When you step out onto your patio, you can't help but immediately feel like you've escaped to a private oasis. But when you look down, all you see are dirty concrete pavers. Now, you're ready to spruce them up.
You're in good company. Seventy-three percent of respondents in a recent study cited outdoor time as being great for them. And seven in 10 said that their new hobby was improving their outdoor living spaces.
Even though your patio can become dull and weathered over time, you can restore it to its former glory using paver cleaner.
Here's a rundown on how to restore a dull patio with a paver cleaner.
Let's get started!
Get Rid of Any Objects in the Way
The first step in a comprehensive patio cleaning is to remove all potted plants, furniture, and other items that are currently on your patio. These items may range from vehicles to toys, chairs, and tables.
These items will get in your way when you're trying to clean your patio. You'll need a clear patio surface for the best cleaning results.
In addition to freeing your patio of all obstacles, be sure to also cover any surrounding plants with tarps. This will protect your landscaping from the chemicals and water you'll use during the paver cleaning.
You should also cover any metal backyard ornaments near your patio. This will protect these objects as well.
Remove Weed and Moss Growth
The next step in cleaning your patio is to gently pull any weeds in the crevices of the patio. Then, you should use a brush with stiff bristles or a broom to scrub away any growth, like moss, in between or on your pavers.
After you've loosened all organic growth, you should brush off your debris.
Let's say the growth is so heavy that you cannot remove it by hand. In this situation, you may need to apply a strong vegetation-killing spray to the growth. Then, wait two weeks to clean the pavers.
Hose Down the Paver Surface
Once you've removed your patio's moss and weed, you should rinse the pavers down using plain water. You can use a hose featuring a nozzle to perform this rinsing step.
The water you spray on the pavers will help with removing all loose grime and dust. It will also wet the surface to get it prepared for your main paver cleaning process.
If you don't wet your patio first, the pavers will soak up your paver cleaner and develop a murky, soapy film.
Prepare Your Cleaning Solution with a Paver Cleaner
Your next step when cleaning pavers involves creating a mild cleaning solution.
To do this, simply add water to a bucket that is gallon sized. Then, add your chosen paver cleaner to the water, following the manufacturer's instructions. Mix the water and cleaner thoroughly.
Next, you'll want to pour some of the solution onto your patio gently.
During this process, you may want to wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from any accidental splashes. It may also behoove you to wear protective clothing, a mask, rubber gloves, and rubber boots.
Type of Cleaner to Use
Your paver cleaner should ideally be water-based as well as vinegar, bleach, and acid free.
This is important because cleaners that are acidic can affect your pavers' seal. In addition, they can leave a milky stain on your pavers.
Harsh chemicals may furthermore eat into your paver material and leave marks you cannot easily remove. On the other hand, the right cleaner won't mar your paver material.
Look for a formula that is specifically designed to target a wide variety of debris that can tarnish your pavers' look. These include the following:
- Mineral deposits
Also, look for a cleaner that is concentrated for long-lasting cleaning benefits.
Avoid using harsh, toxic, and highly corrosive soaps on your pavers. Examples of these include muriatic acid and trisodium phosphate, also known as TSP.
These types of strong treatments may end up damaging the pavers. In addition, they might pose a serious risk to vegetation, pets, and children.
Use a Stiff Brush
Now that you've applied your cleaning solution to your patio, you're ready to start scrubbing.
Use a push broom or a scrub brush with stiff bristles to scrub your solution into your patio's surface. The scrubbing action will help you to loosen any engrained stains and dirt.
Work in small sections of the patio at one time. In addition, do the scrubbing in various directions so that you don't wear out a given spot.
Note that you may also use a pressure washer to perform the cleaning as long as you use the low setting (more on this later).
Rinse the Pavers
After you've cleaned your patio's pavers, you'll want to use your hose to thoroughly rinse the paver cleaning solution away.
Once you've completed the rinsing step, you may need to repeat the scrubbing and rinsing steps to get your patio spic and span.
Re-Sand the Pavers
Allow your pavers to dry. Then, you can begin to re-sand your pavers.
This process involves placing polymeric sand between your patio's pavers. You may need to do this if your existing sand levels are running low.
Note that polymeric sand is better to use for this application than traditional sand is because polymeric sand will lock your pavers together.
To apply the sand, sweep it over your paved surface using a stiff-bristled, dry broom. You should brush in several directions to ensure even coverage.
Continue to pour on more of the polymeric sand and sweep it until all of the pavers' joints have been filled.
You could also use a blower to fill your joints with polymeric sand. Just be sure to perform light passes with the blower to avoid blowing all of the sand away.
Mist and Seal Your Sanded Pavers
Finally, you're ready to apply a mist over your pavers. Your house's mist setting will make this task effortless.
The water you mist over your pavers will help your new sand to effortlessly settle between your paver joints. Avoid saturating the pavers, as you may end up washing away your newly laid polymeric sand.
Finally, apply a paver sealer to your patio. This will lock the polymeric sand into your paver joints. It will also give your patio a protective and hard-wearing finish.
Concrete pavers are porous, so they absorb contaminants easily. These contaminants may range from dust to dirt and liquids. A sealer will protect your pavers from these contaminants so that they don't become unsightly.
Make sure that the sealer is dry before you move your furnishings and decorations back to your patio.
Common Paver Cleaning Mistakes
A commonly made mistake during the paver cleaning process is not carefully using a pressure washer on your patio.
Pressure washers can help to blast off harsh and stubborn paver stains. That's because they use powerful water jets to remove stains more quickly and effectively than you may be able to do manually. However, if you're not careful, these machines may be more harmful than helpful.
For instance, they might excavate the sand between your paver joints. They may also damage your pavers' surfaces by removing their top layers.
If you decide to use a power washer, it's best to put the machine on as low of a setting as possible. In addition, use a round pressure washing machine brush attachment to do the scrubbing.
Along the same lines, avoid hand-scrubbing your pavers too vigorously.
If you don't have a broom or scrub brush, you may be tempted to use a scouring pad or wire brush instead. However, don't. If you overdo the scrubbing with these abrasive tools, they may scratch your patio's surface.
You could even scratch your patio's surface with a scrub brush that doesn't seem harsh if you apply high levels of pressure when scrubbing.
Remember that the gentler you can be during the paver cleaning process, the more likely you are to keep your patio in tip-top shape for years to come.
How We Can Help with Patio Cleaning
You can easily enhance your patio's look with the help of a paver cleaner. When cleaning pavers, remove objects and debris from them, then wash them down. You can then apply your paver cleaner to the patio, wash the pavers down, and re-sand them.
Fortunately, at Coatly, we offer a top-tier paver cleaner that will remove dirt and grease quickly. Get in touch with us to learn more about our cleaner, and order today!