Properly cleaning and caring for your patio pavers is not just about aesthetics; it’s about preserving the beauty and longevity of your outdoor space. Pavers can transform your patio into a stunning oasis, but without regular maintenance, they can become marred by dirt, weeds, and weather damage. By investing time in cleaning and maintenance, you’re not only enhancing your home’s curb appeal but also ensuring the safety of your family and guests. A well-maintained paver patio not only looks inviting but also provides a durable, non-slip surface for leisure and entertainment.
How to remove snow and ice from pavers
It is best to clean snow from natural stone with a plastic shovel and broom only. Sealing some types of stone can help to protect it from the effects of deicers. Organic compounds such as urea or sugar beet are better de-icing materials for stone. When you must use a stronger deicer a very modest application of magnesium chloride seems to be the best choice for most local situations. It continues to melt snow and ice until the temperature reaches -13 F. The salt releases 40% less chloride into the environment than either rock salt or calcium chloride. It is far less damaging to concrete and plants. Using no deicer is best and the affects can vary depending on the conditions. Below is a chart from Consumer Reports on the different types of de-icers.
Things to never do when de-icing
- Never use an ice melt on concrete or mortared stone that’s less than 12 months old because new concrete and mortar needs time to cure and settle. Applying an ice melt can weaken the concrete and mortar and make it more susceptible to future damage.
- Never use rock salt (sodium chloride) on natural stone, concrete, or clay products. Use deicers moderately (read the label) and remove residue during long thaws and again in spring by washing with water.
General Patio Paver Cleaning
Routine cleaning tips
For routine cleaning of patios we suggest using a broom or a lightweight handheld blower to remove dirt, leaves, etc. Wet leaves can stain some types of natural stone so it is important to keep clumps of leaves off of your patios and the tops of your walls. You can spray your walls and stone patios down with a hose as often as you like to keep them clean. If you have a dry-laid patio be mindful of the joints; DO NOT blast the joints with water or strong blower.
If your patio is stained
If your natural stone patio or wall gets some type of stain you can scrub the stain with a gentle, household, liquid detergent, such as dish soap. Squirt the detergent over a stain on the stone, and scrub the stone with a PLASTIC BRISTLE scrub brush. Then, rinse the stone with clear water from your garden hose to ensure no soapy residue remains. If this does not do the trick you can try removing the stain with an ammonia solution made with 1/2 cup of ammonia mixed with 1 gallon of water. Wear waterproof gloves and eye-wear when using the ammonia and other strong chemicals. Rinse the stone surface completely between each cleaning attempt to prevent chemicals from mixing.
If your patio has moss or algae
If your stone accumulates moss or algae you can fill a sprayer (garden sprayer, old Windex bottle, etc.) with tap water and a mild bleach solution- 1/2 cup of household bleach with 1 gallon of water and spray your patio. Spray on, let sit for about ten minutes, use a plastic bristle brush for tough spots, and wash off. Wear waterproof gloves and eye-wear when preparing and using the dilution bleach solution and be sure to keep the solution on the stone. This should eliminate the greening and inhibit new growth a bit. You can also use soft bristle brushes, when cleaning stone but you should avoid wire brushes. High pressure sprayers and acidic cleaning materials can be used if necessary however we recommend these methods be done by a professional.
Sealing your patio pavers
Sealing can help to protect stone, clay and concrete pavers, brick and concrete. The need for a sealer and the frequency of sealing can vary depending on your situation.