If you have recently installed outdoor paving or have just moved into a property that had one installed by the previous homeowners then the thought of taking care of your paving stones may be daunting. Mistakes can happen that could damage or taint your beautiful paving.
The patio maintenance and care of your paved area and natural stones is a must since it will be such a focal point of your outdoor area and can bring this area to life if kept in tip-top condition. However, it is all too common to make mistakes through lack of experience which could harm the outdoor area. They can often be simple avoidable mistakes that can be rectified through small fixes.
In this article, we will detail the most common mistakes that are made when taking care of your patio and paving stones and exactly what you can do to ensure that you are not making them or do not make them again.
1 - Power Washing Too Much
When thinking about the care of paving or patio cleaning the first thing that most people think about is simply pressure washing the stones. While this can be a very effective and easy way to clean the paving slabs, using a power washer too much could end up in damage to the paving. Overuse of a pressure washer can result in the removal of the sealant that is on the stone to protect it.
This sealant is hugely important to the lifespan of the stones. It helps to protect the stones from staining, weathering, and other hindrances. There are so many different things that can stain your stones, taking off the sealant while pressure washing will open your paving to the opportunity for stains that will take some time to get rid of.
Different stones need different kinds of care, some are far stronger than others and can therefore withstand a high-pressure jet wash far better than a more fragile stone can.
2 - Not Knowing The Stone You Are Cleaning
Some stones can be extremely delicate, while other types of paving can be extremely robust. There are so many different types of stone such as Indian sandstone or concrete paving that all have different intricacies and maintenance requirements. If you do not fully understand the stone that you are dealing with and decide to go DIY then there is a high possibility that you could make mistakes when taking care of your paved surface.
Believe it or not, each stone has different cleaning requirements and how some stones need to be cleaned can cause damage to other stones. This is why it is hugely important to research the paving stone that you have and put together a tailored maintenance plan to ensure that you are treating your patio in the way in which it needs to be treated.
3 - Not Cleaning Spills & Stains Instantly
This is one of the most common mistakes that people make as they think that they can deal with it later or just leave it for the rain to wash away. Unfortunately with paving stones this kind of naivety can result in permanent stains that you cannot get rid of.
Spills are inevitable. Our pavings are a place for family and friends to congregate and enjoy themselves and spills and stains are just part and parcel of it. Whether it is a small bit of tomato ketchup or a whole glass of wine that has been spilled, if it is left to soak into the stone then it will make your job of having a clean patio a whole lot more difficult.
For this reason, it is hugely important to act as quickly as you possibly can and clean the spills and potential stains instantly.
4 - Not Protecting The Paving Stone
As we have previously stated, paving stones tend to be extremely delicate and can be prone to things like weathering, stains and dirt. This is why it is super important to protect the paving stone instantly by using a high-quality sealant to seal the paving stones to make sure that they have the maximum amount of protection to get through the typical wear and tear of a garden patio.
The application of patio sealer offers so many benefits to your paving stones that it is a must-have. It helps the patio surface to become water resistant which makes it far harder for unwanted bacteria and algae to grow. In addition to this, it will also protect the stones from general weathering like loss of colour caused by UV and make it far easier for you to maintain and clean your stones.
Each stone has different sealant requirements, so you should ensure that you have done the proper research to ensure that you meet the right requirements for your stone.
5 - Using Bleach To Clean
Using bleach or diluted bleach to clean your pavers is for some reason a piece of advice that we see all too commonly. We would, however, advise against this. There is a myth that using bleach to clean your patio will give it the best clean, but in reality, it could potentially discolour and ruin your patio slabs.
There are so many other cleaning solutions that you can use that are far less harmful than bleach. You could simply start with clean water, if this does not do the trick then you could try using soapy water. If the job is extremely tough then you may need to use a harder patio cleaner. In the event of this, you should use a hard cleaner that is designed specifically for your paving stones and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid damage.
6 - Forgetting To Rinse After Cleaning
This is an extremely lazy mistake that is made all too often. So many people go through the tedious process of pre-treating the stone, then applying the cleaning product, then cleaning the patio and unfortunately forget one of the simplest, yet most important parts which is rinsing the cleaner off the patio once you have finished cleaning.
The reason it is so important to rinse the cleaner off is that the cleaner will continue to work even after the cleaning has finished. This can leave the patio and paving stones with a dull finish and can discolour the stones over time if continuously done.
We would advise you to not be finished with your cleaning until the cleaner has been rinsed and the patio has been dried off to ensure that there is no dirt or grime build-up that can get onto the freshly washed and clean paving.
As a beginner, mistakes are bound to happen. The most important thing is to learn from the mistakes you make so that you do not make them again. When you get into the correct care process for your paving it will be second nature for you to upkeep regular maintenance. However, you need to have a plan in place that suits the needs and requirements of your patio.
Making these particular mistakes once or twice will not be too catastrophic to your block paving or stone paving, but constantly making them will undoubtedly start to take a toll on the paving stones. This is why it is super important to iron these mistakes out as soon as you possibly can.