A paver driveway, walkway or patio is a fantastic way to add rustic charm to any home. Pavers are attractive, durable and surprisingly low-maintenance, but they do still require some basic care. If they aren't properly cared for, they can be prone to loss of color, mold growth, joint separation and other issues that can adversely affect their appearance and durability. In order to protect your investment and keep your paving looking as good as the day they were installed, simply follow the basic maintenance tips below.
Clean With Care
As with most any aspect of your home, the first step in keeping your pavers protected is regular cleaning. Dirt and grime can build up quickly, wearing away the pavers' finish and creating a dull, unappealing appearance. Leaves and other plant debris are especially troublesome, as they can leave stains if they become wet and are allowed to settle atop your pavers for too long. Make it a point to sweep your paver driveway, walkway or patio thoroughly at least once per month, paying particular attention to the joints where dirt is most likely to accumulate.
It's also a good idea to spray down your pavers with a garden hose about once per month to rinse away any grime that sweeping hasn't dislodged. For particularly tenacious dirt and debris, you can occasionally wash your pavers with a brush or pressure washer.
Be Watchful of Weeds
Unchecked weed growth is the bane of the paver owner's existence. Weeds like to grow in the seams between pavers, and in addition to ruining the look of your walkway or patio, they can also undermine its structural integrity. Weed growth may damage the seams between pavers, allowing moisture intrusion and eventually leading to water damage, cracking and uneven surfaces. Therefore, it's important to keep a watchful eye out for any new weed growth and address is as promptly as possible.
To treat weed growth in and around your pavers, begin by pulling any weeds that you can easily grasp. Next, sprinkle a powdered herbicidal agent along the seams and any other problem areas, following the directions provided by the manufacturer. Powdered herbicides will penetrate and kill most nuisance weeds quickly and efficiently, but it's recommended that you check again in a few weeks to ensure that the weeds are indeed gone.
Seal in the Beauty
Finally, applying a paver sealant is a necessary step to protecting your pavers and keeping them looking gorgeous for years to come. A high-quality sealant designed for use on pavers will create a protective coating, keeping out water, grime, and other harmful elements and providing a lustrous sheen that allows the natural beauty of your pavers to shine through. This process should normally be done every few years, though the ideal schedule may vary depending on your choice of sealant. Areas that experience heavy traffic may also need to be re-sealed more frequently.
Before applying a sealant, be sure to thoroughly wash and dry your entire paver surface. The sealant requires a clean, dry surface to properly bond, and you don't want to seal in any dirt or grime. Apply the sealant with a roller using long, even strokes until you've covered the entire surface. Allow it to dry before carefully applying a second coat. Most sealants require about 48 hours to fully dry before the paver surface is ready to be used, after which you can continue your basic cleaning and maintenance schedule.
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