One of the nicest things about the summer is to get out into your garden and enjoy the pleasures it brings. Your garden may be an oasis of flowers, with perfect lawns and beds, or a small courtyard with pots that bring your flowers to life. What’s important is that your garden provides the right space for you. A place you can spend time with family and friends, a place to eat, drink, relax, entertain and play. Lawns and beds require dedicated work and attention, a job, or in many cases, a hobby that is a pleasure. But what about any hard landscaping?
How do you look after your block paving, patio or driveway?
No matter how well a pavement might be laid or how much was spent on quality materials, they all require some basic maintenance to keep them looking their best.
Maintenance keeps paving in prime condition and lack of maintenance allows paving to deteriorate. We have put together a few pointers on how to handle most paving maintenance issues.
How to clean block paving
General dirt build-up will occur throughout the year, particularly in the winter. To keep your hard surfaces looking good, sweep regularly with a good broom and wash down with warm soapy water. Avoid jet washing block paving or slabs as this can damage the surface of the product.
After cleaning the blocks or slabs, you may find that some of the jointing sand becomes displaced so re-sand and re-point any joints as necessary and apply a weed preventative between the joints.
Be aware that some types of paving are more porous and therefore more likely to retain any staining. Different stains and spillages require different treatment.
Here are a few guidelines for common stains that occur on your driveway or patio. Where we have recommended treatments always carry out a test on a small section of the affected area first, with manufacturer’s instructions strictly followed.
Scrub the affected area of paving hard with a stiff brush and some warm soapy water. For stubborn stains use a standard strength household bleach diluted to 1:10 and then rinse thoroughly.
To stand the best chance of removing oil from block paving soak up any excess with absorbent cloths. Do not wipe as this will spread the stain. Cover the paved area with a dry absorbent powder such as Dry Oil available from Mackays.
Moss / Algae
If you are looking for an eco-friendly solution contact our recommended local hardsurface specialists who only use HSE regulated products biodegradable cleaning products and a softwash solution. Alternatively, you can clean paving slabs using a proprietary weed killer, preferably in warm weather. The dead material should then be able to be brushed away as it dries out. Use with caution if you have pets or neighbouring animals that may visit your garden such as cats, hedgehogs and of course birds.
Fat / Oil
A curse of garden paving are the small fat/oil splashes that build up around a barbecue. They should be cleaned as soon as possible with hot, soapy water. Most will naturally degrade over time but be careful because frequent use can result in build-up and become dangerously slippery if not regularly cleaned. For this reason, why not use a gravel surface around a barbecue, as this can be raked over to present a clean surface or easily replaced in cases of heavy fat contamination.
Rust stains are probably the most difficult to remove from most types of paving. A lot of the ‘patio cleaners’ sold at the DIY shops are based on a hydrochloric acid, and these usually have no minimal effect on rust, and occasionally the stronger acid dilutions can sometimes make the stains darker. So try the following natural solutions:
Squeeze lemon juice directly onto the stained area, allow it to react for 5 minutes or so but don’t allow it to dry out. While still wet, scrub the stained area with a nylon brush, such as an old toothbrush, and work the lemon juice into the surface of the paving. Wash off with plenty of clean water after 5 minutes and repeat as necessary.
Vinegar – use a clear or white vinegar (spirit vinegar) rather than a coloured vinegar (malt or balsamic). Cider vinegar also gives good results on some concrete surfaces. Use in exactly the same way as described above.
Berries and Fruit
Berries and other soft fruit can stain paving when they fall from shrub or tree, and it looks worse when they first pass through a bird before being deposited on a pavement. When dry, the resulting stain can prove difficult to remove.
Use a mild, non-oxidising shampoo, such as a own brand baby shampoo to remove the stain. The shampoo acts as a surfactant and is an eco-friendly alternative to harsh sodium hypochlorite.
Scuseme hardsurface cleaning
All hardworking cleaning is carried out to an exceptional standard by qualified and registered REACH and HSE regulated experts using only eco – friendly biodegradable cleaning products. They offer FREE pre-installation site visits, FREE expert advice and FREE quotations.
To book a service with our Cambridge based experts please get in touch here
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