Identifying Different Stains on Your Pavers
Pavers instantly make any home or commercial space more beautiful. A pavers creation cleans up unruly garden edges or makes a driveway a work of art. They can also create the perfect atmosphere for backyard barbecues. The possibilities for design are close to endless because pavers are individual pieces. This allows you to mix and match materials however you see fit for your space.
After all that time spent designing your perfect creation, you don’t want to be looking at stained pavers. Most of the paver’s materials are stain-resistant. Pavers withstand your lifestyle and natural elements. But no paver is stain proof.
The best thing you can do for a stained paver is to know what is causing it. That way you can prevent it from happening in the future. There is little point in removing a stain without knowing what is causing it. Without knowing where it is coming from, stains will continue to plague your pavers.
From oil to mold, this blog will help you identify the most common types of stains. We will also give you a quick guide on how to remove those stains. Finally, we will take a look at effective prevention.
Oil and Gasoline Stains on Pavers
Oil and gasoline stains are usually easy to spot. They are often found on driveways or anywhere else you may park your car. The cause of the oil or gasoline leak is likely your car. For a quick fix when you can not fix your car, lay newspaper under the leak. The newspaper will absorb the oil. It will also prevent it from getting onto your pavers.
Of course, oil and gasoline can come from other sources as well. An oil stain is identifiable by a black or gray discoloration of your pavers. The area may look as though it is only wet. You may also be able to smell the gas or oil.
How to Remove
First, use something to absorb any excess oil. Old rags, towels, or newspapers are fine. Be prepared to throw whatever you use away.
Next, use something to absorb the oil from within the paver. Kitty litter is a good oil absorbent. You can also use pure talc or fuller’s earth. Because pavers are porous, the oil may have penetrated deep into the paver. To allow the absorbent to reach the bottom layers of the paver, leave it on for at least 24 hours. Sweep up the absorbent afterward.
If a stain remains, use soapy water and a stiff broom. Scrub until the stain is gone. Rinse thoroughly.
When on an incline, always start cleaning at the bottom of the stain. This allows the cleaning product or absorbant to trickle down the stain. Beginning at the bottom also helps with the consistent removal of the stain. It also allows the product to be constantly rinsed.
Grease and Food Stains on Pavers
Grease stains are most often found around patios, barbecue areas, or any other eating area. Food and grease stains also appear as though your pavers are wet. They may be a slight shine to the stain. It may be brown or even yellow in appearance.
Grease and food stains are easiest to remove when you clean them right away. The longer grease sits on your pavers, the deeper it penetrates.
When using your grill, empty your grease tray carefully. Avoid grease stains by putting something down when dealing with grease. You can also just clean up spills right away.
How to Remove
You can follow the same steps for removing oil. Remove any excess grease or food from the surface of your pavers. Use a mop or rags. If the grease stain is old or has made it deep into the paver, use an absorbent. Kitty litter is fine. Keep on the stain for 24 hours then sweep off. Use hot water and a good soap or detergent and a scrub brush. Scrub the stain until it is gone. Repeat as needed.
Always make sure to completely rinse the soap away.
Rust Stains on Pavers
Pavers themselves do not rust. Rust stains come from nearby metal. Additionally, pavers around any type of water source are more likely to experience rust. And pavers underneath gutter drains are especially prone to rust stains. They get rust stains from rust that transfers from a metal surface.
Rust stains are orange or brown in appearance. It may feel or look powdery. This is very easy to identify. It looks the same on a paver as it does on a rusted piece of metal.
To prevent rust stains on pavers, remove and replace the rusted material. You can also keep metal away from your pavers. Consider placing a small pebble garden under your gutter drain instead of pavers.
How to Remove
To remove rust stains, begin by removing rusted metal from the area. You will continue to get ruse stains on your pavers if the rusted metal is not removed.
Rust is not difficult to remove, but it does take care. To remove rust you need may end up needing a cleaning product with an acid-base. But before heading straight for the heavy-duty stuff, you can try lemon juice. Spray lemon juice on the stain on a sunny day. The sun will help to activate the cleaning properties of the lemon juice. Acid in the lemon juice will lift the rust out of your pavers. Scrub using a hard bristle brush and soapy water. Rinse thoroughly.
If lemon juice does not do the trick, try white vinegar. Allow the vinegar to sit for up to 15 minutes. Then, scrub and rinse.
In extreme cases, you may need a more concentrated solution. Working with chemicals like oxalic acid can be dangerous. Oxalic acid, or wood bleach, is effective against rust stains. But if you feel your pavers need this deep of a clean, we recommend contacting a company to clean your pavers.
Mold, Mildew, Leaf, and Wood Rot Stains on Pavers
Mold, mildew, leaf, and wood rot can all leave nasty stains on your pavers. They can be green, brown, or even black. Mold and mildew are often slimy or slippery to the touch.
Your pavers are more prone to mold and mildew in shaded areas. When pavers do not get enough sun, they will hold in any moisture they absorb. Any leaves, wood, or yard trimmings will also help keep moisture in your pavers. Yard trimmings plus a wet paver in a shaded corner of your yard equals mold stains.
How to Remove
Leaf and wood rot is easy to remove. Remove debris with a broom. Use hot water and detergent or soap with a hard bristle brush. For stubborn stains, you can use bleach. Scrub until the stain is gone. Rinse with your garden hose.
Bleach does not kill mold or mildew. It only discolors it. When removing bleach from your pavers, use an antimicrobial solution. Mix antimicrobial with hot water and scrub your pavers with a hard bristle brush. Rinse thoroughly.
Preventing Stains on Pavers
The best prevention against stains comes in two parts. The first is a consistent cleaning routine. Pavers are durable on their own. The sooner you clean up a mess on your pavers, the less likely you are to get a stain. This is true for anything that comes into contact with your pavers.
On days you cut the grass or trim the trees, sweep your pavers clean. Yard trimmings left behind can hold onto moisture and breed mold. They can also leave green grass stains on lighter pavers. You may also choose to use a leaf blower for a faster clean. Make sure to rinse off any remaining debris.
Placing your pavers in a sunny area can help prevent some stains. The more sun a paver gets, the less likely it is to develop mold. The sun can also help to discolor some stains. It is important to note that the sun does not remove the substance causing the stain. So while placing your pavers in a sunny corner helps, it is not a cure-all.
The second is sealing your pavers. Sealing your pavers is one of the best things you can do for them. It protects them from stains and corrosion. It also helps prevent weed, mold, and mildew growth. If you want to avoid set-in stains, Unique Pavers recommends sealing your pavers. The applied sealant will keep messes at the top layer of your paver. This makes cleaning up a spill as easy as rinsing it off with your garden hose. Before sealing, make sure to clean your pavers thoroughly. A pressure wash is the best way to clean your pavers before sealing.
The type of paver you choose will also prevent stains more readily. Natural stone can stain more easily because it is porous. Concrete is also prone to hold in oil stains. But there is almost always a way to remove the stain. If there isn’t, pavers allow you to remove just the stained pieces. You can then put in brand new ones.
Your Paver Stain Experts
Unique Pavers takes the time to make sure your paver project is a beautiful addition to your home. It is important to us that you know how to keep your pavers looking great. Knowledge is power. The more you know, the longer your pavers will continue looking as great as the day we install them.
Call Unique Paverss with all your questions about pavers. We want to talk to you about installation and stain prevention. We are here for all your pavers needs.