Block paving is a very popular surface of choice when laying a new driveway, mainly due to their aesthetic appeal and durability. Block paving is the perfect all-weather solution, but like all surfaces they need to be cared for and well-maintained over the years so that you can maximise their longevity and keep them looking fresh for as long as possible.
When laying a new block paving driveway for a customer, how to best maintain and clean the driveway is a discussion that we certainly have so that they're best equipped to get the most out of the new driveway. After all, we want our customers to enjoy their beautiful driveway for many years to come.
For this reason, we thought it'd be useful for us to put together this guide to help you carry out the appropriate on-going maintenance work on your block paving driveway.
Step-by-step guide to maintaining a block paving driveway
1. Remove all pots and objects
Before you begin carrying out the maintenance jobs you should remove everything that may get in the way. Most people tend to keep the driveway clear, but if you have any flower pots or bins stored on the driveway put them somewhere else temporarily.
2. Brush the surface of your driveway
Use a stiff broom to brush over the entire surface of the driveway so that all dirt and loose material can be removed. Pay attention to corners and difficult to reach areas, such as behind drain pipes or covers of water drains. If you have a leaf blower, you could use this, but be sure to remove any loose stones or large debris that may have collected on the driveway first as they can be blown quite dangerously, potentially causing damage to paving slabs, glass windows or cars. Try to make sure you don't remove too much sand while brushing or blowing in between your block paving driveway.
3. Remove weeds and moss from block paving
Weeds often grown in between block paving and they can be very annoying and unsightly. You may not have been aware of how much was actually growing on your driveway, and it may only become apparent after you have brushed the surface clear. If weeds are left to their own device they can soon become an overwhelming presence on your driveway, so it's best to target them as soon as you see them begin to grow. As they grow between paving block gaps they can leave your block paving vulnerable to movement, especially if they aren't addressed quickly. You can either pull them out or kill them off with a weeding spray product, which is something you will be able to find in any DIY store or garden centre. If you use a weed killer, be sure to follow the instructions for that particular spray.
You'll know that the weed killer has worked because moss will turn brown and you'll notice that the weeds have wilted. Once moss has died and turned brown you should find that it becomes very loose from the surface, making it far easier to clean and maintain a block paving driveway. Next, it's time to remove the dead weeds with a hard scraping tool or simply by hand.
It is possible to use a jet washer to remove weeds and loose dirt or stones from your driveway, though we would recommend avoiding this if possible. If you do decide to go the jet washer route, then it's important that you at least do so very cautiously. The high water pressure from a jet washer makes it very easy to accidentally damage the structure of your paving if operated incorrectly. The jet washer should be angled at 30-45 degrees and sprayed diagonal across the joints to avoid dislodging sand between the blocks, but to have a better understanding it would be worthwhile watching a few tutorial videos that specifically explain how to use a jet washer on block paving.
4. Treat any oil and grease stains
If you notice oil and grease stains on your paving blocks then you can treat them separately with a suitable oil and grease removing cleaner for the very best results. It would be wise to
If the stain is light then you could try applying washing up liquid. Once applied, scrub the area vigorously before rinsing with hot soapy water as you continue to scrub. This may be enough to remove or disguise the stains sufficiently enough for them to be barely noticeable.
If your driveway was very dirty or covered to begin with then oil and grease stains on the block paving may not have been noticeable until after the debris was cleared. In this case, you may need to repeat the cleaning process after you have treated the stain for an improved result, but if the stains are too visible then simply use a specialist oil and grease removal product.
5. Wash the entire surface of the block paving driveway
Whether you need to apply a specialist paving cleaner or not all depends on just how dirty the driveway has become. If its light, then as with the oil and grease stains previously, all you may need is a solution of soapy water to gently lift the dirt from the block paving. If you choose to do this, just check the label on the washing up liquid to make sure it's safe to use on things like limestone and marble.
Another option is a biodegradable recommended paving cleaner product that doesn't require the use of a jet washer. These are a better option for driveways that have a significant amount of dirt to lift.
6. Gently scrub the water or cleaner into the block paving surface
If you're dealing with light stains, then all you should need to do is gently scrub the surface with a brush to work the liquid into the paving blocks and between the joints. This will help to remove any stubborn ingrained dirt and stains.
Rotating heads for a jet washer specifically designed for driveways are also an option as they are ideal for cleaning away hard-to-remove dirt.
7. Rinse the driveway with clean water
Now that the soapy water has been gently brushed into the driveway surface it's time to finish by rinsing clean with lots of fresh water. This will remove the dirty water or cleaner and any leftover dirt, leaving behind a clean block paving driveway.
8. Replace any lost kiln dried joint sand
Once the block paving has thoroughly dried replace any lost sand with paving joint sand. On a dry day, apply the paving joint sand to the top of the joints as necessary and carefully brush them in evenly.
Are you looking for reputable landscaping builders in Cardiff to lay a fresh new driveway or help create the perfect outdoor space for your home? If so, don't hesitate to get in touch with us today. We offer a host of professional building services for both inside and outside the property to customers right across Cardiff and South Wales, so contact us to discuss your requirements by calling 07946 452571, e-mailing email@example.com or by completing our simple online contact form.