What You Need to Know About Paver Cleaning: Pressure Washing, Soft Washing and Sealing
Paving stone is a beautiful and low-maintenance way to increase the functionality of your outdoor living space. Interlocking pavers can be installed in a variety of colors, sizes and textures to create a hard and sturdy surface to entertain—and in a decorative manner that creates visual appeal. While durable and low-maintenance you must clean your pavers every 2 to 4 years.
Is High Power Pressure Washing A Safe Way To Keep Your Pavers Clean?
The first thing that might come to mind is DIY pressure washing. While pressure washing is fast, easy, and creates immediate visible results—if you don’t know what you are doing it can do more damage than good.
Below are the 4 most common risks of using a pressure washer on your interlocking pavers. Each of these risks can be avoided by hiring a professional painting contractor to clean your exterior. That’s right, Best Way Painting Specialists can clean your concrete pavers, as pressure washers are a tool we utilize daily.
Risk #1 Removing The Waterproof Sealant
Concrete is porous which is why your pavers come standard with a sealant built-in. This sealant is waterproof and provides protection from staining. High powered pressure washers have multiple thousands of PSI (pounds per square inch) so if your setting is too high you will strip away the sealant. Since the sealant is not visible it will look as though all is well, but over time discoloration and damage will set in. In addition to removing the natural sealant washing with too much pressure will open up the naturally occurring pores, creating what is referred to as paver scarring.
By hiring a professional painting contractor who understands the appropriate level of pressure to apply when cleaning you will preserve the built-in sealant.
Risk #2 Dislodged Paver Joints
Another concern of washing with too much pressure is that you can dislodge the interlocking paver joints. These joints become softer when wet so if you wash too hard, to close, or too long you can damage the structural integrity of your exterior flooring. Sometimes this damage is immediately visible, but sometimes it will begin to show a few months after cleaning.
The only way to resolve dislodged joints is to have them replaced, which can really add up. Avoid this risk altogether by hiring a pro.
Risk #3 Uneven Cleaning
It takes time to learn how to use a power washer properly meaning that the likelihood of you missing a spot, cleaning unevenly, or using the washer improperly is high. Everything from the pressure, angle, and amount of time you spend cleaning your pavers factors into the equation. For example, if you have an area that is stained you might be tempted to turn up the pressure, clean with the nozzle closer to the surface, or to clean the stained area longer than the unstained areas.
This uneven pressure washing can create spotting and streaking making the stained area more noticeable than it was in the first place. Once spotting and streaking occur, it can only be fixed by replacing the stained pavers.
Risk #4 Erosion
Last but certainly not least, there is such a thing as too frequent pressure washing. While your goal may be to keep your patio or walkway clean and bright, pavers only need to be washed every 2 to 4 years. Even if washed properly, increasing the frequency can lead to all the risk factors above—removing the sealant, dislodging joints, and streaking—as well as gradually eroding the surface. This erosion will drastically reduce the lifespan of your concrete pavers.
If you aren’t sure if it’s time for a professional clean, just ask. We are happy to come out and take a look, and to advise you on how frequently you need to clean your walkways, patio, driveway, and siding.
How You Should Be Cleaning Your Pavers
Best Way Painting Specialists are skilled home exterior cleaning experts. We use a special nozzle designed for soft washing pavers without the worry of damage. We also know the angle, distance and time required for safe cleaning. Our concrete cleanser is an environmentally-friendly quick rinse that won’t damage your pavers or your lawn.
Once clean, we will reseal the pavers to reduce staining and stabilize and harden joints. This is particularly important here in Naples, FL where the sandy soil is prone to shifting and settling. It is also why your pavers are installed over crushed gravel or a concrete substrate. Last but certainly not least, resealing will minimize the likelihood of grass and weeds growing between your pavers.
The finished result is a clean, beautiful, strong and smooth surface!
Yes, Sealing Your Paver Minimizes Weeds, Moss, And Algae!
The most common cause of paver staining is algae which only occurs when your sealant has been stripped. Sealant also prevents moss from growing on your pavers, and weeds from popping up in between the joints.
In addition to sealing the pavers, our high-quality polymer additive penetrates the top layer of sand beneath your pavers. It hardens the sand, creates a strong and even surface, and minimizes germination.
While our process will minimize the growth of weeds and grass by up to 90%, properly cleaning and sealing is not the only factor to consider. For example, if your pavers are old, damaged, misaligned or were improperly installed—cleaning and sealing will not reduce vegetation growth. The only solution to these problems is to have your pavers properly reinstalled.
Poor drainage can also increase the risk for weeds, moss, and algae, and create sunken and uneven areas. In fact, poor drainage is the number one reason for vegetation growth. This means that your landscaper must build drainage in, particularly in areas that are sloped, layered or have a stone wall perimeter. Without proper drainage the pavers remain damp, attracting organic materials and creating the ideal breeding ground for moss, algae, and stray seeds of every kind. The last factor that leads to vegetation growth are areas with high shade and low sunlight, so you must be mindful of where your pavers are installed.
Need Your Pavers Cleaned in Southwest Florida?
Call Best Way Painting
To keep your outdoor living space clean and pristine and to protect your investment for years to come regular cleaning and sealing is required. If you live in Naples, Florida we invite you to reach out to Best Way Painting Specialists today to discuss how to best clean and maintain your outdoor sanctuary!