Homeowners have a wide range of choices to create a backyard patio – pavers remain at the top of their list. Paving bricks, which have been shorten to simply pavers are a favorite among homeowners for a good reason. Pavers offer homeowners a secure and stable patio surface. Pavers can be chosen to fit in with the surroundings to create a natural looking area or they can add a pop of color to become a focal point in the yard.
Homeowners entertain on patios, cooking outdoors on grills and feeding hungry family members and friends, which oftentimes leads to stains that detract from the beauty of the pavers. Some patios are located in areas that have drastic temperature changes and varying weather conditions, which can cause the pavers to crack and split. Having overhanging trees or nearby flowers and shrubbery can leave sap and leaf stains on the surface of the patio. Leaving metal objects on the pavers for an extended period of time where the item rusts will leave rust stains on the patio taking away from the visual appeal. Home improvement projects gone wrong such as painting the house can leave ugly paints marks on the surface of the patio.
With all of these stains, wear and weeds, what’s a homeowner to do to make the space look beautiful again? It’s easy; the paver patio can be cleaned and restored to its former glory and look just like new. Taking care of the patio throughout the year will help to minimize the work once patio season comes again.
Examine The Pavers
Look at each paver, not just a quick glance. Put on a pair of kneepads and crawl over the surface of the patio looking for cracks, broken edges and chipped pavers.
Place a flat blade screwdriver into the gap between bricks, gently tap the handle with a mallet to wege the screwdriver under the paver.
Press down on the screwdriver’s handle to lift the paver out of the space.
Set a new paver into the space. Hopefully, you bought extra pavers when you originally installed the patio.
Repeat for each damaged paver.
While You are Crawling Around on the Patio
Being you are already crawling around the patio looking for damage, look for grass, weeds or even trees that may have taken root.
Grip the growth as close to the root as possible and pull them out.
Making a Clean Sweep
Grab a stiff bristle nylon broom and sweep away all dust, dirt and debris from the surface of the patio.
Only sweep when the patio is dry because wet debris is more likely to stain than dry dirt and debris.
Washing the Patio
Fill a bucket with warm water and add a generous squirt of liquid dishwashing soap.
Dip a clean stiff bristle broom into the soapy water.
Scrub a 4 by 4 foot section of paver’s surface with the soapy broom to remove any stuck on dirt.
Rinse the area the spray of water from a garden hose.
Move to the next section, scrub the surface and rinse thoroughly.
As you are scrubbing and cleaning pay attention to any stains that won’t budge.
Removing Moss and Mold
Gold to a garden center and buy a commercially available moss and mold killer.
Spray the moss killer onto the green or brown areas and let it sit for as long as the manufacturer recommends.
Use a handheld scrub brush to scrub the moss and mold off the pavers.
Thoroughly flush the area with plain water to rinse away any moss and mold killer residue.
If you have plants, flowers, shrubs or trees right next to the patio, direct the spray of water away from them because the moss and mold killer can kill the plants.
Cleaning Up Oil and Grease Stains
Salad oil or motor oil from the lawn mower both leave an oily, messy spot on the paver patio surface. Soap and water will do little to remove these types of stains, making it necessary to take other action.
Sprinkle a generous layer of cat litter over the oil stains and let it sit for two to three hours.
Sweep up the cat litter and absorbed grease. Throw away the mess.
Apply another layer of cat litter and let it sit overnight.
Sweep up the cat litter and throw it away.
Fill a small bucket with warm water and add 1 tablespoon of a grease fighting dish washing soap.
Dip a stiff bristle nylon scrub brush into the bucket of water and scrub the stain.
Rinse the area with plain water.
Scrub the area again with the scrub brush and rinse thoroughly with plain water.
If the oil has penetrated deeply into a porous paver, replacement of the single paver may be the best option.
Paver Rust Stain Removal
Choose a masonry rust stain remover or a rust stain remover that is made for granite countertops.
A chalk based poultice works well to pull the rust stains out of the stone.
Each type of rust remover will come with its own directions.
After the rust stains have been removed from the pavers, paint the bottoms of metal patio furniture andgrills with a rust inhibiting paint or clear sealer. Also, do not leave unsealed metal objects on the pavers for an extended period of time.
Removing Paint Stains from Paver Patios
Wet a rag with paint thinner.
Lay the paint thinner soaked rag over the paint spill, spot or drip.
Let the rag remain on the paint stain for about an hour.
Remove the rag and scrape the loosen, soft paint off the pavers with a metal putty knife.
If any paint remains, repeat the process until the paver surface is free of paint.
Wash the area thoroughly with soap and water to remove all paint thinner residue.
Sealing Your Paver Patio
Pour a clear, non-yellowing, UV protective masonry sealer into a painter’s tray.
Attach a ¾ inch nap paint roller onto a threaded broom stick.
Roll the roller through the sealer.
Roll the sealer onto the surface of the paver patio.
Masonry sealers will help protect the pavers from damaging weather, spills and stains.
Do and Don’ts for Paver Patios
Do pull weeds from between the pavers to keep them in check.
Replace broken, cracked or chipped pavers as soon as you notice any damage.
Do not use a power washer, pressure washer or pressure nozzle because it will damage the pavers. The force of the water is too strong, especially if you have natural stone pavers.