps you should follow to keep your brick pavers looking their best.
1. If you have any furniture or potted plants on your brick pavers or in their vicinity, you will need to remove them before starting the cleaning process. This step will help keep you safe and will also protect your plants and furniture from getting dirty or damaged. You should also cover any nearby metal objects and landscaping with a tarp.
2. It is common for moss and weeds to grow in between brick pavers. Begin your cleaning by removing moss and weed growth with a stiff bristled brush or a brush broom.
3. Check the labeling of the product you plan on using for cleaning, but typically the next step will be to saturate your brick paved area with water. In most cases, there is no need to power wash at this point, simply get the bricks wet so that they will not soak up the soap or cleanser you will use next.
4. Now it’s time to get the cleaning done. There are many products you can pick up at hardware and home improvement stores, often specific to your paving material (e.g. travertine, concrete, etc.). If you’d like to use something you most likely already have around, one of the safest cleansers is a mixture of a mild household cleaner such as dish detergent, and warm water. Stay away from highly acidic cleaners that can be harmful to your children, pets, furniture, and greenery. Be sure to follow directions printed on container labels.
5. Use a stiff bristled broom or brush to scrub the pavers with the cleaning solution. The bristles from the brush will loosen caked on dirt and stains. In some cases, you may want to let the cleaning solution soak on your pavers for an extended period to help bring up tough stains or dirt.
6. When you have thoroughly cleaned your brick paved surface with the cleaning solution and brush, always rinse the solution off thoroughly after use with plain water and direct the water to a nearby drain. In most cases, you can use a garden hose. If you have harsh stains, a power washer may be necessary. However, be aware that in some cases, pressure washers will cause more damage than it is worth by removing the sand from in between the paver joints. Go easy if you need to use a power washer.
7. Once the pavers are fully clean, you will need to refill the joint spaces with sand. Again, work in smaller sections. Pour about 1/3 of a bag at a time and use a stiff-bristled broom to spread the sand out and make it even in the joint spaces.
8. Finally, use a sprayer with a mist setting on your garden hose and mist water over the brick pavers, paying close attention to the joints. This will help settle the sand in the joint areas. Be careful not to saturate the sand and cause it to wash away again.
9. The very last step you may want to consider is sealing the pavers. You can do this yourself (a topic for another day) or hire a specialist with the experience to get the job done right. Contact us for a free estimate, consultation or advice.
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