Throughout the year block paving goes through its fair share of wear and tear. To keep your paving looking presentable, you need to ensure that you are staying up the date with the cleaning of your paving. While you may think that cleaning a patio should be relatively simple, there are far more intricacies that go into cleaning your paving and keeping it looking clean.
You must stay on top of the cleaning throughout the summer as this is when you will be using it the most. However, it is also incredibly important that you stay on top of cleaning in the colder autumn/winter months to ensure that you do not have a mammoth block paving cleaning task come spring next year.
How to clean block paving in the Autumn/Winter
Remove fallen leaves
In the autumn/winter months it is extremely common for leaves to constantly fall onto your block-paving driveways or patio. While it may seem pointless to remove these autumnal leaves for more to fall just moments later, there is actually an extremely important reason behind it.
The pile of leaves on your paving creates a seasonal feel, but if left for too long will begin to decay and become an eye saw. Not only can this then become a breeding ground for unwanted and harmful bacteria but during the decaying process, they release a substance called tannin. Tannin is an extremely strong dye that if left to sit on your paving surface for too long will become very difficult to get off.
The cleaning process is easy, simply brush off the fallen leaves with a stiff broom and then rinse the paving with a pressure washer and some clean water to avoid any stubborn stains that could come from these piles of leaves.
Remove weeds from your block paving
People often make the mistake of thinking that weeds are only a problem in warmer months. However, this is false, weeds do grow in the autumn and winter months especially in paving joints of block pavers and therefore need to be eradicated. Winter is actually the time when weeds go through their germination process so that they can be at full growth when it comes to the following spring.
Removing any weeds left from the summer months, as well as removing any new weed growths will help to eradicate them both short-term and long-term. The simplest and most effective weed killer is to simply pull them out by hand, ensuring that you also remove their roots so that there is less chance of them growing back.
Remove plant pots and patio furniture
During the colder months, having things like plant pots and patio furniture on your paving patios and driveways is no longer needed. The plants in the pots will struggle to survive the weather conditions and the furniture will not be used. The best thing for your block paving is to store them away until spring arrives.
Not only are they not needed but they can become a nightmare in regard to cleaning. Patio furniture can create stains on the paving if metal and can often be a breeding ground for diseases. Removing the furniture will not only help to keep your paving clean but also preserve the furniture.
It is extremely common for people to miss small areas behind and around plant pots. When constantly missed over and over, there is usually a large build-up of plant matter and grime that can stain your paving stones and create unwanted areas of mold.
Replace missing sand
When sweeping up things like leaves and loose dirt you will most likely dislodge and loosen jointing sand or cement mortar. It is important that you re-sand this once your paving has dried because the jointing sand helps to stop the infiltration of water into the sub-base of your paved area which if frozen can cause the blocked paving to bulge or lift.
How to clean block paving in spring/summer
Continuously wash your block paving stones
While this may seem obvious, keeping on top of your paving in the summer is made far easier by regularly washing your block paving stones. When we say wash, by no means are we talking about a deep clean with loads of different cleaning products, we just mean constantly rinsing off your patio.
During the summer, your paving stones are seeing constant use and are therefore experiencing a fair amount of wear and tear such as spillages and oil stains. A weekly rinse with a jet wash, power washer or even a bucket with some washing-up liquid to create some soapy water will make the maintenance of your block paving over the warmer months far more manageable.
If you are pressure washing your paving then it is super important that you do it correctly to avoid damaging the paving stones. While you are jet washing, you must ensure that the nozzle is over a foot away from the stone.
If you can, avoid acid-based cleaners as they can damage more sensitive paving stones. You can use a bleach block paving cleaner solution if diluted with water before application and used with extra care.
Remove weeds on block paving
In the spring/summer months weed growth can be rapid and everywhere, especially on block paving. It is extremely important that you act swiftly to eradicate these weeds to avoid them spreading uncontrollably. Due to their favorable conditions spring and summer see a much larger growth of weeds than the colder and wetter months.
Uprooting the weeds as soon as possible is one of the best ways of making sure that the weeds do not populate all over the paving and grow back. One of the most effective ways of getting rid of these nuisance weeds from the affected area is to DIY it and pull them out by hand. Simply pull the weed out as close to the root as possible to ensure that the weeds do not have the foundations to grow back in the surrounding areas. It is incredibly simple and effective and will leave your paving slabs in tip-top condition.
Keep pests away from your block paving
Similarly to weeds, pests are a huge nuisance to most outdoor spaces and your paving is no different. Pests are a threat as they can quickly spread around your paving and carry diseases which can take over all of the plants in your outdoor areas. Pests are undoubtedly more prominent in the warmer months. That is why you should do your best to keep your paving pest free.
Keeping your paving areas in a clean and hygienic state is one of the main methods to keep nuisance pests away. Constant upkeep and care will keep away molds, lichens and dirt that attract pests to your paving. It is recommended that you have a deep cleaning of your patio area 3-4 times a week to ensure correct hygiene is maintained.